Keeping Up With The Kenyans

I was reading the online version of the Daily Nation (one of Kenya’s major newspapers) earlier today. On the home page was the headline “Kenya Foreign Minister praises AU role on Hague cases.” What, you said? Yeah, that’s the same reaction I had. We are still patting the good old AU on the back for their involvement in the Kenya (read Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto) – ICC cases. It turns out that during a summit last year, the AU “resolved that serving Heads of State and their deputies should not be tried at the ICC…” According to the Foreign Minister, “AU decided President Uhuru Kenyatta should not attend trial in The Hague and he has not while Deputy President William Ruto has been granted partial excusal and does not have to attend all the court sessions.” Oh okay. Uhmm…good for you AU. Here is an imaginary standing ovation for achieving something that is neither here nor there in terms of Africa’s development. It’s better than nothing, I guess. Also, here’s an invisible round of applause for making what we, Kenyans, had been told is a personal challenge an AU priority. So much for your shift of focus to “an organization spearheading Africa’s development and integration.”

Speaking of the president acting on other people’s decisions, turns out it’s not just with the AU, it happens in Kenya too. A few weeks ago, the deputy president claimed that the president had been “misadvised in making some appointments that contravened the law.” The appointments in question were those of parastatal heads. One of the controversial appointments was that of Abduba Dida, a 2013 presidential candidate whose leadership capabilities are questionable at best. The other one was that of a certain well-known Kenyan, who shall remain unnamed and who has been in the country’s political landscape since the dinosaur days. Pray tell, how exactly is the president “misadvised” on such matters!? Isn’t he supposed to be well-versed in the lawful procedure of appointing public heads!? When his advisers hand him a list of names, shouldn’t he at least read up on those people to find out if they can deliver!? If they can effectively do the job!? So many questions which will probably go unanswered because…accept and move on…

Meanwhile, this is another headline, “Public schools unprepared for laptops as launch date approaches this term.” The government promised free laptops to all standard one pupils. It’s a great idea. Let’s promote technology and innovation in our country. However, steps need to be taken to ensure that the program is a success. If schools lack basic infrastructure, then what are laptops going to do for them? There are some schools where students learn under a tree. Shouldn’t the focus be on ensuring that they have furnished classrooms!? If you have tried working on your laptop for extended periods while it is on your lap you know how uncomfortable it gets. Do we really want our  children to be subjected to that!? Leap frogging is well and good and very welcome around this parts. However, there are some basic amenities that just have to be in place. Don’t we want to create a conducive environment for the children’s learning and to promote the effective use of their laptops!?

When oh when will we stop putting the cart before the horse!? When oh when will we stop with the band aid solutions!? When oh when will we start putting urgent issues on the priority list!? When oh when will our politicians stop pointing the finger and just take the blame for things they have done!? When oh when!?


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