I am going to write this as a young person who is still trying to find his footing and establish his beliefs so as to set sail as a member of this society. This is in line with my conviction that very many a young and upcoming leaders in this republic (Kenya) are struggling with the same problem as I am. Which is, what to believe in.
As the youth, including the now school going children, can someone in this great republic give us something to believe in? Because genuinely speaking, I feel like we are bringing up a generation of young people who have been taught all the good things that a sustainable society should consist of, but who see the adults, and more so, the leaders of this country practicing the opposite.
In April 2016, I wrote an article in which I urged the UHURUTO government to compensate the victims of the 3007/2008 post election violence equally. But as we all by now should be knowing, the government played tokenism with this matter. IDPs were compensated based on their tribes and affiliation to the government. To prove the point, only recently, during the campaigns for the 2017 presidential elections, president Kenyatta, in his good wisdom, took a token compensation to IDPs in Kisii. This was years after IDPs in Central Kenya were compensated. And those of us who have been following this story know that IDPs from other parts of this country have never been compensated because they don’t dance to the tunes of the current regime. Which means they don’t get to benefit from it’s money. Mark this, the last time I checked, the government was funded by tax payers from across the country.
So,when leaders tell us to believe in national unity, then one would want to know, just what do they mean? Can somebody direct me on this? Because some of those who were affected y PEV in 2007/8 were neighbors though from different communities. But they have over time seen their friends receive money while they remain uncared for. Do you expect them to tell their children to believe in the idea of nationalism, or to grow up and avenge for the evils they have endured through decades?
We happen to be in this state where you are expected to act good, but in return, the evil you see around you thrives.But I still believe evil can only breed evil in return.
Following the just concluded elections, a majority of the Kenyan leaders; whether MPs, Governors,Senators or MCAs who were voted in are individuals who have been grossly mentioned in corruption scandals, drug trafficking,nepotism,tribalism, clanism,mismanagement of public resources, just to name but a few. But surprisingly,these are the key allies and advisers of the presidency and the opposition parties. They are the financiers of Kenya’s political systems, and now, the key managers of state affairs.It will be against normal to expect better from them. They are setting precedence and the onlooking youth are already taking notes on what to do to climb up in society. This can only breed an anarchical state in future as us the current experience with Nigeria, the Caribbean region and many South American Nations.
So, for those of you Kenyans who happen to have been born 10 or 20 ahead of me. Can you guide us on how we should behave without contradicting your words with opposite deeds? Can you do that without blocking yours faces with your arms because you know you are preaching some water that even you cannot consume, for whine is your delicacy?
One thing about this beautiful country is, that when children go to school, we fill their minds with all the possibilities, what they should become and what they should have. Then they work hard in school,like we have, to achieve these big dreams. But even as they do this, they see their president, state ministers and their own parents achieving these milestones through corrupt ways. The school colleagues who broke the law and cut corners become the landlords and land ladies of the genuinely hard working. In this sense, the teacher and the preacher of good deeds stop making sense. The constitution and the beautiful national ideals that we are all meant to embrace become meaningless and just sheet words written on paper. How do you obey a constitution that even the president himself disregards? How do you vote in a system where public participation is a PR undertaking and where the voices of Adhiambo, Wanjiku,Mwikali and Wafula have no meaning? How do you not steal in a society where thieves thrive? In an oligarchical, an anarchical and a despondent system where democracy and peace are just mentioned to make the poor masses toe the line and become easily governable and manipulable? Are you getting my agony? Those born in 1975 and bellow, and who are alive here today, can you guide our torn souls?
Then the current presidential elections drama comes and makes things worse than the above trends have done. Am not trying to spell doom. But really? Can’t our leaders do better? Is the presidency a do or die thing? When we teach Kenyans, young and old, about sharing, embracing each other and working together as a nation, and then our leaders are so arrogant and proud to even sit down and talk. When national leaders scheme to commit evil, steal votes, kill opponent’s supporters, arrange to torch property owned by opponents, call foe a boycott of products and arm gangs, then which picture are they painting of the nation? And when we the ordinary Kenyans so steadfastly hang onto our tribal chieftains and make their word law. Which leads to us maiming and killing innocent people with disregard to justice and adherence to the rule of law, then do we make things any better? These things are sickening. For real. So?
