Africa, Analysis, Side Feature

High Cost of Living: A Stark Reminder that Capitalist Regimes Don’t Care for the Interests of their Citizens

Yet again the common Kenyans are faced with hard economic times due to high cost of living resulting from the high prices of essential commodities. For nearly five months, basic commodities such as maize flour, milk, cooking fat, paraffin and sugar have tripled in prices. Many households have now adopted new survival tactics of skipping their meals. The latest survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has revealed 20 million Kenyans walk into their places of work without breakfast!

As citizens continue to suffer, politicians from all political divides are engrossed in politicizing this issue as usual. The government’s blame that drought is the cause of the crisis and hence gave Kenyans empty promises instead of solving the issue at hand. Opposition on the other side brags that it will come up with proper strategies to curb the menace when it takes over power! The truth still remains that all ‘democratic’ politicians are from the same cut of cloth known to deceive the naïve as the food shortage is an artificial crisis – caused by both politicians and the cartels. This is not secretive as was evident in the 2009 Maize scandal.

Bad economic policies founded on capitalism, which state that price is the determinant factor in the production and consumption of the commodities, makes the capitalists – who are the producers – control the prices of the product; and because they so much value their material benefits in everything they do, hence they control the production and the distribution of commodities. So the vast resources/riches in this country from fertile land, water bodies to minerals all have not been used to curb the languishing poverty facing millions of Kenyans – all these resources benefit the elite only. We are saying that the poor economic capitalist policies which the government is bound to are the root causes of these problems.

This situation should be a reminder to the Kenyan society that capitalist governments do not care for the interest of their citizens. These regimes deliberately ignore the key sectors like agriculture among others instead favors its leaders who are infamous in looting public funds. The Government’s attempt of importing Maize cannot permanently solve the shortage of maize in the country because the process itself is severely abused with the end result being the enrichment of a handful wheeler dealer politically linked cartels. The question we pose; how does the government depend on importing maize to feed its citizens while the same can be gotten locally from our dedicated farmers and at a cheap price? This is pure capitalism which in its simplistic term was elaborated by the former assassinated leader of Burkina Faso Thomas Sankara- in the 1980s; “Look at the food on your plate when you eat. These imported grains of rice, corn and millet that is imperialism”.

We say the Government has a responsibility to secure adequate food for its citizens as well as tackling the high cost of living. However that should not be expected by the citizens living in imperialist capitalist bounded governments. Only Islam is capable of solving all crises including the food crises. In summary we Hizb ut Tahrir Kenya wish to highlight the Islamic perspectives which under the Khilafah state will permanently secure enough food for its citizens.

Firstly: In Islam, land ownership is strongly linked with its cultivation. So it is not allowed for a person to own land without any use for a period exceeding three years. The Government is entitled to assist the owner of the land in cultivation. And if any one neglects utilizing the land for three years continually then the Government takes it away from him/her and gives someone else.

Secondly: Islam has compelled the ruler (Khalifah) to enable its citizens to meet their basic needs i.e. shelter, clothing and food.

Thirdly: All forms of hoarding and monopoly are forbidden in Islam as privatization of the public resources such as water bodies, land for pasture and energy is totally forbidden.


Shabani Mwalimu

Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Kenya

Tuesday, 19th Sha’ban 1438 AH

16/05/2017 CE

REF: 08 / 1438 AH