We must change our Kenyan ways

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Last year, I used the example of Egypt’s Minister for Transport who resigned because some train had hit a buffalo somewhere in his country, derailed and caused death.

In that article, I and most readers agreed that Kenya is clearly very different from Egypt where such a withdrawn occurrence could lead to the resignation of a Cabinet Minister.

Well, I think it is time Kenyans came together and agreed on the basic standards to set for our leaders. I say this because it is clear that Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and other people in positions of authority refuse to take responsibility for whatever goes wrong simply because it is “the Kenyan way” of doing things.

You see, we as a society have come to accept many ills as “typically Kenyan.” For instance, it is very Kenyan for you to sit clutching your fist in fear as a bus speeds to your destination and only after an accident will you appear on television complaining how “that driver was speeding”.

It is typically Kenyan to occupy a residential block with clearly visible structural faults yet complain about the developer after the building collapses and kills your family.

Recently, I overheard some construction workers in a heated debate over the many corruption scandals and incompetence of public officers.  Interestingly, one of them challenged his colleagues: “if any of you were in charge of the billions in Free Primary Education, and you got a chance, wouldn’t you pocket some?” he asked.

The response was unanimous. All would fleece the coffers!

Then how do we expect to hold people to account for the billions of shillings that are lost in various corruption scandals? How can Kenyans punish people when nobody believes in the ideals that we preach?

Hear me people:  Sam Ongeri and Professor Karega Mutahi will NOT step aside to allow investigations into the free primary education scandal, unless foreigners (read donors) push them out of office.

Neither will Chirau Mwakwere over the ferry, airports, railways or matatu fiasco. And the reason is simple; we are a society of vague morals which cannot hold anybody to account.

But this needs to change, soon.

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  • msema kweli

    I agree Laura, Kenyans should start acting. It begins with you(and me). Lets act by stopping to give bribes, to speak out against ills.

  • Lawrence Njenga- Limuru

    Laura…nice feature on your website. Anyway my point is simple. Kenyans are looking at Ruto now as a Hero. Like Artur is a BAD GUY but who wouldn’t want his autograph? Kenyan voters are everything their politicians are.

  • Githinji

    The Kenya we want is one without corruption but i don’t see and end it. We have tried to be united against it, remember 2002 when Kibaki become President,but it fought back hard and won. Guys as young as 20 are now seriously discussing ways to get to parliament and government so as to get involved in highly corruption ie Trition after all once we defraud billions all we need to do is by some MPs and get an expensive lawyer.It’s a small sacrifice for the billions.

  • Shikuku – USA

    How i wish more and more Kenyans got themselves engaged in the affairs of our great nation. Rally one another against relentless impunity by our leaders.
    Our leaders have lost the sense of being responsible to their employers thus continue to act recklessly in parliament (censure motion), they taint the image of our nations integrity. I dread reading news from Kenya everyday because they scream “something is not right again” and the worst is yet to come. Kenyans lets get involved in pragmatic political decisions of our nation right from our dinner tables. Lets resolve to build a better Nation on the principles of democracy. It can be done. WE CAN DO IT! I believe.

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