We Need Redemption But First, Understand Our Situation
The past few days have been very bleak for many Kenyans, especially for those who lost leaders, family members, and friends in the Helicopter crash in Kibiko, Ngong forest. The fatal crash is an incident that has rekindled memories of similar such accidents in the past claiming lives of prominent and hardworking Kenyans. While our hearts and prayers are with the bereaved families many questions are lingering in people’s minds querying the troubling frequency and pattern of air accidents in Kenya. It is true we have, as a Country tolerated privatization in many sectors such as in education and health, but the air travel industry has largely remained an oligopolistic market, a preserve of few wealthy individuals, multinationals, and state institutions. As a high end and specialized sector, it is an out-of-bound territory for quacks, yet like any other business interests in the market, it must meet operational objectives, to break even, achieve bottom-line and make profits or let’s say make ends meet.
There is a serious problem that needs urgent attention. You can readily agree with me that our public safety record is pathetic; the regulatory codes are either nonexistent or ineffective. Whether it is for blatant disregard for seat belts, non-adherence to building construction codes, or failure to respect health warnings on hazardous substances, - many lives have gone to waste be it through road carnage, from recklessness of all kind, or intoxication from ethanol based illicit brew. Without prejudice and speculation, the ill-fated Euro copter is a modern aircraft and as attested by the flight history as we are told in the news, something must have gone terribly wrong for the chopper to drop from the sky. One critical factor to be considered prior to any flight operation is the air worthiness of vessel(s) available for use. The import for flight operators from the flight plan is flight safety, which for all purposes and in the commercial sense overrides the mission. The age of an aircraft does not matter; it cannot in itself guarantee air worthiness without a convergence of many variables that are in concert. I will leave you at that and the work of investigators is cut out.
Life is an evolution of experience, it is from here the old adage, and experience is a best teacher, gained full credence and usefulness.
In shaping the future of their society leaders depend on their core abilities and experience to steer community or nation towards progress. Experience can be a source of good or bad and we cannot expect to benefit from a negative, unyielding source.
We are in control of our political destiny and must resist falsehoods and machinations from replacing the truth. We acknowledge it is a daunting challenge considering the flexibility and mobility with which falsehood spreads its tentacles; but focus and resilience is what we only need to overcome it.
Civic education is usually undertaken as a preliminary to elections with the objective to educate the voter so they can make rational decision that meets the expectations of a democracy. However, for the most part, the outreach program is inadequate or bungled by partisan interests at the expense of the common good. We have seen what has happened with our new constitution already, where backdoor amendments are introduced or provisions of the law are overstepped by the powerful branches of government.
Well, the best part is, times have changed and the drivers of falsehood in the society are becoming endangered species, caught up in harsh environment - new habitat which is proving extremely difficult for adaptation. I am talking about the digital world of globalization where the Washington convention is a religious creed and those who defy it are relegated to the dustbins of history as opposed to a new chapter of world civilization.
While reading a chronicle by a seasoned US Congressman, Rep. Robert Wexler representing 19th Congregational district in Florida, I picked a few crucial lessons in politics that is not available to our local politicians. During the build up for the second gulf war, as the White House was busy consolidating plans to invade Iraq mid in the year 2000, Wexler one day, used to drive past a homeless, crazy guy who was always stationed at one corner within the Capital hill precinct. One day, this crazy man was hysterically shouting, protesting and making his views known, that there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, the basis for White House declaration of war on Saddam Hussein. As a strong opponent of the gulf war, the Congressman was very pleased, he enjoyed the sound bites of the crazy guy yet baffled by the act of homeless partaking in the controversy, the hottest of all political events at the time - the invasion of Iraq. Obviously, the US was not able to find a scintilla of WMD evidence in Iraq. The crazy’s estimate had proven right and a lesson was delivered - the need to pay attention to details, including information from the street level, from the crazy fellows.
Then there was another lesson you need to succeed in political competition. Evidence has shown that negative campaigns are more effective in winning elections than fair play with regard to debate on political issues. A good politician must not allow opponent to define, draw their picture in the minds of the electorate. They must be ready to counter, punch back responding in kind whenever a competitor throws mud at their way. For the supporters, what is at stake is the desired outcome, to elect a truly capable and devoted representative. It is therefore instructive for the voter to understand that in the political game, what they hear or see is not necessarily what one will get. They have to rely on their best instincts in the absence of a credible entity for political direction rather than influence exerted by powerful brokers and euphoria generating forces.
I know I have engaged you in endless the parables but I want you to know Kenya is finding itself at crossroads. We are free riders, with privatization in so many areas, up to and including the rule of law. A nation that goes open orders in privatizing everything without safeguards cannot survive for long. It is just about time to go back to the basics. There is every reason to start the process of rejuvenating our nation, to join the movement to rebuild and restore Kenya.
By Mohamed Adan Wato, Major (Rtd.). Mohamed is the author of the book "Walking a Tight Rope Amidst Kenya Post Election Violence".
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Mr. Mohamed you are getting it right. It is a pity Kenyans are always at the receiving end as these corrupt politicians keep on with their arm twisting business. How come we have forgotten the ills, - Goldenberg, Hospital scandals, Anglo leasing, Magaryan, Post election Violence, tribal clashes, land grabbing, Syokimau, IPO madness, cattle rustling, Mt Elgon massacre name them,.. all corruption scheme you know and here we are in 2012 again following the same same criminals..
My candidate of Choice is Martha Karua or the down to earth former P.S. Kiyiapi!!!
Enough is enough people!!.......