Saturday, February 1st, 2020
Rift Valley politicians led by Deputy President William Ruto were on Saturday united in calling for conflict resolution among warring communities during the installation of the new Eldoret Catholic Bishop Dominic Kimengich.
They steered clear of the politics of the ongoing rivalry over the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rallies, prioritising peace-building initiatives in the region.
They said that retrogressive politics is the cause of slow development in the region. “There is a need for a close working relationship between the State and religious organisations in terms of development, instead of engaging in divisive politics,” said Dr Ruto.
He read a message from President Uhuru Kenyatta, who said the government will continue working with religious organisations in promoting peace and development.
“What Kenyans need are visionary leaders devoid of corruption … where all Kenyans are united with a common goal of improving their livelihoods.”
Bishop Kimengich takes over from Bishop Cornelius Korir, who died two years ago.
CHURCH AND STATE
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, who also attended the ceremony at the Mother of Apostles Seminary, praised Bishop Kimengich for helping the needy in society and urged other leaders to emulate him.
“The Church and the State have a role in fostering peace among the warring communities through development initiatives, and the new bishop has to take up the peace role of the late Bishop Korir,” Mr Moi said.
Elgeyo-Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos and Moiben MP Sila Tiren, who are steering the BBI consultative rallies in Rift Valley, have been at loggerheads with their counterparts allied to the Deputy President.
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago asked speakers to keep politics out of the important church function. “A time will come where we shall square it out on BBI issues,” said the outspoken governor.
Cabinet secretaries who attended the event were Eugene Wamalwa of Devolution, John Munyes of Mining, Charles Keter of Energy and Simon Chelugui of Labour.
Others were governors Josephat Nanok of Turkana, Stephen Sang of Nandi and Baringo’s Simon Kiptis.
The senators present were Samson Cherargei of Nandi and Prof Margaret Kamar of Uasin Gishu.
The head of the Catholic Church Cardinal John Njue and clerics from other religious denominations were also at the event.
The new bishop was also installed as a Kalenjin elder in a ceremony performed by elders from the Nandi, Tugen, Marakwet, Kikuyu and Keiyo communities.
The elders and the faithful hailed Bishop Kimengich, who takes over from Bishop Maurice Antony Crowley, who has been serving the diocese as an administrator following the death of Bishop Korir.
Bishop Kimengich vowed to forge ahead with the work of the late Bishop Korir in championing peace among warring communities in Northern Kenya and other regions.
“I will put efforts to ensure that I carry on with the work of Bishop Korir, especially in uniting all the communities because we are all the children of God, we belong to one family. It is sad that communities in the North Rift don’t coexist peacefully,” said the Bishop.
The cleric served as the Lodwar Diocese bishop before he was moved to Eldoret and was involved in peace efforts among the warring communities in the region and neighbouring countries.
On Friday, the new bishop kissed the ground after crossing the Moi Bridge to herald the beginning of his work in the new diocese. He also planted a tree at St Theresa Catholic Church Moi’s Bridge.
January campaign rounds aim to vaccinate ALL children under-5 in Mindanao and in NCR
MANILA, 30 January 2020—Since the re-emergence of polio in the Philippines was announced by the Department of Health (DOH) in September 2019, the synchronized polio vaccination campaigns rolled out from November to December of 2019 in targeted regions, have reached a total of 1,404,517 (exceeding target) children below 5 years old in the National Capital Region (NCR) and 2,937,327 (95%) children in Mindanao.
The call to vaccinate further intensifies with four new confirmed cases recorded in January, bringing up the total cases to 16 across the country. All new cases are children below 5-years of age. They are from Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao as well as the first recorded case in NCR, in Quezon City.
“Enhanced surveillance has enabled us to identify new cases; we must not leave any unvaccinated child behind. We would like to congratulate the Department of Health, local government leaders and the health workers in Mindanao, including BARMM and NCR on their efforts for reaching 95% or more of the targeted children during the previous rounds. We must continue this momentum and continue to work together to stop polio transmission in the Philippines,” said WHO Representative in the Philippines Dr Rabindra Abeyasinghe. “Let’s not be complacent – we know that polio is a serious disease, but we also know that it can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine.”
