I will never forget that hot sunny day some years back, somewhere in Tharaka Nthi (Meru). I was standing there in the hot sun in one of my warmer suits with tears rather than sweat trickling down my cheeks as I squeezed a Kenya shillings one thousand note into the worn hands of a mother who had cried most of the way from Nairobi.
Mutula "Reforms" Kilonzo: Would you trust a lion to guard your sheep?
A few minutes earlier the tiny coffin that carried the remains of her 9 year old daughter had been lowered from the carriage of our minibus. We were going to bury a friend’s wife and had offered her a free lift in our minibus all the way from Nairobi to Meru.
Her daughter died because of corruption. There was no medicine at Kenyatta National Hospital to save her life because corruption made sure of that and her parents had no money to buy it elsewhere. She told me her daughter’s last words to her which will forever ring in my mind. She had said; “Don’t cry mama, I am going to heaven.”
To many Kenyans corruption is a joke. Something that is not too serious, after all Kenya has more serious problems like road accidents and violent crime. Right? Wrong!! The truth is that it is the ordinary folks (e.g. the Mathareans) who feel the full impact of corruption. While Westgateans enjoy the fruits of it.
A day after being appointed the new Justice Minister, Mutula Kilonzo had the nerve to say that in his many years of practicing the law, he is not aware of any clique out to derail reforms in Kenya. For those who know Mr Kilonzo that statement is hardly surprising. It is easier for a hungry Tana River crocodile to ignore a baby bathing on the banks of the river than it is for Mr Kilonzo to bring reforms.
Many Kenyans are not aware for instance of how rotten the judiciary system in Kenya is. An advocate who recently returned to the country and had to go and file her papers in the high court has been frustrated for the last 2 days because her conscience does not allow her to pay a paltry Kshs 500/- to facilitate the process. Just walk into any legal firm and ask them what "facilitation fees" are.
That is how stinking rotten our dear Kenya is.
Many times when I lose focus in this blog my mind goes back to Tharaka Nthi and to that hot Saturday afternoon and to that young girl who died because of corruption. What would she have been today? A lawyer, a doctor saving lives in some remote hospital? Or maybe some happy Kenyan housewife bringing up the next Barack Obama. Or maybe some cocky blogger posting excellent articles here. We will never know.
My post today is dedicated to her memory and to the memory of all those “insignificant” unknown Kenyans who have been casualties of corruption
You are dead right Mr Kilonzo, there is nobody fighting reforms. Excuse me folks, I need to throw up!!!