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The Telescope


Only Kenya allows public servants to wallow in luxury at the expense of tax payers. Reports of a ball point pen being bought for Sh8,500 have drawn outrage.

And in as much as the Devolution ministry is under the spotlight for unprecedented expenditure, the extravagance cuts across all public institutions at both government and county levels.

Our thieving prowess has reached the ears of Robert Mugabe- who, himself, has a piteous record. Bob has mocked Kenyans as graduating with Bachelor of Stealing. Our negative image of reaping where we did not sow is trending worldwide.

Meanwhile, the thorny debate over the use of proceeds from the Eurobond reportedly stashed somewhere in Timbuktu or lying in individuals’ accounts is yet to be resolved. The financial crisis is real with the shilling trading for 102 to the dollar, inflating the cost of living.

However, the Jubilee leadership insists the picture is not as bad as the Opposition paints it.

We are reaping the fruits of our laid back attitude. A few years back investigators named the drug dealers within, we largely ignored the expose.We were told there were thieves stashing money abroad, we looked the other way. They told us tribalism was gnawing at the fabric of our nation, we ignored the warning.

“We were told there were thieves stashing money abroad, we looked the other side. They said the economy was shaky, we wasted more”

They told us the economy was headed to the abyss, we wasted more. They pointed out the plunderers amongst us but we instead clothed them in silk. And now we are raving and ranting on both Facebook and Twitter, impotently. Such apathy in no solution to our socio-economic and political predicament.

Investigation results

Public servants suspected of plunder must-step aside pending investigations. Efforts to save image by shifting blame will not do. Leaders with integrity issues should not undermine the public’s intelligence.

In the case of the Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, the uproar, away from the sideshows is not personal culpability but rather integrity. She should take responsibility and step aside and wait for investigation results and shame her tormentors.

Most leaders imagine Chapter Six of the Constitution refers to “other” people and not them. They engage in hate speech and cry foul when questioned. We need stronger laws to arrest and charge such foul mouths to deter others who might be tempted to follow suit.

Many government officials face ethical challenges but when confronted, retreat into their political parties or tribal cocoons. Unless we deal with these ethical and integrity hurdles without fear or favour, we shall be confronted with social upheaval with devastating consequences.

President Uhuru Kenyatta should calm the fears by dealing with the looters. Mere rhetoric only fuels anger among overburdened tax payers. I rest my case.

This article was published on People Weekend on 7-8, November, 2015

Kenya's Supreme Court judges file into the chamber during the opening of the 11th Parliament in the capital Nairobi April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Noor Khamis (KENYA - Tags: POLITICS)
The Telescope

Our collective ruin stems from trusting politicians

Leadership does not have a secret formula; all true leaders go about things in their own way. It’s this ability to think differently that sets them apart and perhaps makes them popular or unpopular.

Virtuously by order of their mandate or through corruptible means, no one can dispute the fact that the senators that emerged top in the recently released survey that ranked them according to their influence on the ground, exercise autocratic leadership.They understand that leadership boils down to people.

Whatever the style, whatever the method, they believe in themselves, their ideas, their stuff and their staff. Nobody can be successful alone and these politicians know this all too well.

One such man is Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko , a controversial populist whose brand of service is dismissed by many, but appreciated by an equally large number. He incessantly seems to have fully embraced the benefits of social power.

Social power is the basic common element in politics, economics, and all other social relationships. It is possessed by all individuals and social groups and arises out of their connections to each other. Robinson Crusoe, marooned on a desert island, didn’t have to deal with it until he met Friday.

Regardless of how you choose to look at it, Kenyan politicians’ performance or lack thereof in office and our tolerance towards the unbecoming habit continues, to dent the devolved government on the long run.

Furthermore it is rather regrettable that as Kenyans, we have repetitively cultivated in our repute for short attention spans and high expectations consequently helping our politicians to master the art of deluding our minds by telling us what we want to hear rather than that which is necessary for the country’s long-term good.And therein lies our collective path to ruin .kenya_debate001_16x9

We continue to stand at the peripheries of our rightfully deserved prosperity risking the likely nosedive unless we make some difficult but necessary decisions.

Our constant failure to yield actions will maintain politicians ignorance to Kenya’s democratic deficit as we are painfully aware of it from various surveys that persist on finding the electorate increasingly concerned that politicians are not working for them the way that they should.

Besides, some politicians dormancy is a violation to Kenyans democratic rights .

This consequently results to a less democratic government which in return yields less legitimate actions; alienating the public.

We have long suffered under governments that have seemed to consistently favour special interests over the public interests and worse off opposition parties that remain drunk on political opportunism. Its about time Kenyans take action against latent politicians who have mastered the craft of deceit and shenaniganism.

However, even in this light, I respect politicians that are genuinely serving their electorates as per the book but they unfortunately occupy a pitifully small fraction.

I long for politicians who will value real discussion and debate. I long for a political party that will have a true vision for the whole nation. What is the future going to be like? I shudder to think sometimes. Wake up Kenyans!

This article was published on May 23 2015 on People Daily Kenya