New Hope for Kenya.

Dear Friends.

Something is gradually changing in Kenya. All the political leaders seem to be in agreement over the proposed constitution timeframe. Some questioned whether it was possible to come up with a new document during this current term for an outgoing President. Indications seem to point to a December deadline and a referendum early next year.

Within the media, NGO circles, the diaspora and even locally there has been a disturbing trend of everyone predicting doom and gloom. Kenyans have accused the government of ineptitude, impunity and incompetence. To compound it all the government itself was embroiled almost on a daily basis with petty coalition disagreements of consultations and the lack of it, protocol issues and fingerpointing. Having said that something seems to be happening that seems to offer a glimmer of hope to Kenyans.  

In the course of last month various commissions were constituted and sworn in with almost unanimous agreement. First Kenya got an “Interim Independent Electoral Commission”(IIEC). It was followed quickly with an “Interim Independent Boundaries Commission” (IIBRC) and just yesterday parliament passed a motion to reform the cabinet and train cabinet ministers in financial matters to reduce government wastage.

There has also been some pretty interesting competition from the two coalition partners to spearhead reforms. The [PNU] Party of National Unity and the [ODM] Orange Democratic Movement have both formally submitted their proposals for the proposed new constitution. The PNU has indicated it wants a hybrid system with a President an executive PM and strengthened Parliament. The ODM on the other hand wants a ceremonial President with an all powerful PM and a purely Parliamentary system.

Though Kenyans have been promised many things by their politicians only to be dissappointed it seems to me that the PEV [Post Election Violence] was a wakeup call to both ordinary Kenyans and their leaders. When people complain that the two coalition partners keep bickering it strikes me as a little odd given that this two were not just rivals but bitter enemies during the crisis.

It is actually amazing that people who led to so much spilling of blood can actually sit down in a government and implement things together just one year after the event. Recently I watched a number of experts discuss Kenya in london and was saddened to see people who you would think knew better speak only of doom and gloom for the future of Kenya.

Some of you may be aware of the biblical story of Samson and Delilah. Samson who was a very strong man was tricked by Delilah who had been sent by the Philistines to reveal the secret of his strength. After his capture by the philistines who had discovered that his strength was in his hair something quite remarkable happened. During his captivity the philistines taunted him every day about the loss of his strength. They even planned a national day to publicly humiliate him. Right under their very noses or eyes whichever you prefer they did not notice his hair growing. This proved to be catastrophic for them.

The reason I have retold that story is that we have in Kenya a similar situation. We have a media and a section of so called intellectual Kenyans who seem to take pride in publicly humiliating Kenya both domestically and internationally. There is a trend to think that you are intelligent or somehow knowledgeable if you can be cynical or point out failings so that you can later brag that I told you so. There are very few media personalities who can write something positive about Kenya within the political sphere. Yet the abovementioned developments I pointed out may be our hair growing. 

Today I read an article from Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu who made the following quote while speaking at the American University of Nigeria;

Africa is an emerging continent with hopes that have never been experienced in any other continent, Desmond Tutu, a great African visionary leader of South Africa said. “Africa is rising gradually but steadily, notwithstanding its many challenges. Africa is a continent that will bring hope to the whole world.” 

John F. Kennedy a former US President once stated ask not what your country can do for you but what can I do for my country.  Perhaps it’s time the media, the Kenyan diaspora and the Kenyan populace asked what they can do for Kenya and their government. The so called experts seem to go into incomprehension when they are asked what they see as solutions for the current problems. They will instinctively answer “the govt should… blah…!

Why is it that the Kenyan business community and expatriates seem to go on with their affairs despite the politics? The asian community for example has survived for over a century and not been included in the politics yet they continue to thrive and prosper. The reason is simple they dont depend on the government to sustain them. Instead they make use of the same infrastructure, laws and govt that the rest of us use and get things done. They dont perpetually complain of exclusion, discrimination or historical injustice. Perhaps we could learn something from them.

If we look at Safaricom, Equity, the new software firms, horticulture, Bidco and other commercial banks and other  industry you wonder why they succeed yet others cannot. I believe Kenyans need to ask some fundamental questions before they apportion blame. Kenya has enormous potential that will only be utilized effectively when we change the mindset to a positive and determined mode. There is no reason why people should resort to violence over political leadership. Kenya Yes We Can.

Sincerely

JellyFish.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    jellyfishcoolman said,

    Dear Friends.

    Just thought that I should point out that you can read the article about Desmond Tutu’s comments by clicking his name which is highlighted in green.


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