Kenyans must stand up to be counted

As I mentioned last week, graft affects our country in all manner of ways and to some extent touches every sector of the economy. 

So, when my fellow blogger, Laura Walubengo, called the on-going political debate a soap opera, she hit the nail on the head. Two weeks later, we are unwilling participants in a grand political soap, whose actors are razzie-award winning, but whose story line does not serve our collective interests as a country.

Unfortunately, this debate seems to have no end in sight and our worry is that it will escalate before it finally fizzles out.

Truth be told; our leaders are simply not hearing our voices yet we appointed them to those positions.  It frustratingly feels like we are shouting at daydreamers who, though physically present, are in a different spiritual realm scheming how to manipulate us for their benefit.

How do we get them to hear our needs and serve us as Kenyans? 

The average person, when asked this question will offer one of a few choices.  They will either ask the media to give this debate a blackout, or ask us to join the civil society and become activists demanding our rights, or at worst… ask Kenyans to desist from paying taxes.
I will not go into the merits and demerits of each of these and other forms of activism… it is upon each one of us to find the voice that suits us and wear it well.
It is imperative though, that we all shun indifference and do something in our individual right.
What I will do though is implore our youth to refuse to be used as ‘dogs of war’. Do not allow yourselves to be the conduit for mass action that is almost always violent and could result in you becoming a fatal statistic.
Ask yourself, where were these people when you were struggling with unemployment and insecurity and feeding your parents and children?  Were they not enjoying a high lifestyle with the loot stolen from free education and maize cash?  Did they need your services then? 

Do not allow them to use you as rugs, to wipe their muddied feet on, when you were not fit to serve in their presence before. 

Instead let us demand that they account for their time in office.  In the words of a campaign dubbed “Uungwana Initiative,” let us begin to name and shame all acts of impropriety as being ‘Ushenzi’ behaviour. 

On the other hand, let us begin to highlight acts of ‘Uungwana’ which represent the traditional gentlemanly decorum that will propel this country forward. 

As young people, you must distinguish early enough what is desirable and acceptable for yourself and this country now and in the future so that you inculcate that behavior in yourselves today.  If anything, let us change our culture so that we set standards that work in our favour and not against us.

An old adage says that you cannot bend a stick in old age… if you allow yourselves to be used as ‘dogs of war’ today, you will find it very difficult to regain your stature in the eyes of those who matter to you.

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