“Despite the promising coverage, the circulating poliovirus still pose tremendous risk to children, until one child remains infected and not fully vaccinated. This is evidenced by the recent increase in confirmed cases,” said UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyun Dendevnorov. “UNICEF is working in collaboration with DOH, WHO and other partners, to boost up vaccination coverage. We must continue to strive together to reach all target population in the upcoming rounds of immunization. Polio has no cure; complete vaccination offers the only chance to protect our children and to eliminate polio from the Philippines once again.”
UNICEF and WHO have been supporting DOH and the Ministry of Health of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in its Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio vaccination campaigns and monitoring of the polio outbreak. Both organizations are long-standing partners of the Philippine Government in working towards routine immunization for all children in the country.
Parents and guardians are urged to have all children under five years vaccinated in the ongoing rounds of Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio from 20 January to 2 February in all regions of Mindanao, and 27 January to 7 February in NCR.
The transmission of polio, spread through faecal-oral route, can only be stopped if the immunisation coverage reaches over 95% of the targeted children. The risk cannot be mitigated as long as some children are not vaccinated regularly and especially during an outbreak.
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La FIFA compte investir un milliard de dollars pour les infrastructures sportives en Afrique (Infantino)
Publié le 02.02.2020 à 00h18 par APA
L’instance internationale de football (FIFA) a annoncé qu’elle compte investir un milliard de dollars pour que chaque pays africain puisse se doter d’un stade de classe internationale, a indiqué, samedi à Salé (région de Rabat) le président de la FIFA, Gianni Infantino.« A quelques exceptions près, les pays du continent manquent encore d’infrastructures pour promouvoir le football et commercialiser le produit footballistique », a-t-il relevé à l’ouverture de la journée d’études sur le développement des compétitions et des infrastructures footballistiques en Afrique.
Par ailleurs, le président de la FIFA a insisté sur la nécessité de développer l’arbitrage en apportant davantage de professionnalisme, sans pour autant négliger que les problèmes d’arbitrage ne se limitent pas au continent africain.
A cet égard, il a appelé à proposer des solutions innovantes et créatives issues de la réalité africaine et conclure des contrats professionnels avec les arbitres dotés du statut FIFA.
S’exprimant sur le développement des compétitions, Infantino a appelé à investir dans la jeunesse, dans le football féminin, dans les sélections nationales et dans les clubs qui constituent la locomotive mondiale du football.
Selon le président de la FIFA, une super ligue de football africain comprenant entre 20 et 24 équipes doit être créée, une ligue qui pourrait générer des revenus de l’ordre de 200 millions de dollars par an.
Il a également émis une proposition sur la Coupe d’Afrique des Nations (CAN) qui devrait, selon lui, être disputée une fois tous les quatre ans, dans le but de la rendre commercialement viable et attrayante à l’échelle mondiale, d’autant que la compétition génère actuellement des revenus 20 fois inférieurs à ceux de l’Euro.
« Dans un nouveau format, les revenus de la CAN pourraient être multipliés par cinq ou six, faisant de la compétition africaine une grand-messe du football mondial », a-t-il estimé.
Pour sa part, le président de la Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF), Ahmad Ahmad, a estimé que le développement des infrastructures n’est pas une fin en soi, mettant l’accent sur la gestion et l’entretien afin de générer des retours financiers importants et de permettre à ces investissements d’être une base économique génératrice de revenus et créatrice d’emplois.
Le patron de la CAF a exprimé sa satisfaction quant à la contribution de la FIFA dans le cadre d’un partenariat avec la CAF au développement des infrastructures et des compétitions africaines.
La CAF envisage d’introduire des réformes dans les compétitions, dans leur mode de gestion et des dates de leur tenue, a affirmé M. Ahmad.
La journée d’études vise à sensibiliser les marchés financiers au rôle social joué par le football, ainsi qu’à son énorme potentiel pour surpasser les défis dont souffre ce sport comme le racisme, le manque de sécurité dans les stades, l’exclusion des groupes vulnérables, la sécurité des compétitions, le manque de transparence, les transferts de joueurs et les problèmes de gouvernance liés à la gestion des fonds issus du football.
