Well, the past 12 months have no doubt etched themselves in the minds of many and will remain permanent bitter/sweet memories.
At a glance and not necessarily mentioning all worthy events
From the recent historic election of Barrack Obama as the first African-American President of USA, voted for by over 64.6 million against McCain's 56.9 million in a record turnout, winning 349 electoral votes against McCain's 163 and major wins generally for all Americans who want change and believe that "yes they can" have change.
On our own home front, in reverse chronology we have seen politicians and leaders flip flop over the Waki report and the dispensation of justice for victims of political violence.
Then there is still the issue or glaring absence of a clear statement on the hijacked ship and its cargo
Prior to that we had a Kriegler report that tried very hard to tell us in legal or official terms what we already knew and further on went to recommend and tabulate what we had all asked for many times before since 2000. Side note: I remember once being told that a consultant is the best job one can hope for. Step 1 client approaches consultant (of course with prodding from consultant) and explains problem, consultant writes it down, client approves and pays for the information. Step 2, client lists possible solutions to problem, consultant writes report, client visibly impressed approves and pays for it. Step 3, client recommends workable implementation schedule, consultant documents as before and client pays. finally step 4 client implements solutions to problems under the "watchful eye" of consultant and yet again pays for the services. step 5 consultant identifies some flaws in the process and we begin at step 1. Now please note I have nothing but respect for consultants adn the vast experience and knowledge that can be tapped into to arrive speedily at workable solutions, but there are times when we need to look internally for the consultant.
We have also seen the 10th parliament exercise muscle and "discipline" an "errant" Min. of Finance. Needless to mention that another commission with a "strict timeline of 1 month" is still yet to table the results of its findings 5 months down and still counting. I have no idea what this commission will learn, and the impact of its findings considering that parliament more or less impeached the former minister.
Recall also revisiting the Mau forest saga and the long term socio-economic and environmental impact vis a vis the short term gratification of some dubious leadership attempting to capitalise largely on community ignorance for political mileage
Then there was the song and dance of protocol, with grown men behaving like elementary school children trying to be first on the queue, complete with bands of supporters.
This of course was brought on by the historic Peace Accord that created the position of a Prime Minister in a brokered negotiation pitting the three or is it four intransigent musketeers from each "aggrieved" camp disputing or supporting the 2007 elections outcome.
And of course the unresolved but finally accepted "as is" 2007 elections fiasco
On the money scene so far we have to contend with the true dealings of the Grand Regency saga
And earlier on the Safaricom IPO and the fate of those whose deposits are yet to be refunded and those whose investment has perhaps not gone as expected so far.
More details on financial matters are best found at bankelele blogspot which does an excellent round up of the local financial scene
The most significant issues on the social scene are first of all the continued anguish and double or even triple tragedy of IDPs i.e.
i) the inability for IDPs to re-integrate. even todate there are reports that all is not going well with the resettlement of IDPs, notwithstanding the fact that a few unscrupulous individuals have tried to make capital of true IDPs plight, many IDPs are not safe to return and be re-assimilated back into the communities that they have lived in for a long time.
ii) dealing with and living with the trauma of atrocities visited on them every cycle of violence that peaks during elections and the unresolved underlying issues and causes.
iii) the inability or impotence of leadership to firmly and decisively deal with the criminals sponsoring, supporting and organizing ethnic and political violence and discrimination both past and current
the second social issue is the exponentially increasing recalcitrance by irresponsible persons in positions of authority as well as their influence/stranglehold on institutions resulting in rampant culture of impunity that has now overtaken the already entrenched and deeply rooted culture of corruption .
the third issue is the re-emergence of a deadly ethnic bigotry and intolerance that is both unbelievable in its stupidity and outrageous in how far, deep and fast its spreading unabated.
other issue is such as the inability of leaders to reach out to communities so as to mutually develop and map out solutions to long standing issues such as destruction of eco-systems in the case of Mau forest or bridge ethnic tensions and animosity/intolerance or foster working relationships. And even more distressing is that our leadership todate still spends enormous amounts of time dealing with historical issues and only a nominal effort on today and the future. Its very well to talk of a Vision 2030, but other projects such as Water for all by 2000, Electricity for all 200? etc have come and gone, where are the reports/commissions of inquiry seeking to find what went wrong and what should be done better even as we look into V2030. Was thrilled to read the report that last night suddenly Kenya Power was in a frenzy installing electricity at Kogelo, what a fraud, but hey its still a good sign.
No doubt you can find other high and low points to ponder about in your own environment similar to the samples listed above
But even as its easy to blame leadership, lets also look inwards at ourselves and reflect on what we as individuals or in small groups can do to hack away at some of these problems. We need to assume at some point that leadership has failed but we cannot (afford to) fail
Finding some mutually acceptable high points on the Kenyan public scene is comically tragic because its been a bit of a see-saw (or teeter-totter) effect, i.e what pleases one side will almost certainly offend another party & vice-versa. We can see this effect replayed almost daily in some of the near juvenile comments as contributors try to outshine or taunt each other. Sadly some of that attitude is what exploded early this year and is therefore an indicator of the social maturity of us all as Kenyans
So the purpose of this post dear friends is not to lament on the misfortune or gloat over some minor or major victory, but to see if at all its possible to find a path out of this circuitous maze or mess.
First is the success story of Obama
But am also drawn to this amazing story of courage and a willingness to forgive but even above that, the commitment and selflessness of this young man through all his pain to come up with a project that honours that memory that he holds very dear. Oh yes indeed, there are many who can relate to the pain, but how many have turned their circumstances around?
Warrick Dunn is an NFL football player whose mother was gunned down in a fatal robbery incidence. But through his grief he was able to instead give back to society by setting up a foundation that works with single mothers to provide them an opportunity (that would otherwise never exist) for their first home ownership. You can follow Warrick's story in this MSNBC article
Oh yes people, out there amongst us some real heroes and heroines who are reaching out and touching people in different ways in their communities. We all know some amazing Kenyan stories out there and it would be a new dawn if we could start exposing some of these efforts and initiatives so that we can identify and support or complement the noteworthy efforts, and hopefully in the coming years move away from all this incessant rolling around in the murk of yesterday and embrace a new dawn for Kenya.
At the same time in the little time remaining before the next election, we need to maintain pressure on leaders and not take our eyes off the ball or away from the main causes of our current tribulations largely due to an obsolete constitution, coupled with current lethargic leadership evidently playing to shadowy corrupt entities and at the same time start addressing the past and recent injustices, and this song has been played over and over.
So in a nutshell am asking, have you come across or heard a great story of a Kenyan or maybe someone else in Kenya who has really made or is trying their best to make a difference or making the best of a bad situation? If yes, it would really be refreshing to hear about it, if not, how about yourself, what are you doing in your small way to make a difference, or perhaps even better, is there a way we can all work towards (perhaps a non or less political or more precisely circumvent where possible some of these political warlords) approach to addressing our burning issues and come up with solutions and means to push through some of these items?
Oh well, thought I might just throw that out there.
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