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Monday, August 6, 2007

The changes we need in Kenya

There are things that need to be done to make meaningful change in Kenya. Its 44 years after independence but we still lag behind in development compared to many countries. Kenya has not been affected by war like some countries in Africa and has been enjoying peace for a long time. Hence we should be very far in development now compared to many countries in African.

We cannot take one step forward then two steps backward like the case of a clause in the Media Bill that requires journalist to disclose their sources of information. How else would we know about corrupt deals in the government like Anglo Leasing scandal, Goldenberg etc… stolen public funds making a few people richer and more poorer.

Apart from this case there are a number of reasons this country may not be where it should have been more than 40 years after independence.

1. CORRUPTION

This is the mother of evil in Kenya, corruption has been rampant from the time this country became an independent state. Land grabbing, stealing public funds, bribing to get services in public offices, bribing to block justice etc…

If all public funds are intact and put in proper use, I believe we would have better and wider roads to accommodate increasing number of vehicles and make moving from one region to the other faster and no slums. With this in place, we will see an improved economy making it easier for the farmers, fishermen and the common mwanaichi to sell their products.

More water projects can be introduced in dry areas to help wanaichi in irrigation and farming. It is sad when we see our sisters and brothers in North Eastern province trekking for long distance in search of water. Its not only in North Eastern that water is a problem, in Nairobi the Capital City of Kenya getting water on a daily basis in some estates is a major problem. This brings me to another point on the changes we need to address in this country i.e. inequality (I will write on this on its own).

2. INJUSTICE

A poor man steals a chicken and is fined heavily or jailed for one year for not paying the fine. Another Prominent Citizen steals millions of public fund and walks free. Activists demonstrating to block members of parliament awarding themselves hefty pay off and get arrested. These are the kinds of injustice that we see around us on daily basis.

3. TRIBALISM/NEPOTISM

Public offices dominated by people from one ethnic background, because they are the majority in the government. Tribalism and nepotism starting from the top has been a major problem in this country from independence and is affecting all sectors now. That is why there is a lot of jostling for leadership, some think its our turn now others think other tribes are not capable. We don’t look at the qualities of a leader we look at the tribe first. This is also affecting private sector, someone employing only people from their tribe or relatives and placing adverts for vacant posts as a formality.

4. IN-EQUALITY

Resources should be distributed equally; all parts of the country should have access to water and electricity. It is sad when living in a city house with taps and not running water for 2 weeks to a month, other parts of the city get water daily, slum dwellers water getting disconnected with no alternatives. Apart from lack of water in the slums, they have to live in pathetic conditions without proper roads, drainage system, bad housing and children suffering from all sorts of diseases due to the condition they have to live in. If there was no corruption and all public funds were used well, we would not be having Mathare and Kibera slums today. The same applies to upcountry, some people getting tapped water from projects but some have to trek far to get it.

More women should be elected/nominated to parliament and appointed in public offices. Women should support women by electing them, how do we expect men to elect women while women do not support fellow women.


---------------- to be continued

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