Les conclusions et recommandations émanant de cette journée d’études serviront de plate-forme pour préparer une nouvelle stratégie plus moderne qui reflète l’énorme potentiel du football africain.
Publié le 01.02.2020 à 23h18 par APA
Le Maroc a rapatrié ses ressortissants de la ville chinoise de Wuhan, épicentre de l’épidémie de la maladie due au nouveau coronavirus, indique samedi un communiqué du ministère de la santé, parvenu à APA.« Le ministère de la santé informe l’opinion publique que l’opération de rapatriement des ressortissants marocains de Wuhan en Chine, organisée sur hautes instructions du Roi Mohammed VI, est menée comme prévu et en parfaite coordination entre tous les Départements concernés, avec arrivée attendue sur le territoire national le dimanche 02 février 2020 », annonce le ministère.
Une équipe médicale, constituée de médecins et d’infirmiers civiles et militaires, accompagne les ressortissants depuis Wuhan jusqu’aux sites d’accueil à l’hôpital Sidi Saïd de Meknès et à l’hôpital militaire Mohammed V de Rabat, indique la même source.
Les ressortissants marocains seront mis en observation, sous surveillance médicale étroite durant 20 jours, sous la supervision d’équipes médicales dédiées et formées à cette fin.
En vue de préserver leur sécurité sanitaire et celle de leurs familles, tout en leur assurant le maximum de confort durant la période d’observation, ces sites ont été minutieusement aménagés et équipés par tous les dispositifs médicaux nécessaires, assure le ministère.
Tout en réaffirmant qu’aucun cas de maladie due au nouveau virus n’a été enregistré au Maroc à ce jour, le ministère de la santé rassure les citoyens qu’il continuera de les informer régulièrement, aussi bien sur le suivi médical des personnes rapatriées que sur le développement de la situation relative à cette alerte mondiale.
It can all seem too much. Perhaps you have problems in your extended family.
Perhaps people are squabbling, disagreeing, agitating. You do your best to intervene, but there are entrenched positions and big egos in play.
Old grievances are being nurtured. You want this to end, but there are too many variables. It feels easier to give up.
Or it could be that your organisation is troubled. So many problems at the moment.
You have given this particular one some of your best years; you would wish to stay on for many more; but you are worried.
The people at the top don’t seem to get it. They are watching the storm arrive, full-on. You wish you could change things, but you are not high enough in the pecking order to have any real influence.
Your nation might also be facing big challenges. Perhaps its leaders, as is the wont of so many leaders everywhere, are wrecking nationhood for their own narrow aims.
Perhaps they are guiding the economy to ruin. Perhaps they are sowing divisions and hatred. It is such a waste.
Your country could be so much, do so much. You wish you had a role to play, but you have only one vote. You are not a person of influence or means. No one will listen to you.
Actually, the whole damn world is a let-down. Wherever you look, people are arguing, fighting, grabbing, objecting, ruining.
Humanity seems to veer between savagery and incompetence. The environment is being degraded; oceans are becoming dumping grounds; new diseases are running rampant; billions of plants and creatures are being burnt in wildfires. Can anything be done?
The bigger you make the arena of discomfort, the less hope you have of resolving it.
It is very easy to leave everything to the big men: the patriarchs, the rulers, the politicos, the billionaires.
And that would be exactly the wrong thing to do. If you let the self-centred and the self-serving decide everything, then the rest of us will only face degradation and exploitation.
FEET OF INFLUENCE
Still, what are you to do? A great answer comes from Sharon Salzberg, an author and meditation teacher.
I was pointed to her by a newsletter I get regularly from Bill Taylor, a wise thinker and writer himself.
The insight is this: don’t try to boil the ocean, change the world, fix everything; instead, just focus on your three feet of influence.
In other words: just focus your attention on the here and now; on the thing that you are good at doing; on the people immediately in your vicinity. That’s all.
Be the best that you can be, with what’s available to you. Be an influencer with the people that really matter: your immediate family, closest friends, proximate colleagues.
In Sharon’s words: “Few people are powerful enough, persuasive, persistent, consistent, and charismatic enough to change the world all at once, but everyone has the ability to affect the three feet around them by behaving more ethically, honestly, and compassionately toward those they meet.”
This is a powerful message about making a difference.
