Siasa mbaya, maisha mbaya

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By Laban Wanambisi

Siasa mbaya, maisha mbaya is one of the statements that are accredited to the retired President Moi during his 24 year rule, in reference to the evolution of politics in the country.

The statement, which basically translates to ‘bad politics = bad life’ could not be more true now than it was then.

A top political analyst once argued that many a Kenyan misunderstood Mzee Moi when he said it thinking, he was trying to stop the push for multi-party politics.

Indeed, what Kenyans are currently going through is a true manifestation of these wise words; that the ‘siasa mbaya’ that Mzee Moi said ruins ‘maisha’ (lives) has come home to roost.

Allow me to deduce my argument further; If this is not so, why are people starving? Why is inflation so high? Why all these scandals? Who will rein in the corrupt? All these problems are an indictment on our leaders.

Bad politics, greed and lack of sound policies have led to these hard times. We have elected people to run our affairs, but they have made a fine mess of it.

Following the food shortage being experienced and subsequent hunger that has continued to claim many unwarranted lives in several parts of the country, Ukambani has stood out as one region that is bearing the brunt of this perennial problem. From year to year, the region has been experiencing famine with the local leaders giving it a deaf ear and blind eye to this predicament.

As the local people continue to suffer, the egocentric leaders who are usually after political gains have been quick to blame the lack of rainfall and poor yields for the hunger, exonerating themselves from any sort of criticism. Nobody can dispute this one fact since it’s a natural occurrence. Apart from this, local leaders have failed to champion the cause of their people and have done nothing tangible to get their people out of this predicament.

If we take a look at the past two decades, it will be a true revelation of how the leaders and other wealthy businesspeople have constantly used vulnerable Kenyans for political gain at the expense of their needs.

As they fight for political supremacy, development has taken a back seat as political bickering takes centre stage. A visitor to the country would be forgiven for thinking that he is in a desert where the mention of water is just a word like any other. It is distressing that as we stand today, there is no single constituency in the country that enjoys clean piped water.

We had so much hope in these leaders. We dreamed such big dreams, because they made us believe in ourselves. When they first assumed power in 2002, we knew we could wipe away the tears from our past hurts because everything was going to be alright. We sang a new song since we knew the leaders would finally practise fair politics.

Unfortunately, this was never to be. The greed and selfishness of many in the pack will not let us improve our lives. Put it in other words, our current poor state as a Nation, can and should be attributed to the bad politics we as a Nation are practicing.

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