Kenya is not in a bad and irredeemable state as we all would want to paint it. But Kenya can get there very soon if we continue on this path.
I have said it before and I will also say it here. Our fish happens to have a rotten head. The Kenyan problem is a leadership one. We have sold our thinking, our freedom and our decision making to the wrong people. Wrong in the sense that they are so used to doing evil it has become their new normal.
We have this class of leaders who do not obey the rule of law but expects us to obey,who do not respect the will of the people or even the people themselves, and who believe in Kenyans serving them instead of them serving Kenyans. The Kenyan political class are used to using the people, private wealth and national resources as a political card. In the same way that they have no respect for themselves, the Kenyan political class have lost respect for the nation and its people. Everything and everyone to them is some pawn to be used on the chess table. And we follow them blindly, Kikuyu or Luo.
For some meaningful change to be realized,and I still hope that the current political impasse will be sorted out amicably without some Kenyans winning and others feeling defeated, we must have some deep national dialogue. I still insist that historical injustices of this country must be dealt with. Be it the Wagala Massacre, the political assassinations, or the unbalanced distribution of national resources and opportunities. This does not have to be done in the glare of the media all the time. But for unity’s sake, let’s not be blind. Lets do this thing. Heal those whose hearts are burdened with vengeance.
Our leaders should acknowledge that leadership entails taking responsibilities,even for some evils that were committed before we were born. Saying sorry to PEV victims should not hurt. Paying the victims equally should not be a matter of favor and feel, but rather, a principles based state endeavor. State resources belong to all Kenyans and should serve all, not just those dancing around the President’s desk.
We must start taking issues of governance seriously. State institutions charged with vetting to-be public servants should do their work without fear or favor. And, avoiding evil and the fruits that come from it must be an individual goal and responsibility too. And those who violate national doctrines (read laws) should be penalized irrespective of their position within the food chain. And national leaders should be surrounded by people of reputation, them that can be emulated for their good deeds, not theft and economic banditry. And as a people (read nation) ware failing terribly in this.
We should see some meaningful action being taken to punish crimes being committed, past and future, especially by the elites, but also by everyone else. That is how people can believe in the rule of law. Lets stop playing politics with punishing crimes. The presidency, the judiciary and the legislature should seriously serve their purpose or we will have no country to talk about.
Then, I think it is a high time the president and the ministers in this country discovered their roles. We are completely of the mark on this. Of all the things, the Presidents, of both the executive, the judiciary and the legislature should style up and live up to the ideals dictated by our constitution. We cannot have a thief, a tribalist, and a non performer for a president, in any of the three arms mentioned above, and expect different results. As in, you applied for those positions and we have trusted you with them. Why can’t you just do your jobs and make lives better for the poor Kenyans, eleven for heaven’s sake only. Isn’t that also what you learnt in school and what current generations are learning? Why must we as a nation be so contradicted in words and action? We are behaving like a cheating spouse who expects trust in return. Only that we are cheating our own selves.
Finally, having laid down my burdens here for you to read. Allow me to repeat again and say that I am not a happy young Kenyan. I am disgusted to say the least. Disgusted because the leadership of this dear country is ‘leading’contrary to all the ideals that should run a society. Whereas states should be run by philosopher kings, it would seem that Kenya is currently under the rulership of kings who do not know the philosophical foundations that guide the running of a republic, but who have also got no iota of morals that should make a good member of society even at individual levels; leave alone a leader. You may not know it, presidents, ministers and the like, but you are not just managing Kenya for today, you are also there to determine the shape and nature of this republic 100 years from now. Can you just try and behave? Your conduct hurts.
As a people, we are tired of vote stealing, and all those bad things you do. We are emotionally burdened beyond what any units can measure.
I believe this here, is the burden of many young Kenyans. And many of use lack ways to ask questions, or make a contribution. After all, we are supposed to obey our elders. Right?