Bill Taylor reminds us of something similar from Theodore Roosevelt, to “do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.”
As you walk around, become aware of your three feet of influence. Your words, actions and example really matter.
There is no point in wishing the world was better than it is; there is every point in behaving in the way you wish the world to be.
In my book The Bigger Deal I call this “the bigger deal, smaller”. Those who are kind, helpful and compassionate are very influential, often without knowing it.
They set an example and become role models. They radiate goodwill and often give those who feel hopeless a reason to regain hope. They matter a great deal, because without them we would all become barking brutes.
BE YOUR BEST SELF
The world will not be saved by those we elect or enrich. It will be saved by the millions who save their own three feet of it every day. Try it.
Whichever circles of three feet you find yourself in tomorrow, tell yourself you will be the best of you, the person you want everyone to be.
You might be courteous and polite. Thoughtful and reflective. Kind and warm. Efficient and organised. Gregarious and sociable. Open-minded and curious. You choose.
Whatever virtues matter to you, be those things, just in the three feet you have around you every day. That would be your great contribution, and the world would undoubtedly get better.
This week, the Senate voted to ratify the removal of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.
While this is not the first time a governor has been sent for an impeachment trial in the Senate, the latest process was closely followed for various reasons.
The national government’s increased commitment to dealing with corruption has given the common citizen confidence that a leader impeached by his own county assembly on grounds of corruption would find no protection from State House.
Further, the divisions in the political class in preparation for the next elections in over two years’ time will make it difficult for politicians to collude and protect each other whenever they are accused of corrupt practices.
Each political formation is trying to present itself as the custodian of public interest, and this can only be a good thing for the voter.
Watching the Senate proceedings this past week, it was evident that governors had hitherto taken it for granted that none of them can be successfully impeached, no matter what.
The accused showed up in the Senate without any defence except that his county assembly did not follow the prescribed procedure in impeaching him.
When his pleas were rejected by the senators, he resorted to pleading for ‘fairness’ (leniency, really).
Senators went ahead and approved the impeachment, setting off a flurry of activities that were only slowed down by the Judiciary insisting on proper arrangements for a swearing-in.
The courts also declined to issue the traditionally expected injunctions, perhaps demonstrating the fatigue all Kenyans have against thieving conniving politicians who shamelessly steal from the public purse and expect to get away with it.
Time has come for us to start seeing more impeachments and convictions of our political leaders who try to use public office for personal gain.
It is high time anyone taking on the onerous responsibilities that come with high political office began to understand that we are all watching for an opportunity to kick them out and replace them with alacrity.
We must make it clear that there is no shortage of brilliant committed Kenyans ready to serve with the sole purpose of making our collective lives better.
The Kiambu governor’s impeachment must serve as notice to other governors accused of corrupt practices that the hour of reckoning is nigh.
We hope the Judiciary will not be used as the venue for overturning the people’s desire for clean government.
The Judiciary should be mindful of the will of the people even as it grants the former governor a fair hearing.
The administration has to move with speed to organise the proper assumption of office for the new governor in order to leave no doubt in the minds of citizens on who is in charge of their affairs.
No matter the motivation of those who voted to impeach the Kiambu governor, the convergence of actions against a person accused of the most corrupt practices is worth celebrating.
Lukoye Atwoli is Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Moi University School of Medicine; [email protected]
As the world’s population grows wealthier, and people enjoy longer lives, the demand for better healthcare rises.
Chronic diseases, especially the “diseases of the rich” — heart disease, diabetes, lung cancer — surge.
Frequent health emergencies like the current coronavirus haemorrhages an already fragile health system.
Effectively harnessed, information and communication technologies can play a central role in forestalling burdensome diseases and in providing cost-effective treatment.
What’s lacking is action mainly to empower people to take charge of their health. Here are a few low-hanging fruits that promise big benefits.
The evolution of wearable technologies such as smartwatches, activity monitors and mobile phones offers the global community unprecedented tools to track health at an individual level.
If widely used, they can make populations more conscious of their health. A health-conscious community is the best arsenal against troubling preventable diseases.
Well used, technology can, for instance, help healthcare providers to extend their services to their patients’ in their homes after they are discharged.
They can use technology to remotely monitor and track their patients’ health without having to make needless trips to a clinic to see their doctor.
