Opinion: The IMF doesn’t understand the BBI

The proposed constitutional amendments are an outcome of the Building Bridges Initiative, a cross-party endeavor to promote unity through wide-ranging legislative and institutional reforms, including a more broad-based and inclusive executive structure, enhanced judicial accountability, and increased devolution to local governments” (IMF – ‘IMF Country Report No. 21/72’ P: 4, April 2021)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows its ignorance and lack of understanding of what purpose and what means the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) really has. That is evident when they are dropping a footnote like this in the middle of IMF Country Report on Kenya. Where they are planning to loan more money and start a modern twist of Structural Adjustment Program (SAP).

The IMF is clearly still believing in the SAP and its mechanisms. Since the proposed ideals of the strings with the IMF loans is seemingly so. That of privatization of State Owned Enterprises and other measures to cover the deficits. While the government still takes up more loans to cover that.

This with the huge debt burden and rising amounts of loan, which has been steadily issued during the reign of Kenyatta. The IMF isn’t worried that the state is paying huge percentages in interests of the old loans. This is deficit financing and the state is supposed to restructure itself. Meaning, in a state of poverty levels are high. The state is supposed to be able to retain new tax-bases and domestic revenue. When 7 out of 10 is living in poverty. That is really infuriating.

IMF clearly just wants to loan out funds and use that put strings on the nation taking it. They will control both the legislation, budget priorities and how the state operates. The IMF Country Reports states this. That’s why its weird that they are not more focused on the BBI. As that legislation would change the finances, state expenditure and giving more power to the Executive (Head of State).

The IMF should study the texts and the constitutional changes in the BBI. Because, if the Kenyan government changes accordingly to these stipulations. Than the President will have more power and he can do more with his office. The BBI is made for the elites and it seems like IMF is catering to that.

That is why its disappointing. If the IMF cares about legislation and laws. They should dig a bit deeper into the effects and what the BBI possibly affects the state. Not just a minor footnote. Though the IMF only cares about Economic and Financial Mechanisms. That is natural, as these folks is most likely Political Science Majors, but auditors and accountants. Since, they use most part on these implications, but not on caring on about the Constitutional Amendments in the BBI.

The IMF doesn’t even care enough about the growing debt burden by adding more debt to cover the deficit. While expecting the state do several of actions to not only scrap government services, restructure state owned enterprises and create new financial mechanisms. Therefore, the acts of the IMF is not without other “costs”.

We know the state and the government is known for corruption and kickbacks. The President and all of his elites have been eating without any issues during his reign. There been scandals upon scandals. There been one scandal leading to another. It is not like the Kenyan authorities doesn’t have a Judiciary, Police Force and other agencies to look into graft, grand corruption and other white-collar crime. If the state wanted to take it seriously. They could easily cease it and go after the heads who commits it. However, these activities are usually happening as political assassinations and not a criminal investigation. Therefore, the idea of IMF to make more laws will not stop. Then they are naive and foolish.

But then again, it is the same IMF who clearly haven’t dwelled into the BBI properly. If the IMF had looked into the BBI. They wouldn’t have made it into a footnote and made it so unimportant. When all political gambits before the 2022 elections have been invested into it.

That’s why the IMF clearly values their own additions and strings on a loan more than the already legislation, which is into the works. A legislation and constitutional reform, which will not be less costly, but add more additional expenditure on the state. Not only be a “favourable” spread of domestic with the counties of the Republic. That is such a distorted view of what the BBI represents and does.

The IMF, if anyone seriously work there and cares about political science. This is hack-work and hack-job. Where they have either eaten everything served and believed it. If not they have been tricked and not understood it. Lastly, they have understood it, but doesn’t care about the implications it does have. As long as they follow the reforms and adjustments they want to achieve with the granting of the new huge loan their way. Peace.

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