I bet that if you do not come from Kenya and you have never even visited Kenya in your entire life, just open you google maps and type in at the search box, Kenya and know where it is located. Get into your google and search about Kenya and know about it. For those who have ever come to Kenya, I bet that you too have a story to tell back there to your friends of your experience. You can as well visit YouTube and and watch amazing videos You-tubers have always vlogged about Kenya. Just allow me to introduce this country to you; so its an African country and to be precise, located in the East African part of Africa, covering land of about 580.3 sq. km. It also has a population of about 48.5 million. It has a presidential system of government and President Uhuru Kenyatta is the head of state as well as the head of the republic and in 2010, it promulgated a new constitution which gave birth to a devolved system of government having 47 counties each headed by a Governor and the national government is the central government. I also bet that you have also been told bout the beautiful nature of parks and beaches and the hospitality and diverse cultures among its 44 tribes… and , Nairobi is the capital city. Well it was just a brief of my country and i think that gives a better picture of my country now.
I will be fooling myself to deny that anything that looks good is always perfect at all times. There must be some patches as well and that is what I am going to talk about today. Earlier in my previous articles I had talked about Why extra judicial killing is just a ‘’normal’’ thing (which if you never read you should just click on that link after reading this article to read about it also) and this article is almost borrowing some concepts from it. If you are a Kenyan citizen or maybe you have just lived here for a while, you probably know what I meant and you can connect the two when I mention the word injustice. To non Kenyans, when I borrow from Trump’s common phrase, ” Africa is a shithole”, you can also connect. So to begin with, i’ll describe for for you injustice in a layman’s language, do you remember that time when you are doing something to someone and you enjoy doing it even when the person at the receiving end end is suffering but you on your end you enjoy doing what you are doing to him? Now that is injustice. The act of not being fair. The Kenyan government is not too far from that to its citizens. I feel like even the government is unjust to itself.
Just to dwell on the current situations, so, we just had our general elections last year -2017- and you wont believe this, we had two rounds of elections, not because there was a re-run due to a tie or no 50%+1 rule for the presidential candidates but just because there were massive election injustices lead by rigging and bribing of voters and killing of election officials. The winner was initially announced but the runners-up were not contented with the election outcome and moved to court to file an election petition. They won the petition and the supreme court of Kenya ordered for a fresh presidential elections within 60 days. During that 60-day period, a lot happened that cannot be explained in one blog Post but opposition withdrew their candidature. On the voting day, we witnessed all kinds of magic you would ever imagine of, a lot of people did not turn out to vote due to voter apathy but finally, we heard a president and he was ”ceremoniously” sworn in as the head of the republic and the head of state. Drama began when there were a lot of divisions and people were feeling that the government is not just to them and the opposition formed a new kind of a dysfunctional ”government” and even sworn in their own ”people’s president” but never served for long. Before there could be a people’s president, we experienced a lot of demonstrations as people were just fresh from an election period and they had a lot of scars in their hearts and the supporters of the second ”government” fighting against those of the ”genuine” government to cure their anxiety. It involved demonstration after demonstrations and destruction of property that belonged to the other party and in return, police could just clobber people and also destroy property and shooting people to kill them. I guess there must have been a shoot to kill order. Several people were killed all over the the major supporting counties and some left homeless and the list of damages continues. what an injustice!!
As we are also trying to recover from that election and after election experience, we still have a lot of issues to clear. The government used a lot of money during that period and it have to recover it back. To make it clear, The government have been borrowing a lot of money both through domestic borrowing and foreign borrowing as well. Some of this were just embezzled and a few percentage put to use into some projects that do not even benefit half of the population of its citizens. To be precise, the total amount of debt that has accumulated to date is slightly over Ksh. 4.5 trillion ( US$ 44.685 billion), 50%+ of this owed to foreign lenders and 48%+ owed to domestic lenders. That is, if every Kenyan was to pay, each person must pay at least Ksh. 100,000 ( US$ 1000) to clear the debt. Imagine that. The state Parastatals are hiking bills as well so that they can try recover more money towards paying the debt. Electricity bills comes as unusual, you may ask yourself if you own a milling factory in your house yet you only use electricity for domestic purposes only. The common cooking floor that everyone should be able to afford is now a precious commodity if you afford it, its price is almost twice the normal price it used to be, – I mean most people are living under a dollar bill a day-, gas prices keep fluctuating every now and then, private firms are overtaxed and the effect are felt by the employees; most of them are sent away from their jobs due to the firm’s low profit earnings and this is seriously making it even unable to sustain its employees. This leads to the increasing rates of unemployment which lead to increased crooked ways of earning a living. Poor schools/education, roads, health and the mother of all, fighting against corruption has become a major issue; corruption has taken the lead. I am really sure that foreign investments are actually dropping. You can imagine all that injustice.
Shifting away from economic injustices, human injustices also exist and I may say that insecurity might be a big threat due to increasing unemployment rates as more people turn to crooked means of making money, someone could be killed at anytime and it will just go that way without any attention given to those who are affected or tying to follow up on the perpetrators. The courts could also be turning into money making schemes rather than fighting for ideal justice. My country is slowly turning into a ”money talk” nation? The wars between the three arms of the government sometimes leads to the citizens suffering in return. The in-fights at the legislature when they are trying to skew the constitution in one way or another so as to suit their needs really creates a lot of injustice to some parties and individuals. Slowly, a banana republic could be developing if we are not careful, it is a man eat man society and you one do not care what others feel if they are at the executing end. Have you ever heard someone being deported out of his own country where he is a citizen by birth? It has happened in my country, not once, but twice. There is also no freedom of the media to conduct their activities freely. Sometimes, I wonder why our constitution is structured in a rights based manner and with all sorts of freedom but in ideal, they are not just there as you can imagine…
Anyway, that should not discourage you from visiting my country, Kenya, its a beautiful place indeed. A coin usually have two sides and I was just trying to explain to you the other side of my country that no one will tell you about. Perhaps when you visit Kenya thinking that you are going to see all this, you might not just see them or experience them but with time as you become assimilated into our culture, you might start to experience and see them in reality. To all Kenyans, lets embrace the virtue of goodness and love our country. It shall be great again when me and you come out to make it…
An areal view of a section of Nairobi CBD
As always, God bless you.