For the love, or hate of money

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Money, money, money….

Money makes the world go round.  Money comes right after air, food and water in terms of survival. Money makes people happy.  Money makes people unhappy.  Money makes people fight and turn them into very strange creatures.

In my experience, things that are so influential are usually in short supply.  And that’s why when a certain two-some turned up their noses at a cool Sh1.5 million hard cash, that they didn’t have to work too much for or try to send a gazillion text messages to win on some remote competition; well…

I was incredulous, but at the same time impressed.  Someone had the goodwill to do something right for lack of a love for money.  I know several people who expressed what they would have done with that cash if they were in the lads’ shoes.

This is Kenya.  Things like that do not happen.  Money, or the exchange of it, for goods and services that are the right of citizens, is an unspoken rule.  You just do it.  It makes life faster, easier and gives you certain privileges.

But the abuse and greed has made Kenya stand out in so unflattering poses.  There is corruption everywhere, but only in Kenya (and maybe Nigeria) is there urgency to either ‘loot’ or ‘siphon.’  The effects on the future are often and very easily ignored.

One of the things I find most shameful – and I wonder how the government feels – is when donors, development partners, and countries that want to help Kenya to realise the potential it possesses, cannot trust the government with money.

It is horrendous that the same government that is meant to serve us cannot even be trusted to distribute food to people who are dying of hunger; cannot provide shelter for people who have been forced out of their homes and yet it is their own folly that altered these people’s lives forever.

One of the most common and irritating examples is a requisite for food donations to go through the World Food Programme for instance.  For no other reason other than that the government is incapable of doing the right thing. They’re not busy or anything…  Just incapable.  Sad indeed, I must say.

The love of money is the root of all evil and when we portray it, it comes back to haunt us in one way or another.  If not you, then your father, mother, and more often than not your children.  Let’s re-evaluate our commitment and attachment to this commodity because the only way it is taking us, is down.

A while back, our Prime Minister Raila Odinga assured entrepreneurs that he would try to remove the several ‘toll stations’ in government.  I wonder how much he has achieved.

I suggest that we take it one step at a time.  Try not to love money today?

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