It is official: Kenya is a below average nation – the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results just confirmed. Just watch how we drive on our roads, dictated to by a matatu culture – blaring music, touts hanging out the doors and telling the driver how to drive- and how corrupt we are because we are never in a position to do or get anything justly.
Staring at a decimating famine ravaging the country one is forced to wonder how we keep getting issues so wrong. It is almost laughable when one hears ‘leaders’ say how we have been caught unawares by the drought.
In his book, “The Lunatic Express” that chronicles the construction of the original Kenyan-Uganda rail line, long before any form of ‘civilisation’ came upon us, Charles Miller captures scenes of how famine coupled with disease and internecine wars used to ravage the land – there was no nation called Kenya then and only different tribal nations existed along each other mostly characterised by hostilities.
Over a hundred years later, with colonisation (having failed to civilise us – because its actual aim was to harvest African resources for European use) and African self-government later unable to solve our problems because instead of redeeming us it simply replaced European colonisers with those who share our languages; even with advanced education and now technology it is beyond belief how those same Neolithic circumstances overwhelm us.
How Africans continue to blame the failure of rains and other not-too-natural calamities as vagaries of nature and God’s will is baffling. May be its God’s will that we remain greedy and corrupt so that we continue to waste away on the land as others benefit from exploiting us. He gave us excellent brains to fix our problems, but also animal instincts so as to cannibalise each other. Darwin may have been right in his theories of evolution.
What is the value of self-government if tribal animosity continues to dominate our discourse and actions? What is the value of education if we cannot militate against the vagaries of nature, which have so easily been controlled an overcome in other lands?
The best legacy we seem to bequeath the world is dictators and inept rulers who their nations vomit once they cannot stomach them no more!
We have an environmental disaster staring us in the face, but while we have graciously been granted a Dr. Fred Matiangi who is dealing with the disaster that our education was becoming, we have other cabinet secretaries who supposedly earn the same salary but are completely unknown and seem equally unknowing in how to handle the disasters in their docket.
What environmental policies are we hearing from the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources? What is (his or) her name anyway –ask anybody on the street? A health disaster is unfolding in our eyes but we seem unknowing how to respond. Who is the CS for Labour to provide direction and support here? Unemployment is equally a disaster; the last time we checked we had an Industrialisation CS. Who remembers this person?
If the land is not going to produce any crop and livestock is dying, do we really need a CS for Agriculture? Oh! If we have turned all the arable land into real estate for the monied, do we need agriculture anyway? What is the overriding land policy in Kenya?
Meanwhile, all the so-called leaders are busy imploring the dead and dying to turn up in large numbers to collect voters cards so as to elect them into positions of eating – surely because the dead and dying never need food!
Even those claiming to provide alternative leadership and government should be ashamed of themselves. How many years were they in government and what policies did they push through? This nation is where it is as a direct result of their previous failures! But it may be their turn to eat… This is Animal Farm, and all animals care about is feeding
In civilised society, one would expect leaders to be looking at opportunities to counter climate change, conserve the environment and increase arable and productive land while developing more industries and technology. In Africa, and Kenya in particular, leaders hive off forests and grab every available piece of land to develop the lazy real estate to construct rental houses and shopping malls. Pray tell, the people to rent the houses and indulge in the shopping malls, what is their gainful engagement that will give them the resources to spend?
Now there is no water. Soon there will be no power. Simply, life will stop! Water is life!
And instead of seeking ways of conserving water and environment, so as to increase water output and even create cycles that would increase rainfall, we are drilling tunnels to drain the few rivers and water pans that remain. How vacuous?
Prof. Wangari Maathai shouted from the rooftops that nature can be very unforgiving; we whipped her! She asked to be president, we laughed her off to her grave. No wonder she chose the crematorium because she did not feel like this land deserved to hold even her dead body!