This week people have been making jokes about the government stealing from the government then investigating the government as a way of mocking the whole corruption exercise. Others have taken the same approach on the MAU forest issue, saying the government is warning the government against evictions. The whole point being we seem to be having a government that’s pulling from different sides.
With everything that’s happening in the country right now, from corruption to evictions that are not considering basic human rights to questions of racism citizens are allegedly experiencing from the Chinese running the SGR; one would expect the government at the very least to appear to have a plan and clear one at that, but no, everyone claiming to speak for the government is saying something different.
Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju had to come out to clarify that where there’s a conflict of information between Jubilee MPs and the Executive, the public and the media should know the information from the Executive is the proper position of the government. This was over the MAU eviction confusion in which the Senate Majority Leader claimed he was speaking for the government.
And it’s possible it is for similar reasons that the Statehouse Chief of Staff had to make it clear which official Twitter handles are giving the correct information on the government, leaving out key offices within the same government.
In all these hullabaloo, the common man continues to suffer. In Kibra Constituency, the government has begun demolition of slums and eviction of slum dwellers in a manner that human rights activist are terming inhumane. What’s disturbing however is that people with the means to deal with these challenges like MPs and Senators are choosing to complain at public rallies and on social media instead of bringing a motion on the floor of Parliament and debating the matter to its conclusive end – by extension giving the squatters and slum dwellers some form of closure.
All these point to a lack of national ethos that can rally the country and the people in government to run a government of the people for the people by the people. What we have as a democratic government is a government that is for the few rich who can load it over others. The people have little or no say; not in elections; not in the day-day running of ‘their’ government.
If we have any ethos it is greed. No wonder very young people are now considering working with the government and not out of patriotism but because of the kickbacks and tenderprenureship opportunities. It’s the same reason old civil servants at the top who have reached their retirement age remain in office illegally.
If MPs shouting loudest about the fate of Squatters in MAU forest or anywhere else in this country were genuine, they would have made it their mission immediately they entered Parliament to sponsor bills and debate motions with the aim of solving their problems once and for all. Not talking on TV or in public rallies-that’s politics and often politics has little interest in the common man. At least in Kenya we can say that with some level of authority.
And our Parliament is the embodiment of greed as our ethos. Consider the investigations into the Solai dam that killed so many poor folks. The MPs in that committee were busy sucking up to the person under investigation so blatantly that the Parliament leadership was embarrassed enough to speak out against such behavior. It was no different with the investigations into the contraband sugar – politics carried the day when the common man continue to suffer.
It’s easy to think many Kenyans cynical; but without a national ethos that can challenge the greed on display and make government a place for patriots only; an ethos that can rally all Kenyans into having a Kenyan dream they can believe in, there’s no amount of PR that will salvage the situation.