It has happened elsewhere and it can happen here too. What’s needed is strength and courage, the stones to face the lords of the dark economy head on.
African countries are fond of printing large denomination notes when faced with extreme inflationary factors. Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe is case in point. Uganda too, has huge denomination notes and a few hundred thousand Kenyan shillings would make you a millionaire in Ugandan, however fake that is.
Today, the Kenyan nation finds itself trapped on the grips of serious sleaze and many are lost as to what possible solutions might be put in play to mitigate the mess.
The corrupt are also vicious in their fight back and it will take a lot of mettle in the authorities to make headway. To make matters worse, the Lords of corruption are actually deep inside government.
Look at the scandals ravaging Kenya today. They threaten the very foundation of this country! Maize is our main staple! They have invaded it, cashing billions at the expense thousands of farmers.
Sugar worth a wooping 40 billion has flooded the Kenyan market. There are scandals at Kengen, at Kplc, at the sports ministry… And these multi billion scandals translate into cold cash for the corrupt.
Uhuru has proposed a lifestyle audit and his partners from the rift valley are up in arms, spreading a narrative that the audit targets their guy.
The question is, why is their guy worried if he is clean. Why would he be opposed to a lifestyle audit if all his dealings are above board.
The current dilemmas we’re facing requires a multi pronged approach. A dark economy fatally threatens the mainstream economy and it is time the mainstream one pushed back.
Uhuru can legally recall the two largest denominations from circulation, effectively short circuiting the main notes driving the dark economy.
There are reports of stashes of notes in their millions being hoarded by the corrupt for fear of being asked the sources of these monies. There’s money, hard cash in 1000 denomination lying over the ceiling boards, under false floors..This money cannot be taken to the bank. But we can take it away from them with one swipe of a wand. Recall. Total recall!
Reports are doing the rounds that this cash is being turned into USA dollar bills as further insurance. It will also reduce their load by a factor of a hundred, the cost of each dollar.
Uhuru does not have to print replacement notes! No! He can insist on the replacements staying in electronic form. Or, having poeple accept limited replacements. Kenya already has a good electronic money foothold and only a few tweaks will suffice to make the system effective. He can simply exempt from taxation any form of transaction taking the electronic form.
He can also move to insist that shilling to dollar exchanges take place at only designated places with good security layers.
This move will quickly void these ill gotten wealth and sooner than later, the cash being hoarded will just be but paper.
Huge sums of cash can be used to subvert the government by financing political countermanding moves and an incumbent would find himself a little safe from such maneuvers.
The biggest beneficiary will be the bank, of course and they will easily embrace thus policy. They will have a cash windfall and for sure , the borrowers will also enjoy cheaper loans.
Tax evasion will be a thing of the past if the government insists on electronizing all money transactions. Corruption will take a huge beating as the rewards for indulging in the vice would immediately go down.
The government can also secretly do behind the scene investigations on the sources of huge deposits. Tell me what else can sanitize our dirty system?
Kenya can dis-encourage the cash economy as the rewards for doing the same are obvious. The indecision we are suffering today is just wrong.
By the way, politics of handouts will also die for liquid cash will always be in shorts supply. It would take great efforts for example, to cart cash in 200 shilling denominations to political rallies as it would be a sizeable volume.
Corruption is a threat! Black economy a far worse threat. Let’s go cashless! Let’s hit the hoarders of ill gotten wealth where it hurts most.