No to Kenyans for Kenya, a Letter from an Angry Kenyan

By Zak Syengo / March 29, 2019




#KenyansForKenya, no, not at this moment. I have utter respect for human life and do not allude at all that we should just let people die from starvation and malnutrition. For sure something needs to be done, in fact as a matter of urgency. But it’s important to be clear that this stop-gap should not induce some level of myopic atmosphere that makes us not think of long term solutions.

And not 56 six years after independence. All people born in 1963 have attained a significant age of retirement. That comes with lessons, therefore, it is a shame if we have not amassed lessons for us to avoid scenarios in Baringo and Turkana counties.

In June 1963, when Mzee Jomo Kenyatta became Prime Minister, he promised to fight poverty, ignorance, and disease. He initiated a number of programmes and endeavors to ensure this dream was a reality. Our forefathers would seethe with anger and probably offer themselves as a sacrifice for our freedom again if they found us in this state.

County and national governments have networks almost to the village. They have representatives some activated during campaigns but a more formidable administrative system set up after assumption of office. For a county government official to claim that people are dying in a far-flung village and they have not been informed is not only incongruous but also disgraceful. Such late narratives from the officials of the county government leave a bad taste everywhere. It is actually a total disrespect to life and its sanctity.

The amazing thing is that government officials from these counties have been accused of enormous corruption deals in which millions of shillings were lost. Millions which could save lives of thousands of inhabitants in the vast counties. Most of the households require a dollar or two per day to deliver a meal on the table. Public servants in Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Samburu, and Baringo counties are amassing vast wealth in the rural milieus and urban centers alike while their natives fall by the wayside in hunger and malnutrition. It’s like the sheep owner who hands them over to the wolves and expects mutton in the fall of the season.

Why can’t we plan? We know the seasons of rains and droughts that almost form a pattern. We know when the gods of plenty come to bless our regions, and the deity of insufficiency arise to modify our lives. To date, many counties are not investing in water harvesting as a means of water shortage mitigation, neither do they induce agribusiness as an approach towards food security. We wait for the worst to hit us then politicize it. It is like standing right in the middle of Kampala-Entebbe Expressway and expect no casualties.

Therefore, this call for #KenyansForKenya is just like being caught between a rock and a hard place. We need accountability but we must save lives. If you know a trusted fellow who will deliver help to the needy in these counties, please pass it to them.





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