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What is Hustler Nation’s BOTTOM UP Economic Approach?

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Deputy President H.E. William Ruto supporting a Green Maize Seller in Machakos. Photo: Courtesy

In recent days, there has been increased interest by most Kenyans to understand and find more details on the Hustler Nation’s Bottom Up Economic Approach. Many ask what informs it, how it is different from the current economic approach in the country and if and why Bottom Up Economic Approach has potential to transform Kenya for better in the next decade. The opponents of Hustler Nation have also gone all out trying to trivialize Bottom Up Economic Conversation wishing they can divert the attention of Kenyans from it. There have also been blatant attempts to sell counterfeits of Bottom Up Economics which are just versions of the current failing economic model.

To be sure, the current economic model in Kenya is the TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMIC APPROACH. It focuses on giving tax breaks to the wealthy (investors) in the upper class and supporting large businesses to continue doing business in the country. This support takes the form of tailoring Infrastructure Priorities to meet the needs of those at the top and large companies. For instance, the Port was moved from Mombasa without concern for the impact on truck transport businesses, hotels and small businesses in Mombasa and livelihoods of the poor who were depending on the Port.

The prevailing assumption of Trickle Down Economic Model is that the tax breaks to the wealthy and the support given large corporations whether monetary or infrastructural will TRICKLE DOWN and SPILLOVER to Middle Class and the Poor (those at the Bottom), but that never happens in real life. So, the Government borrows heavily and invests in large infrastructure projects to support this model without much public participation and regard for social and human cost of most these mega projects. Instead of taxing income of the rich, taxes are imposed on consumers and buyers of basic commodities.

On the other hand, BOTTOM UP ECONOMIC APPROACH is simply a SHIFT from focusing only on those at TOP of the Economy to prioritizing those at the BOTTOM of the Economy. We have been supporting those at the TOP hoping the benefits will TRICKLE DOWN to those at the BOTTOM for the last 58 years and it has not happened, why not try something new? Hustler Nation is proposing we SHIFT some of the support that we have been giving the few WEALTHY Boys at the TOP to SUPPORT the many POOR Hustlers at the BOTTOM of the Pyramid to start income generation activities, expand their informal businesses or modernize their operations.

So, what is Bottom Up Economic Approach? It is a PARADIGM SHIFT from SUPPORTING ONLY few FORMAL PLAYERS (the Wealthy) at the TOP to ALSO SUPPORTING the many INFORMAL ACTORS (the Hustlers) at the BOTTOM to enable them contribute in building and growing the economy. This proposed support of the bottom takes various forms just like the support of those at the top takes many shapes. The benefit of supporting those at the BOTTOM to earn INCOME and CONTRIBUTE to the ECONOMY is that it eases the HEAVY BURDEN currently imposed on Middle Class who pay the high tax as the wealthy get tax breaks.

Essentially, Bottom Up Approach boils down to Supporting Entrepreneurship and Trade (Hustle) at the Bottom to access Capital , Prioritizing Key Infrastructure that lower cost of doing business at the Bottom, Lowering Cost of Basic Services and Goods for the Bottom to save, Encouraging Savings and Social Security by the Bottom (to reduce dependency and create a pool of NSSF Funds as alternative to external borrowing), Promoting accountability in utilization of public resources for maximum value, Fairness to local communities in extraction and exploitation of natural resources and Guaranteeing remuneration is commensurate to the value of work done.

No question, the main, and so far the most publicized, Bottom Up Economic Approach is supporting entrepreneurship and trade at the bottom. As William Ruto puts it, his Government shall support those at the Bottom “to grow their hustle” through capital infusion by availing, among others, setting up Entrepreneurship Kitty like CDF where informal sector players can borrow without unnecessary formalities. Imagine the impact to economy if the 9 Million Kenyans now earning between 100 and 500 from their hustles today were helped to double their income?

In addition to Capital Support for Informal Entrepreneurs, Bottom Up Economic Approach must prioritize key Infrastructure Needs of those at the Bottom to ease doing business for informal businesses by ensuring easy access to markets and lower cost of doing business. A streetlight next to where a Mama Mboga sells her wares can help her open late into the night, cheaper and steady electricity means a Kinyozi doesn’t have to resort to using expensive generator. Making clean water available can help the Mutura guy and Mama wa Kibanda to save on buying water. The savings are pumped back into these businesses.

Further, Bottom Up Economic Approach appreciates that even if you help people at the Bottom to earn more, as long as the cost of living and basic services and goods remain high, there will be no savings left for them to reinvest and buy assets. The Government has to invest in providing quality schools and hospitals and ensuring food and fuel is affordable to ensure those at the Bottom save the money they would otherwise spend on these services to invest in their businesses and save for their social security. The answer is to zero rate basic goods to make decent living possible even with low income.

Bottom Up Economic Approach guarantees fairness and equal opportunity for all. Those who work hard must earn fair value for their work. One class in the society should not carry the burden of taxes. More people should be assisted to grow and join the tax bracket to ease the burden of taxes on all, both rich and poor. Natural resources must benefit local communities where they are extracted. Public resources must be accounted for and used to give maximum value. Government can reduce external debts by encouraging Kenyans to save more for their social security and retirement to end dependency and create a pool of financial resources via NSSF.

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Why Mbaluka is Next Machakos Senator: Kavindu Yet to Make Maiden Speech

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Today is 1st April, 2022, a total of 373 days since Agnes Kavindu Muthama was sworn as in as 3rd Machakos Senator on 23rd March 2021. But Senator Kavindu is yet to make her maiden speech in the Senate. Indeed, as of today, the last words that came from the mouth of Senator Kavindu from the floor of the Senate is “Help me God.”

