By Dr. Martin Lwanga
It has been noted that like most politicians the Late Daniel Moi ( RIP) started poor.
However, surrounded by the money hungry Kikuyu elite he saw and learnt how to use state machinery to amass wealth, as many thrived under her first President Jomo Kenyatta.
There is something worth of note how the ruling class in Kenya profited from the state.
Essentially they would incorporate companies that monopolized the supply chain. Many who profited were able to leverage and invest in other profitable blue chip companies a good number that went on to list on the Kenya stock exchange, the largest in the region.
This allowed ordinary Kenyans to also participate in wealth creation.
Now this hugely contrasts with our type of state looting in Uganda.
Normally what has happened is that those with state connections tend to establish fictitious companies (eg Katosi saga) which are not involved in any real businesses.
These make alliances with foreign agents, some who end up supplying air. Their goal and intent is to make quick bucks, hit and run after fraud, and then of course live large.
Unlike the Kenyan state looters ours don’t invest in serious business that create wealth like job creating brick and mortar basic industries.
They don’t invest in our stock exchange but specialize in simple get away stuff like land and real estate speculation.
Isn’t it interesting that in the last 30 years we have not produced a real middle class with sizable stake in the country due to her investment in serious business like putting up industries.
Our class of the nouveau rich lives off the state by skimming it, chasing deal after deal, selling air and where possible investing out but mostly going for overseas holidays.
They enjoy driving huge SUV and putting up self absorbing mansions up country. This class is not very interested in creating structures that will sustain her wealth for looting remains uppermost on her mind.
Our brothers and sisters in Kenya chose, maybe by accident, a different path.
We now see some structure of a nation given the two state burials of their late Heads of state, of which the last one did not have to flee the country once out of power.
After all he and a sizable population had a stake in Kenya. Kenya belongs to them.
How I wish our ruling class one day would see this point.