I like to think of myself as a good law-abiding citizen. I know my rights but above all I know my responsibilities. I believe in togetherness and in accountability. For the estate I own, I try to be very accountable. And as such, I demand nothing less from my representatives in government.
The Kenyan government is a democracy. A democracy means I am part of government. And so are you, any Kenyan. It is not a monarchy. Neither is it a dictatorship. It is WE THE PEOPLE governing ourselves.
So, we are a small nation in Africa. Most federal states in America have a bigger economy than ours. And we are still a long way to being a developed nation. We like to believe that we are headed to better days. Days when we’ll be developed and fully sustainable. But, it is 2017 and a couple of things are shockingly wrong.
First, we have had a doctors’ strike for well over 65 days. And the leader of our democratic government has said nothing. Yesterday, an arm of the government jailed the Doctors’ representatives for contempt of court. An order another arm of the government was very quick to execute. The Doctors have spent a night in jail for championing for better health conditions in the country. And even more shocking, a night vigil in solidarity with the jailed officials was termed illegal and dispersed by GSU officers.
Second, we have tens dying of hunger and the danger of drought is on our shoulders. Tens of thousands stand affected. And this isn’t the first time. It is something we’ve become well accustomed to. The government is gearing up to the usual flagging-off of relief food. Food that will reach a small percentage of the affected with the rest profiting corrupt and selfish individuals.
Third, a good percentage of the 1% of students who join class one are out of school. Okay… about only 1% who join primary in class one make it to university. And now with the lecturers’ strike, our crème de la crème in the society are out of school. The leader of our democratically elected government has said nothing. He instead wants us to dab in the voter registration booths.
So here we are in 2017, a third world country that has no healthcare system, a dysfunctional education system, and no food for tens of thousands. And we are still sitting pretty!
When I talk about this someone tells me to stick to my tech stuff. Politics isn’t my area. Well you’re stupid if you think so shallowly.
How are we a country if we don’t have our voices in governance?
How are we a nation, if we don’t see that each sector of our existence depends on our leadership and governance?
You and I, together, make up Kenya and its government. There’s no Kenya without us. And there’s no government without our approval.
Whether a mere writer, or a student, or a small enterprise, or a start-up, or a teacher, or a musician or whatever, the government is directly affecting you. You directly pay taxes. You directly elect them in to office and as such, it is your democratic right to demand accountability.
The corruption scandals in the past few years in this country are unimaginable. They are numerous. As citizens of this beautiful (yet drought-stricken) estate, we have lost so much money, borrowed so much more, and lost it again. No one has been punished.
Instead, the people we put into power are making themselves billionaires and trillionaires, while we pay even more taxes. Very soon we’ll need to come together to help those dying of hunger. Yet we have a government that has eaten up trillions of shillings.
The money lost to corruption in the past four years is more than enough to pay the doctors, pay the lecturers, pay the teachers, increase all USEFUL civil servants’ salaries’, and give each Kenyan a million just for fun.
The very same politicians want a raise and earnings after their terms are over. And they force things their way!
What is wrong with us?
Have we forgotten the call that makes us a country? Have we forgotten that our unity is what makes us a nation?
That unity is being threatened daily by a cadre of politicians that cares only about self. They can fly out and be treated by international doctors, using our money. They can send their kids to international schools, using our money. They don’t know or care about hunger or death, so long as you can vote.
The joke isn’t just on us. We are the joke.
We are a nation.
We are a people much more powerful.
We are one tribe.
Let’s get serious.
Kenya is better than this.