Kenya is possibly one of the few if not the only country that has attained middle income status but still heavily relies on donations to run its affairs. The drought that’s ravaging the country has now been given up to the donor family to handle with Kenya Red Cross at the fore front. This is despite the fact that it’s a cyclic event and should therefore be manageable. One wonders whether we shall fundraise to end the Baringo bloodshed that is now appearing to be organized crime.
The 11th Parliament has under the guidance of nominated MP Johnson Sakaja rightfully drafted the Penal Code Bill as an attempt to check the Cattle Rustling menace that has mutated from a cultural activity to alleged militia at the disposal of certain politicians. This group has graduated from theft with violence to blatant killing of Kenyans, particularly in the ASAL regions yet there’s little or no swift justice.
On the day IEBC launched their Mass Voter Registration, President Uhuru was on the same day also commissioning modern gear for police use in terror war. It beats the point to display such heavy artillery yet Kenyans are dying from the hands of bandits with way inferior weapons. The MPs from the regions most affected are now asking that we declare cattle rustling a national disaster. This in essence is an admission that as a country we are unable to handle this challenge and are therefore asking for intervention from well-wishers and the donor family.
It’s really surprising how this Armored Police Vehicles (APC) are easily available and effective in dispersing street protests yet the same effectiveness cannot be seen when Kenyans are attacked by bandits hiding behind cultural activities. The Ministry of Interior under the leadership of CS Nkaissery should deploy the APCs where they are most needed and nip this act in the bud. And if politicians are involved they should be arraigned in court and charged accordingly. We can’t declare everything a national disaster, even things within our ability to handle.
And while we’re on cattle rustling; Members of Parliament who defended this act should be the main suspects. It’s unimaginable that a representative of the people has no qualms with someone who steals people’s property, mimes and rapes women rendering them poor. Anyone who defends such criminal activities as culture needs to be a guest of the state.
Meanwhile, majority of poor Kenyans have resorted to fundraising to afford treatment in private hospitals outside the country as a result of the biting doctor’s strike that has stalled services in public hospitals. From the Parliament hearing where the doctors representatives and Health ministry officials argued their case on the validity of the CBA, it now appears the ministry was malicious from the very beginning. Former Health PS Mark Bor stunned the hearing saying the document is illegitimate as draft to inform deliberations between the Council of Governors, the Public Service Commission and the Salaries and Renumeration Commission (SRC). If this is not wickedness on another level, then we don’t know what is.
A middle income country should have a reliable public health care. The notion that individuals within government are attempting to fail the public health to drive profits to private hospitals is another form of betrayal. Health Ministry and Treasury officials of the school of thought that implementing CBA will collapse the private hospitals should do the honorable thing and resign. Until we have people who have the public’s interest in office we shall continue fundraising for everything that we should easily get from our public institutions.
Our leaders have abused the Spirit of Harambee as envisioned in our Constitution by abdicating their duties to fundraising despite our taxes. We can’t be fundraising every time there’s drought and there are people we are paying to mitigate the same. We can’t keep fundraising for friends to access health services yet we have both appointed and elected officials who are paid by our taxes. We have to stop accepting this distorted view of Harambee spirit and start demanding fruits for the heavy taxes we’re paying.
As we gear up for the campaigns let us take note of candidates committed to making the public service work. Governors who have made a mockery of devolution and abetted the collapse of public institutions while devolving corruption should be shown the contempt card in August alongside other elected leaders who have failed in their representation. In August, we must stand on the right side of history and vote selfishly. Kindly visit your local IEBC constituency offices to either register to vote or verify your details in preparation for polling day.