The rapidly approaching "fire" is the re-election of President Mwai Kibaki for a second term. Kenyans are well able to stop this happening, especially the young people of Kenya who just need to unite and speak in one voice.
There are even those Kenyans who feel that a Kibaki re-election may not be such a bad thing after all. The feel that the economy has recovered and is growing at unprecedented levels and Kanu is out of power.
The facts on the ground are a little different. One thing in particular that Kenyans have failed to see to see, or feel the effects of, is the so-called economic growth. I tend to agree with the economist's view that I feel is very close to the truth that points in a different direction for the answers to the current so-called strength of the Kenyan economy. It is believed that Kenyans who are now scattered all over the world have been sending money back home for investment and upkeep at unprecedented levels which has kept the Kenyan shilling very strong and cushioned the economy against current adverse effects like that of rising world
. Apart from that the economic miracle of the Kibaki government is a mirage at best and a bad tasteless joke at worse.
Whatever your opinion may be, here is what Kenyans should expect from a Mwai Kibaki Re-election victory in 2007;
i) Disaster And Civil Unrest On A Massive Scale: Continuation of the current policies that ignore the plight of the majority of ordinary Kenyans especially in the area of job creation (the position of the Kibaki administration: Interest rates are low and banks are now eager to lend, why don't the penniless get working, go to the nearest bank and borrow money to start a business?). This administration believes that the Constituency Development Fund is enough to cater for the millions of Kenyans now living below the poverty line. This is a terrible mistake because this is a time bomb that will surely go off. We have already seen some tiny explosions in terms of rising levels of crime that are overwhelming the better equipped and much larger police force we have today. This big time bomb is bound to go off within a year of President Kibaki's re-election. Only a brand new administration headed by a new younger generation of Kenyans, preferably non-golf playing individuals, have any hope of seeing and addressing this priority with the urgency it deserves. It would also help if at least a few influential faces in such a new administration have used a pit latrine recently.
ii) More Commissions Of Inquiry: If you thought Moi had overused commissions of inquiry, then President Kibaki has taken them to new heights. He is now spending taxpayers money to constitute commissions of inquiry to probe members of his own immediate family. Something that can be sorted out in a 10-minute family meeting one lazy Sunday afternoon long before even the public gets wind of it, now takes up public funds and the valuable time of public officers. How else would one view the Artur's saga?
For the uninformed, commissions of inquiry are never meant to get to the bottom of anything. The idea is to be seen to be doing something while time passes so that people forget about the thorny issue at hand. Name one commission of inquiry in Kenya that has produced results to date.
Expect many more commissions of inquiry in a second Kibaki administration and no real solid action.
iii) Dozing off during cabinet meetings. The President will be 76 next year. By the time he completes his second term he will be 81 years old. Surely, let reason prevail as you answer this question. Is this the right age to deal with the problems facing the world today, let alone the problems facing most Kenyans that need radical new ideas to tackle?
The Vice President is the President's age-mate and then there is defense minister Njenga Karume. Those who are familiar with folks this age, please answer the following question; What are the odds of this cabinet staying awake and alert through a 30 minute cabinet meeting (no cabinet meeting is that short)?
iv) More Youth Funds Special funds are usually set up to help people who can otherwise not help themselves. Refugees, widows orphans etc. When a fund is set up to help the people who should be the most active in the economy of a country, then you know that there is something very wrong. In a second Kibaki administration expect the same policies that make Kenyans refugees and less fortunate in their own country so that more youth funds will be constituted to be administered by the same politicians who are experienced in handling funds like in the Goldenberg saga and Anglo Leasing affair.
v) Meanwhile Current Crop of youth leaders are growing old By the time the next elections come in 2012, Kenyans born at independence in 1963 will be approaching 50, 5 years away from the usual retirement age of 55. Is that the right time to hand over leadership to them? Mwai Kibaki joined the cabinet when he was 28 years old. He wants to leave when he is 81. Somebody help me make sense out of this.
vi) More Anglo Leasings And More Goldenbergs The financial scandals never end. There are those Kenyans who believe that because they are being exposed, somehow they will stop. Did you hear about the recent scandal where Cabinet Minister Njenga Karume sold land that he could not previously sell to the government. This administration says there is nothing wrong and everything was above board. Expect many more deals between senior influential cabinet ministers and the government that are "transparent and above board".
vii) We Will always do things the way they were done in the 60s So you are excited about the information age and what modern technology is capable of? And maybe you see it being put to good use to improve the lot of Kenyans? Forget it. Have you tried to talk to a person over 60 years of age recently? They see things very differently, the way they have always been since the swinging 60s. But Osama Bin Laden didn't exist then and neither were automatic weapons so easy to acquire for use in a crime. A second Kibaki term will be quite similar to this first one, a field day for wazee hukumbuka buffs, disaster for the nation.
If you are reading this and you still intend to play Ostrich or believe that there is nothing wrong with a second Kibaki term, then I have only one last thing left to say to you…
Will the last person leaving Kenya remember to switch off the lights…