"An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep." The leadership of Kenya, in its current form, appears to have lost its way, prioritizing greed over governance. It is up to the people, united in their cause, to demand accountability and justice.
In a twist that seems ripped from the pages of a dystopian novel, the government of Kenya has embarked on a legislative journey that might well be described as “robbing the poor to feed the rich.” With the proposed Kenya Roads (Roadside Stations) Regulations, 2023, it appears that the government, once a beacon of hope for the downtrodden, has now turned its back on them.
The regulations propose fees that could only be described as draconian, targeting the most vulnerable in society. In this satirical piece, let us dissect these measures, armed with proverbs from the Arab world, to unveil the grim reality beneath.
“Give him a finger and he’ll take an arm,” goes a saying that perfectly encapsulates the government’s approach. Initially, promises were made to uplift the poor, yet now, the government seems intent on squeezing them for every shilling. The imposition of a Sh3,000 daily fee for owners of temporary structures on road reserves and a staggering Sh50,000 one-off fee to direct stormwater into public road drainages is nothing short of avaricious.
The Arab proverb, “The camel went to seek horns and lost his ears,” aptly describes the Kenyan populace’s plight. In seeking prosperity and growth under this government, they are now at risk of losing even the little they had. The proposed regulations add an unbearable burden to families and businesses, already struggling under the weight of existing county charges.
As if mocking the struggles of its citizens, the government proposes a fee of Sh100 for every square meter per day for temporary settlements, with charges even higher in cities. It’s akin to the proverb, “They asked the fox who his witness was, and he said, ‘My tail!'” Here, the government, acting as both judge and jury, justifies its actions with regulations that serve none but itself.
Moreover, the disparity in charges between city dwellers and those outside the urban centers, though slightly lesser for the latter, still reeks of injustice. “The rope of lies is short,” and it seems the government’s deceitful promises of upliftment are unraveling quickly.
The additional administrative fees for short-term leasing of road reserve space, coupled with annual rent and a baffling annual rent escalation rate, are reminiscent of the saying, “You can’t clap with one hand.” The government expects its citizens to bear the financial brunt of these regulations alone, without offering any tangible benefits in return.
As these draconian measures loom over the horizon, the rich and corrupt, seemingly in cahoots with the government, stand to benefit. The proverb, “The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on,” illustrates the plight of the common man – their protests and cries fall on deaf ears as the government continues on its path.
This situation brings to mind another saying, “Visit rarely, and you will be more loved.” The government, in its omnipresence through these regulations, becomes an unwelcome guest in the lives of its citizens, suffocating them with its demands.
“The best answer will come from the man who is not angry,” suggests that the response to this governmental overreach should be measured and strategic. The people of Kenya, though rightly incensed, must channel their frustrations into collective action and civil discourse.
To say, “Trust in God but tie your camel,” would be apt advice for Kenyans. While hoping for better days, they must safeguard their interests, mobilizing against these unjust regulations.
“An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.” The leadership of Kenya, in its current form, appears to have lost its way, prioritizing greed over governance. It is up to the people, united in their cause, to demand accountability and justice.
As “The mouth is the measure of the meal,” so too should the government’s promises be a measure of its actions. The stark contrast between its campaign pledges and its legislative agenda lays bare a betrayal that should not go unchallenged.
Finally, “Patience is the key to relief,” serves as a reminder that the struggle against these regulations will not be easy or quick. However, through perseverance and unity, the people of Kenya can overcome this adversity.
Therefore, the proposed regulations are a test of the Kenyan spirit. Will the people acquiesce to these oppressive measures, or will they stand firm in the face of adversity? The government, in its hubris, may have forgotten one last proverb, “The oppressor will not sleep forever.” The time for accountability is now, lest the vibrant nation of Kenya finds itself on an irreversible path to ruin.