Sunday, February 08, 2009
Kutakucha Kweli: The Coming Unrecognizable Kenya
Today I would like to start by helping some folks to save their valuable time. These people imagine that when they rubbish my posts here it hurts my feelings. There is a huge difference between constructive criticism and what I am talking about. Indeed I welcome the lively debate that takes place here sometimes (albeit momentarily before insults and name-calling take over).
Let me tell you a story. Shortly before the 2002 general elections (I had not launched Kumekucha in those days) I had a political discussion with some colleagues. Actually they were my employees in a business I was running then. I told them that President Moi was going to front Uhuru Kenyatta as his successor for president of Kenya. They listened and asked me a few questions. A little while later I came back into the office unexpectedly and was so shocked at what I heard them say. I stood at the door in disbelief as they called me some nutcase and even mentioned that the vehicle I had just purchased was proof of my bad judgment. Well everybody is allowed to have their own opinion on stuff, but the truth is that I was very hurt that day.
Kumekucha titbits: Did you know that corporate team building programmes have been known to turn around previously loss-making companies the world over?
But I have a come a long way since then. You will know that what I told those Mr-Know-it-alls was absolutely accurate and Moi ended up fronting Uhuru as the Kanu candidate in 2002. What has helped me grow a considerable thick skin is that “stupid stuff” I have said has tended to come true. Sample a few;
a) That certain “circumcision regions” would vote Raila Odinga in 2007. A certain old man at the Coast almost hit me with his bakora when I said this. He alsmot had a fit when I added that my research showed that Raila would carry most of Kisii.
b) I expressed great fear that Mwai Kibaki would not hand over power peacefully of defeated by Raila Odinga.
c) That Obama would be the next president of the United States (My dad told me in the face that he understood Americans much more than I did and that I was dreaming. He reckoned Hilary Clinton would effortlessly make it to the White House).
d) The next president of Kenya after Kibaki will be a younger unknown man who is completely new to politics. (Lets wait and see.)
Kumekucha titbits: After your long flight into
Kenya, do you want to seat in a traffic jam for
hours as you try to get into chaotic Nairobi? Or
would you prefer a budget hotel in the outskirts of Nairobi?
Indeed this last prediction is the subject of my post today.
Brace yourselves, I am about to say stuff that will make your ears ring. Some of it sounds like something out of a fairy tale. Please save this post and lets compare notes again sometime in 2013 if God keeps us both.
This is the chain of events I believe the country is about to go through.
1. The birth pangs for mother Kenya to give birth to the new Kenya are about to start. My prayer is that they are going to be as short as possible. Kenya is about to explode.
Now an interesting aside here is that I am utterly shocked at the fact that a vast majority of commentators here do not understand the common man in Kenya as evidenced by their comments about people stealing fuel from overturned trailers and trucks. I just want to put it very simply. I have had the opportunity of being down and out once in my life and I can tell you that when even 2 square meals a day becomes a struggle, the whole thinking of a person changes. For instance life becomes pretty cheap and you start wishing for death. I can assure you that if I was anywhere near a some trailer that overturned when I was down and out, I would have been the first to rush to the spot to “save” the pouring fuel and sell it off later for some cash, irrespective of the dangers. I know most of you cannot understand this “stupidity” and that is because you have never gone hungry.
Now the problem we have is that there are too many Kenyans who are struggling to put just a single meal on the table every day. That number is set to grow swiftly over the next few months as massive layoffs hit the economy (read this shocking article). This coupled with the massive corruption, skyrocketing food prices and the show of affluence by those Kenyans who don’t have cash problems, is going to trigger some sort of unrest on an unprecedented scale. Up market neighborhoods will be raided by the poor and beautiful houses even razed to the ground. My heart goes out to those few Kenyans who have made their fortunes without corruption because the angry mobs will not be able to differentiate.
2. When calm is restored the elections that Kenyans go into will have at least two completely new faces (who have never set foot inside parliament as legislators) running for the highest office in the land, and being front runners in that race. The old guard will of course put up a spirited fight by fielding a candidate who will be badly defeated when the results come in. People like Raila Odinga will rapidly vanish from the radar to the utter shock of some Kenyans who still don’t believe that Raila Odinga will never see the inside of State House as president. Nice man. He’s done a lot for Kenya but that’s fate’s verdict.
3. Prior to the unrest I mention above, political assassinations will hit the country in a big way causing major fear and anxiety. Many personalities will flee the country for fear of their lives. This will extend into the election period where the people who currently own Kenya will do everything in their power to stop any changes that will threaten their current good life.
4. After the troubles, the next government that comes into power will amaze skeptical Kenyans. For the first time we will have enough selfless leaders to cause massive badly-needed changes in the country. Kenya will be transformed literally overnight into a booming African economy and a model for others to follow. For the first time it will be possible for a nobody to make it big in business, just after Kenyans have voted a nobody into State House. Corruption will dramatically reduce and a new extremely prosperous middle class will emerge and take up a very powerful position in the new Kenya.
That is enough for now. Please digest it and tomorrow I will give you some more shocking predictions as I go into more detail concerning why things will happen in the way I am suggesting here. As I said earlier, save this post and hold me to account later.
Posted by Chris at 7:06 AM