Happy Madaraka.! We are living in an era where there’s a śtrong conflict between the science of health and the science of economy. Where the Executive organs that govern us have to choose between lives and livelihoods.These are times that history is drafted,and the bearers of every vital state organ, private sector, pressure groups should tread with stilth caution to live a good legacy and to enrich the spirit of Madaraka.
However, at this time that political parties are doing party reshufflings to save their legacies, alot other sectors are doing dehumanizing acts to print their new “legacies”. A week ago, a woman blamed two hospitals for the death of her 8-months old baby, having injected her with a wrong dose,the hospital further detained;her late pre-term baby,her logbook and her car. That is not a Madaraka spirit!
Malaba border had 50km trains-trafffic jam for 2 weeks!, KMTC quarantine facilities demanded erroneous prices of upto ksh 114,000 from their negative quarantined patients,Ministry of Water locally defying local court orders and internationally defying UN Special Reppoteur in Geneva asking Kenya to stop evictions during the covid 19 pandemic,put hundreds of kenyans in the cold in Kariobangi north with nothing to sleep under, to wear or to eat. Not a Madaraka spirit!
Kenya turned 57 on Monday. 57 years since the attainment of self-rule. Kenyà had had 4 presidents all presiding over abject poverty. In a time where other countries within the continent are recording high improvement rates on their curb against poverty, locally we are recording high improvement rates in the cases of poverty and regional inequalities.
Pòverty is embodied in one African widow. This widow has one dress. She washes it after a very long period of time with warm water because she can’t afford soap. That night when she wahes it, she has to hang it over the leftovers of her cooking fire so that it hurriedly dries up for the coming day break. She and her 3 children that evening have cooked and eaten a measly of ugali and some slimmy boiled kales, beause apparently she can’t afford oil. And under one tatterred blanket, they utter a prayer and jointly cuddle in a mat, on the floor of their round grass-thatched habitat. She cannot sleep, because in her mind is a battle on where the next meal for her children would come from the following day, and on her skin, cold. However much she desires to, she cannot afford to send her three children to school. Because as much as it is free education, a child has to have something put in her stomach in the morning, get clothed in uniforms ,be provided with some basic stationery. All this she cannot afford.
So famine is soon knocking at her door. She is a prey to a lot of diseases and highly vulnerable to dangerous infections like HIV, and when she is gone,the young illiterate poor children remain alone. Alone that is for them to be upgraded to higher levels of poverty, destitution and misery. This widow voted and pays tax. Haven’t we learnt something more shocking though? that in a middle of a pandemic where these “voted “ individuals ought to meet and dicusss how to cushion such families, they meet so early in luxurious drives and dressed so expensively to discuss the outsting of a very hardworking but rather “party disloyal” deputy speaker. Hiyo si Madaraka!
In 1975,JM Kariukui is quoted to have sounded an outcry on the alarming uňcaring treatment of the poor. He said “ we did not attain independence to have a country of 10 millionires and 10 million beggars “ not long after this, his bullet-riddled body was picked in Ngong Forrest.
As Tom Mboya put it, “until we stop having wealth without work, knowledge without morality and legacies without humanity we will never be self-liberate.” So until certain wrongs are made right, until a university student will not defer because of fees, until cases like of baby pendo will not exist again, until scandals of offshore accounts thronged with citizen’s money wìll cease to be monday headlines, until that herdsman in Moyale feels a touch of a positive government in his life,until reason precedes action, there will be No Madaraka yet! Happy Madaraka?
- Written by Max Ogola