Browsing Tag

Uhuru Kenyatta

Raila Odinga/Courtesy
The Telescope

RAILA’S UNBECOMING

If there was any hope that after the repeat polls Kenyans would once again appreciate the precise, methodical though marred with controversy, coming around of Raila Odinga it has evaporated in the fog of propaganda and delirious utterances in his so-called big announcements.

Yet again there is no bottom to the delusion that he displays. His efforts at obfuscation and obvious misdirection are laughable but possess severe links to very real and dangerous moves by his following that would plunge the country into dark times.

Unfortunately as wacky and malicious as it is, still we see Raila apologists widely believe and selflessly defend his theories. The same man who has overtime thrived on political crisis by engaging the government in ludicrous attacks of selfish convenience seems to lead the country in another period of national crisis.

However, if history is anything to go by, it has proven time and again that Raila Odinga is neither one to be ignored,dismissed nor wished away. His itch to acquire a leadership role as part of government and more so President, by any means necessary, should be considered seriously.

His anti-democratic eruptions and erratic behaviour that shouldn’t be confused for muddled belligerence but rather calculated moves present profound danger in the security and stability of this nation as his loyal dissidents continue to beat their chests on any media fora that gives them airtime.

Plus with an activist kind of constitution that runs the country it is not far from impossible that they could very well turn their words into actions.The government could either continue to ignore his loony ideas and restrain its probable authoritarian reflexes or spare him a seat at the table.

A scenario in which Raila Odinga’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) actualizes and further plunges the country into  deep waters of anarchy, is hypothetical- and may it remain so but if it materializes it will fall on Uhuru’s government to defend the foundations of Kenya’s democracy.

 

The Telescope

LET’S VALUE OUR FARMERS AND THEY’LL TAKE CARE OF US

Agriculture has been the bedrock of Kenya’s economy even before independence but the story has changed.

Today, the government can no longer reassure farmers that they can eke a living alongside the current wave of industrialization to provide the bulk of Kenya’s sustenance. More so, laws that once supported the country’s mainstay are so discriminatory it’s a miracle farmers still make a living out of agriculture.

Theoretically, the government has an elaborate food policy but it has yet to activate it. For years on end it has dragged its feet over what, admittedly, are difficult political and economic decisions.

As it is, Kenya is barely food self-sufficient. It’s like a cork bobbing on water which could easily go under.

Trip down memory lane At independence, the division of numerous formerly white-owned farms among Africans was a political necessity but over the years that has changed.

Although it is politically impossible to reverse that division today, there are alternatives to halt further fragmentation. coffee

Take for example the coffee industry. In its current state, it is clearly a crime against farmers. This sector has for years been manipulated and disoriented to facilitate the exploitation of the many by the rich few.

However, Kenya is not-yet an industrialized country, so there is not much one can do until jobs can be found meaning that in many ways more than one people still depend on agriculture.

But as days go by coffee farmers are ageing and their children don’t see a future in farming. Most of them make less than a dollar a day in their household. Farm sizes are small and continue to shrink due to population pressures. Chances are bleak for farmers and they will not hold out any longer.

Today, it’s unbelievable that farmers wallow in regulatory bondage whilst they can grow and sell their own crops.

More so, agriculture is a devolved function and county governments can provide farmers with soft loans to buy milling equipment so that through their cooperatives, they can process their produce to do value addition.

Counties can also help train farmers not just about crops, but also processing and marketing.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and the political class must seize the arc of history and correct this injustice and give farmers the chance to farm their way out of abject poverty.

He can free the farmer from regulatory bondage, allow them to grow, process, sell and own their own crop at fair pricing for both the dealer and farmer.

He should investigate the coffee sector with a view to prosecuting those who have brought in corruption, vandalism and thievery that have cost hardworking and innocent farmers so dearly.

This article was published on People Daily on Friday 4th December 2015

The Telescope

UNBRINDLED LOOTING IS RECIPE FOR ANARCHY

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