Fuel prices have assumed an unrelenting upward trajectory, with the latest price review shredding the hearts of many without an iota of mercy. It’s a no-brainer that oil prices have a chain of impacts on the prices of almost all basic commodities.
Paradoxically, as the prices skyrocket, the government is on a tax offensive mission mutilating the payslips of salaried Kenyans leaving many on the edge, unable to eke out a decent living and fend for their families.
What is more sickening is the contemptuous attitude of government officials towards the sorry situation Kenyans are languishing in. Despite catapulting them to the top echelons of power, some seem to be aloof regarding Kenyans’ cries. Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has been on a tongue offensive since he assumed public office. He arrogantly chided Kenyans to dig their own oil instead of complaining about the exorbitant fuel prices.
This comes just days after he launched a scathing attack that had the hallmarks of a well-choreographed plan to attack Royal Media Services, an affront on media freedom. In a heated exchange with Citizen’s Sam Gituku, he ignorantly alleged that prices of cooking oil in Ruiru were much lower than the reality. The attack on Nation Media Group months ago is still vivid in our memories and Kenyans can only wonder why such a person still holds a public office.
Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu was seen handing over an employment letter to a young man in a burial weeks ago, a role that constitutionally belongs to the Teachers Service Commission. The President has in the past admitted that some of his Cabinet secretaries are clueless about the ministries they run.
The President must act to avoid his house tumbling down like the proverbial house of cards. Heads must roll for efficient service delivery. We must see officials working the way Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki is dealing with corruption, inefficiency and banditry. The President must also go slow on taxation lest investors run away. He must carefully vet his advisers to avoid implementation of policies that are counterproductive.
It is the fiduciary duty of the government to make the lives of Kenyans bearable. Kenyans deserve nothing less than accountable leadership.
Mr Mwirichia is a high school teacher based in Meru.