Twelfth Parliament: To hope or to despair?

Posted by on 16th December 2017

Categories:   Uncategorized

Since the promulgation of the Constitution in 2010, Kenya has never found herself on the crossroads like in 2017. The 2017 election was one of the most contested by bitter rivals. It brought about toxic emotions and stretched people almost to a breaking point. The concluded election brought about wounds that may haunt Kenya forever, if they aren’t healed soon.

In the post-election period, a daunting legacy of the dangerous politics of secession has been left. There are some regions which are adamantly calling for “self-determination”. In the politics of state formation, there is no country that comes together and anticipates a day when it will disintegrate and that’s why there is no Constitution in the world that has a chapter on dissolution.

Since Kenya is better as one, our government through specific institutions needs to calm these separationists call by tackling the grievances of these regions whether perceived or real. It is either we live together as brothers and flourish; or fight and perish together as fools.

Coming from such a grueling, nasty and brutish political period, Kenyan citizens are fatigued and on the verge of hopelessness. In the last four or so months nothing seemed to work and things were falling apart. In such a situation, the job of the already elected leaders is clear cut – to restore hope to Kenyans.

The 12th Parliament as an institution should be the first to realize that combative politics are over and it is time to forge ahead as a country. The occupants therein ought to sacrifice their pleasures and pursue the interests of their constituents relentlessly.

There are still healthcare challenges to be addressed, take counties like Mandera and Tana River for instance, where we have a ratio of one doctor to 10,000 patients. In such counties hospitals and clinics are like a privilege. We are still in a country where 7 out 10 Kenyans do not have a medical cover. Can the 12th Parliament rise to the occassion and ensure that the system works for all Kenyans?

Unfortunately the 12th Parliament has had a false start, their first agenda has been to pursue a ‘fatter salary’, petty fights and at some point deserted their work.

Kenyans through our taxes ensure our leaders live in unimaginable opulence with better Salaries than their counterparts from developed countries. In 2013 for instance, a Member of Parliament from Kenya took home an annual salary of £44,730 730 (minus the allowances, which may be more than the salary) while a Spanish Member of Parliament took home £28,969. Let’s pause and ask, is our public service a gateway to theft and indulgence or service and humility?

Instead of our elected leaders getting down to start fixing the system to favor their constituents, they are on the run to fix their salaries and scramble for “lucrative” parliamentary positions. These retrogressive politics have only served to add salt into the existing injuries of poverty, hunger and ignorance. Kenya being one of the most unequal societies in the world with 60% of the population living in poverty, leaders are hell-bent to widen the gap by literally bloodsucking Kenyans.

While powerful positions that matter are dished out to family members and cronies, Kenyans continue to be abused both emotionally and financially for political gains. It is a burden that Kenyans are bearing year in, year out willingly. One can only hope that one day, morning will dawn and ‘mjinga ataerevuka’.

Finally, since the 2010 Constitution gave us a Parliament with immense powers, will the 12th Parliament exploit these powers and perpetuate a leadership of hope or doom? Your thoughts?