King Kaka’s hit diatribe, “Wajinga Nyinyi”, has elevated social consciousness and public anger towards politicians and their shenanigans to a new level.
Kenyans are fed up with the political nonsense and failure by their leaders to address issues that affect them.
“Wajinga Nyinyi” effectively shifted public discourse from the President’s Jamhuri Day speech on conflict of interest to failed promises and manipulated masses. And the pain and anger is real.
Dairy farmers have reportedly begun pouring away their milk due to depressed prices and monopolistic exploitation by large sector players.
As DPP Noordin Haji and DCI George Kinoti were staging a dramatic arrest and prosecution of flamboyant Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, it emerged that corruption cases against a son of his predecessor, Dr Evans Kidero, had failed to take off due to “missing police files”.
Duty bearers are mediocre — at least by the President’s own admission.
It appears the President is confronted, on a daily basis, with irrefutable evidence that he has lazy, clueless and corrupt individuals in his government, yet he has not decisively fired anyone.
His official website still lists suspended Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich as in charge of the National Treasury and Planning. But why was he suspended and not fired?
There is a feeling that this government rewards mediocrity. We allegedly spent Sh11 billion on a BBI report that everybody agrees is shallow and didn’t go far enough, yet the mandate of the task force has been renewed and extended.
It is impossible to understand how Busia Senator Amos Wako remains on the team even after the Americans named him as a purveyor of cross-border corruption that should see him put in jail.
While we are squandering opportunities and resources on rhetoric and worthless schemes, our neighbours are fine-tuning their systems of economic growth and inclusive development.
Save for Burundi and South Sudan, everybody else is making demonstrable progress.
Rwanda has teamed up with the Qataris to build East Africa’s largest, newest and poshest airport, which will seriously threaten a JKIA already in irrecoverable decline.
Tanzania beat us on the SGR and the oil pipeline by lining up Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo and allegedly South Sudan as its potential clients.
Dar es Salaam will soon eclipse the troubled and rundown Mombasa port as the gateway to eastern Africa.
But there is more we can learn from Tanzania, including places like Arusha, the stronghold of opposition politics. Arusha is safe, clean and well laid out.
Roads are properly done — complete with sidewalks and conspicuously large functional drainage systems.
Small-scale traders operate freely, laying out their wares along city streets without impeding pedestrian traffic.
Drivers are courteous and pay attention to road signs. And land tenure laws have made land readily accessible and affordable for the native population.
Economic revival in eastern Uganda contrasts sharply with the widespread industrial decay across the border in western Kenya.
Tororo is no longer a nondescript little town off the road to Jinja, but an industrial hub, home to several cement companies and an impressive solar farm generating clean and renewable energy for some 50,000 households.
The agricultural town of Mbale at the foot of Mt Elgon is also thriving; cotton ginneries and tobacco farming have been revived.
To be internationally competitive, Uganda is opening additional border crossings with Kenya — beyond Malaba and Busia, which are heavily congested.
It is building a high-quality road in the district of Bududa, linking the border market of Lwakhakha to Mbale.
Typical of our mediocrity and lack of seriousness, Kenya wasted billions on a lousy road to Lwakhakha through Sirisia that is terribly designed and shows major engineering flaws.
Perhaps King Kaka is right: we are fools for tolerating mediocrity and being persuaded by political nonsense.
Mr Chesoli is a New York-based development economist and global policy expert.
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