Patients can track their vital signs using, say, a Fitbit or a smartwatch, and report the data to their health provider.
Such measures empower the patient who, in turn, helps the doctor to make timely and informed decisions on the best care for the patient, and saves money.
Using such devices, far-flung, deprived health facilities can connect and access the services of top-notch health experts.
Supported by robust electronic communication between a doctor and a patient, the virtual visit can be seamless, almost like a “face-to-face” visit.
On their part, aided by computerised management information systems, health clinics can collect and analyse patient-specific data and use it to learn more about their patients’ illnesses and lifestyles.
These more refined data provide researchers with essential insights that help them fashion better medicines and forge ways to forestall deadly diseases before they strike.
The players in the health sector — health providers, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, and the patients themselves — need to look at health with a new pair of lenses.
Insurers, for example, should not be mere money collectors. They can play their part by helping their clients to remain healthy.
For instance, offer loyalty rewards to their clients who eat healthily, exercise regularly, and shun harmful behaviours like taking too much alcohol or smoking.
The government must leave the safe harbour of conventional thinking. It must fine-tune its workforce in tandem with the fleeting technology.
It must facilitate stakeholders in re-writing the “rules of engagement” suitable for a sector disrupted by technology, but one that needs it the most.
If you are reading this on Sunday morning, it will be just hours since the union flag was unceremoniously lowered at the European parliament and Britain formally quit the European Union after membership lasting 47 years.
I write this ahead of the event, but I think it is safe to predict there will have been no exceptional demonstrations of either jubilation or condemnation of the 11pm January 31 exit.
Since Boris Johnson came to power at the head of a new Conservative government and leaving became inevitable, the energy seems to have gone from an issue which has so sharply divided the British people over recent years.
Britain’s 73 Union MPs are looking for new jobs, and a one-year transition period is starting during which a new trade deal must be reached which would set out the parameters of Britain’s future role.
A deadline of December 31, 2020 has been set for a new agreement to be accepted and ratified by all 27 member nations, failing which the UK will exit on a no-deal basis.
Mr Johnson has argued against any extension of the transition period, predicting quick progress in the negotiations.
Europe’s civil servants are not so sanguine. They point out that in addition to the thorny question of trade, agreement will also need to be reached on security and law enforcement issues.
It is a fair bet that European powers who feel betrayed by Britain will be in no mood to make things easy for their ex-partner, or facilitate quick passage of any agreement that may be reached.
With Europe fading from the headlines, at least temporarily, climate change has become the major issue of concern, with dire predictions for the future of planet Earth.
The increase in global warming is ascribed to greenhouse gases caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil, as well as by deforestation and emissions from domesticated animals.
The Committee on Climate Change last week urged Britons to cut the amount of beef, lamb and dairy produce they eat by a fifth and consider plant-based meals instead.
Its report said major changes were necessary “in the way we use the land, the way we farm and what we eat.”
Reducing the amount of beef, lamb and dairy by 20 per cent and cutting food waste by 20 per cent would save the equivalent of seven million tonnes of carbon dioxide from farms.
Convictions and cautions for crimes involving knives in England and Wales have hit a 10-year high.
According to figures from the Ministry of Justice, more than 22,200 cases were dealt with by police and courts in the year to last September.
This marks a three per cent increase on the year before and is the highest figure since 2009 when cases exceeded 26,000.
The rise has been ascribed mainly to an increase in people being caught in possession of a knife.
The ministry said more jail sentences were being imposed for knife crimes and had increased on average from six months to eight months.
Some social commentators argue that longer sentences are not a sufficient deterrent and what is needed is to tackle the root causes of the violence.
Talking of food, the divergence between British people and say, the French and Spanish, has been highlighted by a new report on eating habits.
While the continental Europeans can spend several hours over dinner, the average British family gets through the day’s main meal in just 20 minutes. Everybody then dashes off to catch up on work, social media or television.
A quarter of people polled by the food group Princes said they watched TV during dinner.
Last week, this column mentioned the courier scam which was costing victims thousands of pounds.
A friend tells me of a different trick. A man with a French accent at a parking meter, said his card had not worked, perhaps because it was foreign, but if my friend used his, it would dislodge it.