This should serve as a lesson to Machakos residents who voted her thinking they are punishing Hon Johnstone Muthama. The count went from having a robust and firebrand Senator in the person of Late Dr. Boniface Kabaka to having a person who cannot speak English to save herself from thirst in the person of Kavindu (whose name aptly means impeding darkness).

In 131 Days, People of Machakos shall have an opportunity to vote for another Senator. They must not make the same mistake they did last time. Thankfully, Wakili Joel Kyatha Mbaluka has graciously agreed to suspend his gubernatorial ambitions to vie for Senator to offer his people the oversight and representation they urgently need.

Machakos County have no choice but to elect Hon Wakili Joel Kyatha Mbaluka to the last man come Tuesday 9th August 2022. Wakili Mbaluka has what it takes to square out with fellow counsel at the Senate. He has the academic papers, he is articulate, he has the integrity and he has the knowledge to deliver as Machakos Senator.

Wakili Mbaluka holds Masters in Public Finance Management, which is what Machakos County residents need to stop the kleptocracy that Machakos has come to be known for. People of Machakos, please don’t elect another illiterate or someone who has been part of what is wrong at Machakos County. Give Wakili Mbaluka a chance to deliver for you as Senator.

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Kitui West MP Contest Becomes a Two-Horse Race as Muasya Leads Incumbent

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The Leading Kitui West MP Candidate Hon Ben Muasya who is ahead of the incumbent and is tipped to topple her.

The Kitui West MP Race has come down to a Two-Horse Race between the incumbent Edith Nyenze and the Incoming MP Hon Ben Muasya who is the obvious choice of majority of the Constituents. The People of Kitui West appear to have had enough of the Nyenze and Wambua Dynasties especially now with Mrs Nyenze is MP with her brother as Kitui Senator. The People are determined to elect Hon Ben Muasya as the Kitui West MP for a breath of fresh air, new ideas and better representation.

Kitui West Constituents have mainly been endeared to Hon Ben Muasya by his innovative development approach which has seen him pioneer key empowerment projects including table banking and small business support projects across Kitui West. In doing this, Hon Ben Muasya has been leveraging his strong credentials as a Management Consultant of international standing and leading businessman in the country. His projects have so far benefitted thousands of Kitui West Residents directly with many more benefiting indirectly.

In turn, this has caught the eyes of many including UDA Presidential Candidate and Deputy President Dr. William Ruto who has not only hailed Hon Ben Muasya Projects as a case study of how leaders can implement his Bottom Up Economic Model at the Constituency level to transform the lives of their constituents. As a result, the first trip Dr. William Ruto made to Kitui County was to Hon Ben Muasya’s home to engage with beneficiaries of his empowerment projects as well as to undertake a fundraising in support of scaling up the project.

Indeed, the popularity of Hon Ben Muasya has not only made all the potential opponents he had for the UDA ticket to switch to support him or defect to another party, it is said to be giving the incumbent MP sleepless nights. Having done nothing tangible with her CDF since taking over after the By-Election, Mrs Nyenze is hard-pressed to explain to wananchi in Kitui West how Hon Ben Muasya could do more than her in so short a time without the benefit of the CDF kitty.

Four months to the election and as party nomination draw near a close, Kitui West Residents are getting ready for a showdown between Hon Ben Muasya, the popular favourite as the newcomer, and Hon Edith Nyenze, who is weighed down by the weight of incumbency and voter apathy due to her unimpressive development record. The difference between these two leaders is like day and night. No question much is in store for Kitui West Residents and the next four months are going to be epic for Kitui West.

It is clear that Hon Ben Muasya is ready to turn things upside down to ensure service delivery for Kitui West residents. On the other hand, Mrs Nyenze is busy fighting to maintain the status quo and trying to defend her dismal record. She has tried everything including blaming the Covid-19 pandemic for her poor performance but Kitui West residents have had enough. Majority of Kitui West Residents are waiting for 9th August 2022 to usher in Hon Ben Muasya as their next MP.

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Friends of Ruto (FORM Kenya) Condemns Violence Against DP in Kisumu

Walter Trenk, Secretary General of FORM KENYA and the UDA Senatorial Aspirant for Nairobi County has condemned the chaos unleashed by hired goons to disrupt Ruto meeting in Kondele, Kisumu county.

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Image of one of the Cars in Ruto Entourage which was stoned by Hired Goons in Kondele, Kisumu County

We at FORM KENYA ( Friends of Ruto Movement – Kenya) do hereby wish to condemn, in the strongest terms possible, the cowardly acts of hooliganism and violence witnessed today in Kisumu during the Deputy President, Dr. William Ruto’s tour of the Nyanza region. We call upon the police to move with speed and arrest the perpetrators of the primitive acts of violence.

Violence and political intolerance has no place in our politics in the twenty first century. Every politician should be allowed to sell their agenda to every part of the country unhindered and without fear of intimidation or violence.

A few weeks ago, the Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Dr. Fred Matiang’i led a group of government functionaries in what was claimed to be a meeting to plan on ensuring that Kenyans are given a free, fair and credible election. An opportunity has presented itself for them to demonstrate to Kenyans and the entire world that they are ready, able and Wiling to live up to this onerous task.

We expect arrests and arraignment of the criminals within the next twenty four hours, failure of which, we will be left with no option but to believe that the government security agencies were involved in the macabre acts and are incapable of providing security to the citizens.

Walter Trenk, Secretary General, FORM KENYA & UDA Senatorial Aspirant, Nairobi County.

 

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