“Never before has a generation recorded themselves accomplishing so little.”- Anon.
Couple of seasons ago I wrote about how my friends were accusing me of being “so political” (whatever that means), and most recently one of my favorite humans has consistently branded my talk as”quite presidential”. See, I have a way of turning all conversations into political analysis sessions, unapologetically so. Goodness me, everything in our lives is affected by politics (fuel prices, food, religion..EVERYTHING!) so we might as well have this political conversation rolling, I bring the facts only, the beer comes later. So, shall we? 🙂
Now, I’ve been rubbing shoulders with some of the key players in Kenyan political scene recently (thanks to my work and post graduate studies) and one thing I never miss a moment to bring up is Kenya’s downward spiral into a path of anarchy and an impending state of lawlessness. It is heart-wrenching to use the terms ‘anarchy’ and ‘lawlessness’ in reference to a country I love so dearly as the motherland..but I’ve never been the type to sweep the make-or-break affairs under the rug.
As a country, we are living in times where the rule of law is but a legal phrase left to the confines of our courts, law schools and as rich vocabulary left to the preserve of we the ones who seldom miss an opportunity to call ourselves “the learned friends”. The spirit of that very phrase is lost somewhere between impunity and the outright disregard for court orders by the very leaders we elected into office (starting from the presidency to the lower house). Our conversations are seldom objective and anyone seen to point out the misgivings is dismissed as”ethnic” or “hater”. The Odhiambo’s of Kenya defend the Onyango’s while the Mutua’s won’t let you call out the Mutune’s on their B.S (excuse my French), and woe unto you should Kamau catch you “bad-mouthing” his friend Mwiraria. As Sir John Dalberg-Acton noted, power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is our predicament here in Kenya – the cancer of corruption.
Prior to 2007, Kenya was a country renown for her stability within the East and Central Africa, as not only a great tourist destination, but also a financial and communication hub. While the country continues to struggle to maintain her status with that regard, we must admit that we need to tame a few greedy forces in the political arena who will raze a country’s economy to her knees if we continue to watch in silence.
Take for instance the numerous financial scandals (NYS scandal, The Youth Fund saga, ‘Chicken Gate’ scandal et al.), that have been reported within the Jubilee administration, the outright embezzlement of public funds… Myriads of cases, one too many tribunals and/commissions of inquiry and not a single person jailed! Isn’t that the epitome of a failed leadership? Will we just sit back and watch? Isn’t that robbing our descendants of the luxury of a magnificent Kenya? If indeed the future is a loan from our children, is this how we service that loan – by stealing from within? If you and I stop being “so cool” that we can’t “dirt” ourselves with matters that make us uncomfortable, then maybe we can rescue ourselves from the wrath of a failed state in years to come. And it all starts with admitting two things: one, that indeed we have a crisis and two, that we need to get real and act immediately.
Speaking of leadership crisis, I had this talk with a group of youths and in my quest to find out if they all plan to vote come August, 2017, a good number blatantly expressed their lack for motivation to even cast a ballot. Some believe there’s no need to vote as they “know” the system is corrupt, others ‘see no point in choosing between two evils only to settle for the lesser of the two evils’, while others will vote and hope for the best. This kind of tone is the tone of despair. Kenya, being a young democracy, experts note that her weak institutions—not inherent ethnic divisions—are at the root of the current political crisis. Something needs to be done and done now. “What can be done?”, you may ask. We need to create strong institutions. Yes, very strong institutions is what we need to establish, not keep rallying behind “strong men” with fat wallets and cheap talk for the poor unsuspecting common wananchi!
When our leaders could be toiling to put the country back on track, all I see is meaningless rallies. Rallies, really? Just yesterday the president and his deputy held this massive rally in Nakuru county to thank God (*rolls eyes*) for getting the ICC yoke off their necks or is it shoulders? Excuse my forthrightness, but how is that a national issue?? No, really, how is an issue of two individuals a national issue? Let’s first understand that Kenya was NOT in trial, individuals who were accused long before assuming the positions of president and deputy president were. Now that this is clear, how is their victory with that regard a national affair? By all means, celebrate if you must with you family and friends, just don’t make it look like the world of me depended on it. On the other hand the opposition is seen to also rally a bit too much. Don’t get me wrong, but wouldn’t it be much better if we could have a strong opposition with less side shows and REAL ISSUES not forever countering what the ruling party says and/or does? Can we have the opposition being objective enough to bring checks and balances to the government? Counter an idea/action and even give/show a better way of doing things? Can the opposition condemn corruption regardless of whether it is a jubilee member or CORD member accused? That is what true leadership entails – objectivity. I mean, the people of Kenya deserve so much more than side shows and petty politics!
Now, that we (you and I) agree on the fact that we deserve so much better and more, why don’t you look past my name (which may give you a hint of my ethnic background), forget my gender even (I’m of the fairer sex, but what does it matter?), can you also forget my age (who knew age discrimination would still be an issue in the 21st century!) AND work towards a better Kenya? It starts with holding our leaders accountable, and it all begins with a choice in mind and a voter’s card in hand
Just like Abraham Lincoln, ‘I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer’.Haha. Only difference is, the beer is allover the place while the facts remain corrupted.