I was born in Kenya, I don’t know how many moons have passed since then, but I guess quite a number. That makes me a Kenyan, by birth, at least I thought that was the case until I saw first hand the government mistreating and violating its own citizens, and even killing them. Maybe I misread the constitution, can’t claim that am a good reader.
In the course of the two or so decades that I have been a tenant of this country, the only motherland that I have known, the only home that my parents gave me, I have never ever heard of a government that claims to be elected by people, for the people, deporting its own citizens.
Maybe my naivety has taken precedent, maybe respect for the constitution and laws governing the country is better said than done. I’m not defending or criticizing anyone. Just got to think of it, now that deportation is the order of the day in a third world country ranked among the most corrupt poorest countries in the world, maybe deportation is what we all need. So please deport me, but to a country where:
1. Court orders are obeyed and respected
The government has been crashing with the judiciary about respect for court orders, no one is above the law, it ought and should cut across. In a country where court orders are only implemented if they favour the government otherwise the judiciary and its officers get criticized, abused and threatened. What we witnessed in a country that claims to respect the rule of law, is so unbearable and uncalled for.
In cases against the government, we have seen court orders being treated like pieces of paper. What happened to the doctrine of separation of power, the independence of institutions, the legislature enacts the laws, the judiciary interprets them and the executive implements them. When did the rain start beating us?
2. Police brutality is not tolerated
The work of police officers is to protect the citizens of a country while at the same time abiding by the laws without jeopardizing the human rights of the people. The police force is being used as puppets by the executive, to settle scores with its opposers and those who try to stand against it. Police maiming, torturing, clobbering, brutalizing and killing Kenyans has become the order of the day. And the irony is that the government instead to taking disciplinary measures against the police personnel who go astray, it ends up praising and encouraging them. We are at the mercy of angry untamed police. What a country!
3. Media houses and journalists have freedom
Over the ages, media houses have been a platform used to inform and educate people, therefore acting as a source of information to the uninformed. Media freedom has never been fully earned despite spending decades fighting for it. They have been intimidated by the government of the day to report only issues that are favourable to it. A country that does not respect the role of media is just a a failed nation on its deathbed.
Journalists who risk their lives to bring fort a story have been gagged, tortured and had their equipments confiscated, so as to be bowed away from reporting stories that might taint the credibility of the government. Then how are we supposed to stay informed? The government is thriving, or should I say destroying the country, by instigating fear on the members of the 4th estate.
4. Freedom of expression exists
During the Moi regime freedom of speech and expression was totally a vocabulary but as we ushered in the Kibaki era we saw the rise of human right groups, activism and a rise of a new generation of bloggers, all of whom determined to use any channel at their disposal to air out their voices. Something that was enhanced with the invention of social media. But the joy has been short lived.
We have seen bloggers arrested, activists tortured, social media monitored and censored just with the sole aim of taming these fearless people trying to give the voiceless a voice. We have others disappearing, their houses raided. Others who are not that lucky, are killed and their bodies dumped. We are only allowed to write poems and love articles that nobody cares to read. Yet we remain proudly Kenyans.
5. Corruption is prohibited
In the recent years we have managed to upgrade from a corrupt country to among the most corrupt countries. The national purse turned into a private pocket. People looting like it’s a free shopping. Public resources being misused and mismanaged, yet nothing is being done. Politicians and their relatives masked as looters in chief lurking in the shadows each day planning from which government ministry, department or agency to deep their hands into. For at the end of the day they have the protection of powerful politicians, they are untouchable.
Talk of the most corrupt cases that are yet to solved yet like Anglo-leasing, Tokyo Embassy property scam, The National Youth Service scam, The NHIF conspiracy, and many more ranging from the Langa’ta Cemetery scam to the Laptop Tendering scandal, Standard Gauge Tendering scandal to even the Eurobond scam. Government officials and powerful individuals even using public lands to borrow funds or at worse grab them. We are just a scandalling, bribing and scamming nation.
6. No tribalism and nepotism is allowed
If there is something worse that can happen to a country is tribalism, judging people based on which tribe they come from, stereotyping, voting based on tribal lines ‘the mtu wetu syndrome’. No one wants to be reminded of the aftermath of the 2007 general election when the fabric of our country, East and Central Africa power house, was torn and nation brought down to its knees. Yet politicians, people elected to represent the people, people who ought to be symbols of national unity are engaging in hate speeches, untouched.
Provoking the good people of the country to turn against each other, tribe against tribe, neighbour against neighbour, to chase them from their homes and kill them. Elections in Kenya have gone from democracy rhetorics to tribal endorsements instigating fear to those who won’t abide. Relatives to who is who in the government appointed to public offices and given state commendations.
7. Job opportunities are in abundance
Since independence a song has been sung until it has lost its vibe. Every new government that is taking the mantle promising to create jobs for its youth. But instead we have witnessed the level of unemployment sky rocketing. I can’t even begin talking about discrimination on tribe and gender in order to secure a job regardless of your qualifications. Asked to offer a bribe in order to get connections to a low paying entry job. Graduates used as pawns for politicians to secure votes.
8. The welfare of civil servants is of high priority
By now every Kenyan old enough to spell his/her name has seen the numerous strikes that our country goes through. We have seen teachers, nurses, doctors, lecturers striking simply because the government of the day has failed to honour CBAs they signed. We have seen strikes lasting for days and even months. Civil servants crying of deplorable working conditions that are backed with low salaries. Yet the leaders we elected are busy increasing their salaries day in day out, robbing tax payers and emptying the national coffers, as Kenya remains a striking nation.
9. High living standards exist
We are in a country that is hit by poor living standards. A country with unequal and poor distribution of income and resources. Some counties and communities have been forgotten, treated like illegal immigrants. Government officials even stealing the funds meant for drought, education or health programmes. The government agencies that are meant to provide oversight and regulate these areas are in the pockets of cartels.
Hospitals that are understaffed, with no equipments or funds are what the taxpayers wake up to each day. Poor housing and lack of the very basic needs is what the common citizen has to put up with. Funds meant for education being misappropriated and yet we expect our children to have a brighter future. How?
10. A government of and for the people is in place
How much I yearn for a responsible government that stands with its people. A government that aims at fulfilling its manifesto and campaign pledges. A government that will put aside the phrase, “it’s our time to eat” and focus of raising the living standards of the people, aiming at creating job opportunities for its youth, better housing, good healthcare, infrastructure that cannot be reckoned with.
A government that deep down in its heart knows that education is the key to a brighter future, that its children need better education equipped with modern learning equipments. A government that is focused on growing the economy and advancing the welfare of its people. A government that protects and secures the rights of its citizens at any cost. How much I yearn.
The list is long, very long that it can take days to write about. I don’t know whether there is anything to yearn for in this country. Maybe deportation is the only good thing left to long for and maybe the government we all need can be found in Canada or the United Arab Emirates. Just please deport me.