Monday, October 29, 2007
Uprooting the Mugumo Three
By Wanjiru Kinuthia-Hussein
Watching the events unfold as the countdown to this year’s general election calls to mind scenes from the last 44 years of independence, struggle for liberation, bad governance and prosperity for the few After Kenyans unanimously kicked the Kanu government out of office in 2002, it may be surprising to witness the elected officials who were mandated to ensure Kanu was kept out, inviting the same group to form part of our government.
But let’s delve deeper to try and understand why this happened, on whose mandate did the elected officials act? Was the ballot loud enough in the last polls as to who Kenyans wanted in their government ..... the most pressing question is ......Of what does this new Kibaki-Moi-Uhuru axis represent?
May be someone was right when he said "Removing Kanu from power is like cutting the mugumo tree with a razor blade." And yes Kenyans in the last liberation may just have cut the mugumo tree with "not a razor blade" but with a power saw. So now what is being witnessed is the mugumo tree shooting and trying to rise once again.
So the time has come to not cut it once more but to UPROOT it from its foundation "roots" and all that it stands for. In My opinion the "mugumo tree" now represents the three richest families in Kenya. It is also the families who have ruled us for the last 44 years and yes the families who own the most land in Kenya.
In his Book, "The Elusive Quest for Growth" William Easterly describes his World Bank visit to Cairo in Egypt in a conference to study the wealth and poverty of nations; he says that Cairo throws back the same question at his team. "Why is Egypt so poor four millennia after the pharaohs built the pyramids?" And He responds "a quick back of the envelope answer is INCOME DISTRIBUTION".
The Pharaohs had everything and the masses had nothing. The Pharaohs enriched themselves with the labor of the masses. Rich elites do a fine job of erecting monuments for themselves and selecting polices that ensure the status quo is maintained at the expense of the larger masses. So prosperity for the few in Egypt has lasted four millennia but the majority prosperity remains elusive.
So the time is NOW for Kenyans to choose prosperity, to choose to destroy the status quo and to choose polices that equitably distribute income. We need to choose leaders that will break this vicious cycle of rich few and put us on path to prosperity for all. Is it a wonder the poorest areas of our nations (Nyanza, Coast, North Eastern) have remained so each successive government? There is only need do one thing this December "UPROOT THE MUGUMO TREE" once for all.
Final word of caution to the voters. Most ambitious people have realized being in parliament is a career in and of itself and a sure way to enrich themselves given the perks earned by MPs. Be wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing, who purport to represent you but are only preying on your vote for what it can do for them .... You know who these are .....