If a meteorologist had forecast the political climate of our country in the last two weeks, they would have said that it was overcast with dark shadows. For that is the direction that Kenya seemed to be heading; well, that is until Tuesday when the President put the doomsayers to shame when he stated that members of the coalition would not be separated.
This I believe is the silver lining that Kenyans needed to see and the first ray of hope projected by the government in the last couple of weeks.
They say that empty drums make the most noise. Well, it is very true for the Kenyan masses. Where there are no tangible and real actions on matters affecting the economy and our country, we will often see an array of false witnesses explaining the lack of action and prescribing unhelpful solutions. This is what has been happening in Kenya. There is need to keep the citizens abreast of what is going on in Government and to provide guidance and direction on matters of national importance.
So my proposal to the Government is to adopt a culture of communication, especially now when there is so much hardship. Compare this to the weekly briefings that President Obama gives to his country men. Accordingly, our government has enough avenues to communicate legitimate knowledge, information and progress on important matters outside of the somewhat un-compelling Public Communication office.
Personally, I would like to see some of the pending matters addressed including, but not limited to, these. What is the status of the resettlement of IDPs? What is the proposed direction on dealing with refugees who are flocking into our country? If the Mau allocation was illegal, what is the course that the Government is going to take? And what is the recourse for those who may feel aggrieved? Our forests should be saved at all costs. This should be treated as a matter of priority. The government should move with speed and provide alternative land for genuine squatters to leave the forests to save our catchment areas. Such a move would ensure food security for future generations and a peaceful co-existence.
This culture can also be proactively adopted at Ministerial levels such that we do not need to wait until a scandal breaks out to address an issue. Each Minister should be tasked with giving frequent reports on matters in their own dockets without being pre-empted by the media after officious and protocol-filled conferences and workshops. This idea can even be cascaded down to the Constituency level where every leader can highlight the opportunities that exist in his/her constituency for investment, for partnership with Private Sector, for job-creation, for youth programs etc.
It is a culture that demands for all of us to take ownership of our country and strive to see how we can get out of this quagmire we call the credit crunch, with minimal damage.
I would also appeal for patriotism in the media fraternity, especially to our print partners. They have the capacity to build our country and to renew the confidence that has been waning in the last couple of months. Why then do we always witness negative publicity about our country being circulated globally? The Media has a responsibility to portray our country in good light so as to attract the much needed foreign investments if Kenya is to achieve Vision 2030.
In as much as we appreciate your role in letting Kenyans know what is going on, there is need to create a balance between always highlighting the negative with some positive aspects of our beloved country. Your mother may not be the best cook, but you don’t always go announcing to the whole world how terrible a cook she is. In the same manner, let us tone down our rhetoric such that it builds us instead of destroying us.
Let us cherish our country, because for the majority of us, it is the only place we call home. I support the efforts of the Honourable Minister for Tourism in selling the Kenyan brand, and ask that we see in ourselves what others think is great in us.
To all of us, politicians and non-politicians alike, my song is that we need to create a sense of hope and progress for Kenya’s future. What our minds can perceive individually or collectively, we can achieve.