My friend obliged but the meter swallowed his card. The foreigner then persuaded him to use a second card, which, foolishly, he did.
That, too, was swallowed. By the time my friend got to the bank and cancelled the cards, several hundred pounds had disappeared from two accounts.
It seems a wire loop is inserted in the meter to trap the cards. The same device is used with ATMs.
Ten o’clock at night and the phone rings on the hotel receptionist’s desk. “This is your guest in fifth floor room 50. I need your help. My wife is threatening to jump out of the window.”
Receptionist: “I am sorry, sir, that is a personal issue. I am alone here and cannot assist on personal issues.”
Guest: “It’s not a personal issue, idiot; it’s a maintenance issue — the damn window won’t open.”
Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rallies are neither informative nor educative on inclusivity.
Yet inclusivity is the byword for the current clamour for change and panacea for the disparities bedevilling the land.
Still, BBI principals, President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, have an opportunity to set Kenya on the road to the society President Kibaki envisioned in the well-thought-out, but now forgotten, Vision 2030:
“ … to transform Kenya into a newly industrialising, middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by 2030 in a clean and secure environment.” [the emphasis is mine]
Leaders and the visions that they shape or are thrust upon them come and go.
But the struggle of the mass of Kenyans to earn a decent living; build decent livelihoods; make the lives of their children better; and leave a legacy of decent achievement is everlasting.
But the centrality of politics, and, therefore, government to the success or failure of this perpetual struggle cannot be gainsaid.
Herewith former President Moi, the self-declared professor of politics:
“Siasa mzuri, maisha mzuri; siasa mbaya, maisha mbaya (decent politics makes for decent life and flawed politics begets indecent life).”
However, the constitutional dictatorship he ran could not qualify as decent politics.
Former British premier Theresa May put it aptly: “politics is not a game……(Cabinet) decisions affect day-to-day lives and we must do the right thing and make the right decisions.”
Kenya’s politics will be serious business when it centres on management of the country’s resources and the discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion that ensue from their skewed distribution and application.
Kenya’s politics must be about inclusion; that is, the struggle of Kenyans to be included in the management of their affairs, resources and decision-making.
The colonialists excluded our forebears from the ownership, management and application of Kenya’s resources.
Our forebears took up arms against exclusion. Fearful the big tribes dominating Kanu would discriminate against them in post-independence Kenya, the smaller communities formed Kadu. Kanu was centralist where Kadu was federalist.
The struggle for devolution was, and must remain, the clamour for inclusion. For it came to pass that unitarist Kanu governments shunned and shunted the regions to the periphery.
It was left to Josiah Mwangi “JM” Kariuki to give expression and an everlasting narrative to what was happening in the first decade of uhuru: Kenya was becoming an enclave of 10 millionaires in a sea of 10 million beggars.
George Anyona would question why a passion fruit factory would not be built in Kisii, which grew the fruit, but in Thika, because it aspired to be an industrial conurbation.
Then, unitarist Kanu became a monopoly. In 1982, Kenya became a single-party state by law. The fight for political pluralism or second liberation through the 80s was about inclusion.
Kanu suspended and expelled at a whim while criminalising thought and expression.
In new politically plural Kenya, the next phase of the struggle for inclusion was the nearly two-decades-long fight for a new Constitution.
In 1992, Kenya had became a multiparty state, but with a single party Constitution.
From 2018, the campaign for a review of the 2010 Constitution has been marked by a clamour for inclusivity.
Rightly so. President Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and the Jubilee Party have run a largely two-tribe government.
President Kibaki returned Kenya’s economy to a brilliant growth trajectory in readiness for Vision 2030.
But he turned a deaf ear and blind eye to the overwhelming dominance of strategic sectors of the public service and economy by one community.
And it was during Mr Kibaki’s tenure that “Pwani Si Kenya” (Coast is not part of Kenya), the clarion call of the secessionist Mombasa Republican Council (MRC), reached a crescendo.
Secession was the Coast’s weapon of last resort against exclusion from the economic mainstream via denial of land and from the world-famed hospitality and, therefore, lucrative tourist industry.
However, the inclusivity sold at BBI rallies does not tally with the age-old demand explained above.
