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February 23, 2019

Fat gratuity for MPs but no cash for docs?

Analyst Andrea Bohnstedt
Analyst Andrea Bohnstedt

don’t know if you’ve read Game of Thrones, but I currently feel like I’m in the first book: All seemed reasonably OK, and then Ned Stark is beheaded, Winterfell destroyed, and it’s getting distinctly worse from there. This is the US I’m talking about, of course. It’s way more baffling than what Kenya treats us to. And Kenya is currently having a good run, too:

I still have healthcare on my mind. Yet again, I’m a bit stunned – so if the state doesn’t have enough money to implement the collective bargaining agreement, how is it possible that the MPs – already the fattest cats of all fat cats except for the Nigerians globally – will get yet more money. A Sh11 million ‘gratuity’ (note to Kenyan MPs: don’t always aspire to be like Nigerian MPs. Seriously). And then it turns out that Kenya might also spend $426 million (about Sh44.28 billion) on military procurement from the US. How?

I’m generally at a loss to understand how the Jubilee government will let the doctor strike situation deteriorate so much. This is a literal life or death situation. If kids don’t go to school because teachers strike, there are problems – loss of learning time, parents struggle how to have them looked after during the day. But doctors: when doctors don’t work, people die. It’s unethical. It also strikes me as unwise to let the situation go this far in an election year – when you also haven’t been able to find any convincing answers on Health Ministry money, and NYS money, and have a drought that affects a large number of people (Yet again. For which, it appears, no early planning was done. Yet again).

And then Mr Rotich – who already confused me with his daily changing stories on where the Eurobond money went – stepped in to argue that implementing the CBA would make private sector doctors defect to the public sector. Even if this were true, the public sector, sir, is where the vast, vast majority of your people are. And they deserve significantly better than what consecutive governments have handed them.

My Focus Group (aka the Facebook friends) are clever people (or I wouldn’t want to read from them every day). And one of them suggested the following: Yes, we’ll come run at the First Lady’s half marathon in March, her Beyond Zero run. But we’ll run for Beyond Zero Poor Governance. And would like to see the financial and other data for Beyond Zero. And would like the First Lady, while she runs for maternal health, to speak to her husband about his government’s inaction on the national healthcare system. No more running to fill the gaps of dysfunction!


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