Join the Green caravan, or ignore it

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BY ANTHONY KAGIRI

Garissa has a new public University and three new districts, thanks to the Green wave that is practically everywhere.

Being on the Green side of history is bearing fruits; instant benefits for that matter.

I choose to call the new university, Garissa Green University as it was borne out of the green wave. Garissa Teachers College will be upgraded to the University and becomes the first and only higher learning institution in North Eastern Kenya. The President led a government delegation to paint the scorching town Green and after listening to the wish list of the area residents he said, Yes.

The bonus three new districts, the Head of the green Caravan said will ‘bring the services to the people.’ I expect the Reds to be infuriated by the enticing gifts the President is dishing out but in the meantime let Kenyans enjoy the fruits of the referendum.

This is Kenya and election time is a good time to catch the ear of the President and get ‘favors’. Out of campaigns new schools have been built, roads repaired, districts and divisions created countrywide. I know the chairman of the Interim Independent Boundary Review Commission Andrew Ligale is furious about the creation of districts but everywhere they are created the residents clap in appreciation.

To be a bit practical the last time we had the districts was before 1992. The formal procedures don’t seem to work and the President is ‘shortening’ the process.

Those who dismissed the Green revolution have themselves to blame. Blame your leaders for not inviting the President, or worse still for not articulating the ‘needs’ of the community at the referendum platform. This one comes once in lifetime and if we vote Yes on August 4 the next opportunity to get a referendum gift might be after a century.

I hope MPs in Nyahururu and Kisii who hosted the Head of State this week had their list of needs well articulated. They should also choose convincing leaders to read them out to the Head of State.

This Constitution has many surprises.

Be cautioned, your District Commissioner is not attending to any administrative matter for now. He is busy campaigning for the draft Constitution which as you know is a government project.

If you are a women leader, a pastor, a school board chairman, an accomplished professional you might be lucky to be invited to one of those meetings to be addressed by a Permanent Secretary or a parastatal Managing Director who comes from your area.

The Interim Independent Electoral Commission has told them to keep off the campaign trail but I doubt that they will be going back to the office yet. In any case it is a government project the same government IIEC belongs to. 

In other news, the animal farm scenario continues to replay itself in the country at this referendum time. As it has been, some animals are more equal than others.  Despite the proposed Constitution expressly stating that the no one will be exempted from paying taxes, our honorable members will continue enjoying their tax free perks.

The Members of the August House have received written promises from Attorney General Amos Wako, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and the Kenya Revenue Authority that they will be insulated from the new law. The tax payment clause it seems will be staggered until 2012.

This only happens in Kenya!

(Anthony Kagiri is Capital FM\’s political and Parliamentary reporter)

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