It amounts to a campaign for executive jobs. Yet inclusivity is about the many and not the few.
Inclusivity is about equitable sharing of economic, political and social opportunities by all regions of Kenya. Yes, there’s a long way to go. A luta continua.
The political decibels are up again, accompanied by the same dance to political drumbeats.
It compels us to listen to new choruses, and hopefully, the desert locusts too. Will they heed? We Kenyans love watching, and now joining in, the “locust dance”.
We watch mesmerised as locusts eat our crops, taking selfies and sharing them on social media for “likes”! These locusts are determined to decimate our entire nation.
They lay millions of eggs that hatch on the ground. Are we merely going to watch and “like”? Just as we do with the political dances?
These locusts are a symbol of a vice, of the epidemic of greed that voraciously devours our values and resources, our faith and our goodness — and our seeming impotence to face them. And they start hatching at home.
Don’t you see how we teach our own to rush to watch, cheer and “like” the nonsense around us?
Thus, we give licence to anyone, to eat away at our decency, respect and honesty, while we record clips and “like”. And herein lies our undoing.
We entertain anything. Our problem is that we started tutorials in dishonesty in our own homes and families.
The masters of corruption once walked the village paths. Maybe we incubated “corruption eggs” by pushing unfettered craving for money.
“Study so that you can become very rich.” They now populate our corruption axis: on the roads as “toll-taking” policemen, in the offices as dubious procurement officers, in politics as foul-mouthed wheeler-dealers, in business as unscrupulous counterfeit suppliers.
Our communities and even some churches are the birthplace of corruption.
While we call out the swindlers of tax money, we are busy diluting the milk and training our domestic helps in dishonesty.
Some of these desperate workers spend Christmas in our homes without a taste of the roast goat our children are eating. These little “locusts” soon grow.
Corruption is the total lack of appreciation of the dignity and rights of another, and taking advantage of one’s position of privilege to exploit.
We teach it when we endorse lies and deprive weak people of their rights.
Corruption runs deep in the village culture, under the guise of survival. In our chamas, some members collude to squander collections; funeral committees never get the final account right because they help themselves to it; cooperatives are dying because two or three people lied to members about income from their farm produce; churches are competing on how much they can raise or the type of cars pastors or priests drive.
Kenyans, this “locust invasion” must be dealt with, courageously. It will only end when we stop letting them lay eggs in our home; when we each become brave enough to break the chain of corruption.
It means putting a stop to the culture of celebrating the “King-Thief”.
We must stop cheering and endorsing these false “bling kings”, and rather ostracise them and deny them “celebrity” status.
Let us keep the display of riches from our churches. Let’s ask our children how they got rich so quickly without a high-paying job or business.
Before we ask for the declaration of wealth from our leaders, let us ask about people in our families and communities.
I plead, don’t “like” the “locust invasion”, fumigate. The writer is the Roman Catholic archbishop of Nyeri and chair of the KCCB Anti-Corruption Campaign.
Need we mention the shrewd cartels in our education institutions that heavily “tax” unga, maize and other school commodities before arriving at the consumption point?
Yes, we are implicated, we watch the “locusts” eat, and paradoxically we eat with them!
CALL THEM OUT
From Nchi ya kitu kidogo, we have now been labelled Wanjinga Nation, dazed by greed, enchanted by the love of money and the false charm of those who have money — money without ethics and effort, that enchains the souls.
Must we sacrifice our own children’s souls for the love of money?
Kenyans, this “locust invasion” must be dealt with, courageously. It will only end when we stop letting them lay eggs in our home; when we each become brave enough to break the chain of corruption!
It means putting a stop to the culture of celebrating the “King-Thief”! We must stop cheering and endorsing these false “bling kings”, and rather ostracise them, and deny them “celebrity” status!
Let us keep the display of riches from our churches! Let’s ask our children how they got rich so quickly without a high paying job, or how they are driving such a vehicle three years after college.
Before we ask for the declaration of wealth from our leaders, let us ask about people in our families and communities.
I plead, don’t “like” the “locust invasion”, fumigate! Kenyans must disdain this cult to opulence!
The writer is the Archbishop of Nyeri and Chair KCCB Anti-Corruption Campaign