From time to time, a patriot, on closer examination, can find near-half a dozen things to be grateful about. Today, in the post-mashujaa spirit of good citizenship, I examine reasons why I am particularly proud to be Kenyan.
1. No president for life
While some of our good neighbors have seen but a single president since the departure of the white man, we have been lucky to have had four presidents in a record fifty years. Quick division arithmetic, coupled with a bit of wishful thinking, would put each president at a term of 12.5 years, slightly over the two term American presidency. Aren’t we doing well? Aren’t you proud to be Kenyan?
One of the said presidents for life, in an interview earlier this year, proudly declared that age could not force him out of office because ‘his countrymen still need him.’ and need him they do because even though he announced that he would step down if he lost the election, he ended up with a landslide victory, or did he? Long live Rhodesia!!
2. Our president is not grooming his son to be president…or is he?
In March this year, it emerged that Uganda’s incumbent president Yoweri Museveni’s son held a very senior position in the army. The ‘daily monitor’, the paper that was unfortunate enough to get the scoop of this story speculated that the big man was preparing his son for the equally big office. The monitor ended up paying dearly for ‘disturbing the security of the nation by being shut down for a good number of weeks and consequently losing millions of shillings.
Fortunately for us, the easy-on-the-eye sons of our beloved fourth father of the nation are too young to be eyeing office. We are therefore, safe from suspiciously premeditated monarchism. But wait, did U.K predict a twenty year term for Jubilee? In that case, perhaps we need to start getting worried. After all, in two decades, the young boys will be all grown up and tremendously suitable candidates for a new ‘youthful –digital-government.
3. We have relatively steady Power supply, thanks you Kenya Power and Lighting Company.
Nairobians would frown upon reading this. Until I tell them that apparently, in Nigeria’s Lagos, power blackouts are as common as traffic jams are in Nairobi. The Lagos city citizens do not believe that the government of one, president Goodluck has any plans of ‘right-ing’ this wrong. ‘The government? Forget it Oh , they will not bother to put even simple street lights’. Said a Lagos resident in a recent interview. And so the’ Nigeria Power Holding company’ christened ‘The Nigerian power With-holding Company’ by Nigerians , needs a little nudging to awaken from their deep slumber and adopt a light attitude.
4. A Thinned out Cabinet in a not-so dramatic way; Thanks Mr. President.
South Sudan’s president Salva kiir on July 23rd this year , sent his entire cabinet home. He sacked them all, including his deputy. Not that he had much choice. The gentleman was under pressure from his people to deflate his bloated cabinet owing to the country’s economic situation. The challenge however, was that a bloated cabinet served to include all interest groups in the country.
This however, proved too hard for a young economy. With 29 ministers and their deputies enjoying luxurious and privileges the economy was seriously drained. The problem was, of course, made worse by South Sudans’ big brother Sudan pulling donor-like strings. Around that time, Khartoum closed the oil pipelines hence stifling the flow of the precious liquid that served as a major source of income for South Sudan. Talk of Shackles of Doom!
Fortunately for us, our digital head of state started off by naming just a single cabinet member and in his next conference called upon a shirt sleeve-arms-folded ‘William’ to help in the very hard task of calling out the few names they had carefully selected as their cabinet. Quite a relief after the excess unnecessary ministries formed to cater for the by-gone coalition government. And what’s more, there is talk of reducing the parastatals and facing out the unnecessary ones. Great!
Viva Forever, Kenya!