In response to a comment I made re: the article â€œOkemo, Gichuru Cost Taxpayers Billions in Loan Repaymentsâ€, someone in Mwaklishi accused me of â€œmaking it about myselfâ€ and being â€œa huge man with a big empty headâ€.
Another commenter asked me where I was when my â€œGodfather Raila Odingaâ€ was â€œfreecing (sic) Kenyans, with SCANDAL AFTER SCANDAL.â€ This same person then asked me to tell readers what I knew about a litany of scandals implicating the CORD Principal and/or those close to him.
The invectives and childish personal attacks aside, the one comment that drew my attention was the poignant â€œwhere do you (I) count myself?â€ presumably in the fight against the issues I repeatedly write about. The same commenter posed the question:
Why canâ€™t you (I) lead these Kenyans crying foul to action?
Being in the public domain, I avoid exchanges that portend confrontation or abusive language. I will occasionally engage folks who seem to have genuine concerns/differences of opinion about something I have written but my rule of thumb is to avoid engaging angry, obnoxious and impolite folks.
I do agree with the sentiment that there is a certain level of repetition re: what I write about, a â€œcut-and-pasteâ€ hum-drum drone on the subjects of corruption and impunity in the (current) Government of Kenya. These topics CAN be dry and tedious unless you are wonkish.
Confession: I am a public policy/political science wonk my profession in biotech engineering and passion as an author notwithstanding.
It is with this knowledge that my motherâ€™s caution continues to be my North Star whenever I put pen to paper:
â€œWuoda, ka iwacho adiera; kendo kiwache gi heshima gi dwond ma oluoro ji, kik iluor kendo kik ngâ€™ato bwogi.â€
Loosely translated, my madhe was saying thus:
â€œMy son, if you are saying the truth using respectful language, donâ€™t be afraid and donâ€™t let anyone scare you.â€
So let me be as clear as possible:
- I am NOT interested in political office.
- I am NOT an investigative journalist i.e. â€œjicho pevuâ€.
- I WILL NOT repeat my position vis-Ã -vis Raila Odinga (or Gov. Kidero for that matter) because that is old news and available in the public domain for anyone interested.
- Finally, I wonâ€™t even deign to respond to the baseless and bovine charges that my writing peddles â€œtribal politicsâ€, â€œtribal hateâ€ or â€œtribalismâ€.
Now about â€œleadingâ€ individuals who share a common goal, in this case a Kenya free of wanton corruption, there are many ways one can do that.
I choose to â€œleadâ€ using my writing (posted) on platforms the internet affords ANYONE. If and when I â€œcut and pasteâ€ any material, I almost always credit the source. I certainly donâ€™t want to be accused of plagiarism especially being a contributor to a leading global aggregator of news. In writing about the proverbial â€œissues of the dayâ€, I oftentimes give my readers some historical context re: the articles hence the sometimes pedantic nature of the pieces.
There are Kenyans in the diaspora who make significant contributions â€” monetary and non-monetary â€” to the country. They are also non-Kenyans with significant (vested) interests therein. Finally, thanks to the internet AND jet travel, the world has become a global marketplace of ideas and best practices. This being the case, I think of myself as a purveyor of perspectives on issues affecting a country â€” Kenya â€” the global audience including the â€œignorant jungusâ€ seem to care about.
The tinge of Schadenfreude some may detect in my writing is a function of the portmanteau â€œKensanityâ€ â€” â€œthe countryâ€™s tendency of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different resultsâ€ i.e. electing known kleptocrats and criminals into office then wringing their collective hands when these same people are implicated in one scandal after another.
I will end by paraphrasing Barack Obama and Mohandas Gandhi:
Publish YOUR riposte to my â€œcut-and-pastâ€ monotony and YOUR â€œinteresting readingâ€ re: the many scandals implicating Raila and those close to him â€“ including Evans Kidero.
And finally, Yes You Can Be the Change You Want to See in Kenya.
By Washington Osiro | email@example.com