Perhaps It's Time Kenya Gets A Benevolent Dictator

A benevolent dictator leads a government in which he/she exercises absolute political power over a nation but has the best interests of his people in mind.
In the 1940s, Singapore was a war-ravaged British port on an island off the southern tip of Malaysia. The population grew fast and most of the citizens were poor and uneducated surviving mostly in slums. However, when Singapore gained independence in 1965, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew took control but had a vision for the country.
In the following decades, Singapore’s economy grew multiple-fold and the percentage of families living in poverty dropped significantly. One would sensibly argue that the place runs like a Swiss watch.
To achieve his economic transformation, Lee Kuan Yew interfered with many aspects of Singaporean life. He set up free family planning clinics to control population growth. Education campaigns to encourage people to have small families started and he decreed that women who had three-or-more babies would face higher hospital charges, shorter maternity leave, and less income tax relief. Furthermore, there was a $5000 reward for mothers who agreed to sterilization and would then get first priority for public housing and schooling.
These measures might seem extreme, but the results were incredible.
Singapore required all workers to save 25% of their salaries and they could only claim the money after the age of 55. Meanwhile, the money went into a centralized fund that the government used to build roads, hospitals, schools, and housing.

This discipline was enforced by a leader who realized that that was the only way the country could go forward. In Kenya, the progress made since 1963 when we gained independence is good, but many argue that it could be better. Unfortunately, the country has sunk into systemic corruption and tribalism propagated by powerful individuals who have their own interests. As a result, provision of public services has become a favor that the government offers its citizens.
While drastic changes cannot occur overnight, perhaps a benevolent dictator might offer new insights. While the East Africa region has leaders some might term as benevolent, this is just a flowery proclamation that they push to validate their clinging to power. If indeed they were benevolent, these countries would be miles ahead of Kenya and at par with other developed nations of the world.

We all have negative opinions about the word 'dictator'. Expectedly, it creates visions of oppressive regimes that cause masses to suffer.  However, many suggest that the most effective political system, for everyone, is a dictatorship, especially when a country is still young and developing. The dictator has to be benevolent;  caring, kind, and toiling for the good of the people. Lastly, the dictator should be ruthless with anyone who misuses public funds.

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