Merriam-Webster defines it as capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress. You wonder why I bring this up, but hear me out.

In many fora, I hear people say Africa is resilient. Speaker after speaker talk about how Kenyans are resilient, that we manage as a people to recover after tragedy but I disagree with these speakers. They are spreading a gospel I can’t consciously agree to. I am not in any way opposed to resilience, not at all. So I hope I am not misunderstood.

My argument here is that as Africans, generally, and Kenyans in specific, we have learnt to survive. There is nothing great in surviving bad leadership. What choice have we? We must keep surviving or we perish and I don’t want to call this resilience. It is just basic common sense.

I have mentioned the drought in parts of north eastern Kenya and other semi arid areas. Drought is a natural phenomenon but famine is not. Famine points to a failure of societal structures to ensure food and other produce reach the intended users at all times. Where the government has failed to make this happen and instead asks for relief aid, shows not resilience but a case of poor governance. But we will not hear this in the press. Every speaker shall be talking about resilience. No, we can’t continue like this. We must demand better.

Let us first, as Africans demand that the state system that we pay for works, delivers service and then we can talk of resilience when there is calamity. As things stand, we live in a continuous calamity and we can’t take credit for mediocrity.

Maybe the only time we came close to resilience was surviving the pandemic but at what cost? Many businesses closed. Many people lost jobs. Relationships were severed. Maybe many lives were saved too, I don’t know. Maybe, given that it was expected that we would die like flies during the pandemic, and since this didn’t happen, some have taken this to mean resilience. I wish I felt the same way.

Maybe some day, we will really be resilient. At this time, we will have systems that work and our resilience will be tested when one part of it fails or is attacked by external forces. Until then, don’t call us resilient. We are survivors. We want to be more than survivors. We want to live. If you ask me, maybe we don’t even want to be resilient. A good life, a beer here with friends and bbq with enemies would be a good place to begin.

Maybe I am not making any sense.

Have a great week everyone. Be resilient.

Governments in crisis

Most of the posts on Covid19 I have read are either about the dead, the economic impacts of the control measures or those questioning the rationale of the restrictions put in many places around the world.

The authors of this post look at a different dimension, but still important in the covid19 pandemic- governance. Do you think your leaders were deluding themselves- take the case of Magafuli who has said Tanzanians should continue going to church as they can’t get the virus there- or manipulating the populace- think China and claims of censorship?

thoughts in season

In a previous posting, the words of Engels came to life in describing the current state of affairs in Kenya. And in this, in giving life to the words of Karl Marx, I noted that Muigai is the recurrence/ reincarnation of the first Ngegi only this time as farce. The first Kenyatta borrowed money from Int’l partners to buy back land from settlers, land that had been stolen from the natives in the first place. The money ended up in the pockets of his powerful friends and a few well placed individuals. That was tragedy. The 2nd Kenyatta went on a borrowing spree unparalleled in the country’s history and large chunks of this many is said to have ended up in powerful people’s pockets. Because of his greed for loans, the country is now in a perilous state, no tax revenues to run government programs as most businesses have shut down and a broke treasury that is incapable of rising to the challenge of meeting economic slowdown occasioned by the pandemic.

Having said that, one would hope that it is finally apparent that governments ought to invest in healthcare facilities, personnel, research and development etc. The executive and parliament need to wake up to the realization that building capacity in our local hospitals is critical not just for the poor people but even for them. The current pandemic has made it clear to all those that can see that this government  lock-downs means they would depend on local institutions for their healthcare. Institutions they have de-funded through the years by low budget allocations and stealing with their relatives whatever is left. County governments should invest in health institutions but even our governors are busy competing in how much of public money they can steal.

I am ashamed to say that most of our universities have come out embarrassingly inadequately prepared for the 21st century.  I am not even sure they have developed procedures to continue to offer lessons online to their students. In terms of response to covid19, all I have seen is university departments producing sanitizers. I do hope that our biochemistry departments are at the forefront in developing reagents that can be used locally to increase the capacity of the country to test the cases. There is need to increase funding for research and development.

In the same vain, those of us in the construction industry should be at the forefront, together with the universities in developing innovative building materials and building our capacity to produce most of the inputs required in buildings. We must take advantage of the pandemic to rethink our relationship with the rest of the world.

this is a w-i-p

How does it happen

that man, who calls in professionally trained doctors rather than shepherds to treat him when sick, has no reason, when well, to let public affairs be conducted by windbags no better qualified than shepherds?

                                                                                                           Ulrich, the man without qualities

On why politicians should have brains

I have expressed my disdain for politicians and pastors. However, the group of politicians I find most despicable are moronic ones and in this group, honorable mentions go to the political leadership of Nairobi, kiambu counties, just to name a few

Without providing alternative, reliable and efficient public transport, the idiots running Nairobi think that by raising parking fees, they will solve the congestion problem. You should note that this seems to contradict what the Muigai’s government, a not so clever one for that matter, is doing. Instead of assisting county government of Nairobi plan for public transport, they are expanding roads which we don’t need in the short and long term.

Maybe, it is really true, fools can’t be helped.

Before those like him come to harass me, I know businesses and offices are moving away from the CBD as a result of congestion, filth and better spaces available elsewhere.

I advocate for public transport including NMT. The county government has a duty to provide transport services to the residents. Raising taxes and levies without providing alternatives is plain stupid.

But maybe Nairobi and the country generally loves its leaders stupid and ignorant.

51 years of self governance! Really?

Those who have been visiting this blog for a long time now know that am not a patriot. I cannot be one. I don’t know one can call themselves a patriot for whatever piece of rock they inhabit and not feel bad about themselves. I find religion abhorrent but at least we can say religion was invented by our ignorant forefathers who saw powers greater than them in all things they couldn’t explain. At least we now know a few things and know they are no ghosts or demons behind a bout of malaria. Patriotism on the other hand is a calculated delusion by the ruling class to keep the rest of stupid masses in subservience. They preach patriotism to make you ready to pick up arms at the slightest provocation in the name of defending your borders. How stupid men are!

Last Sunday, the country was celebrating 51 years of self governance. As I have always said, our founding fathers erred at the point they chose Jomo for the first president. He was not equal to the task. There were better and more qualified men and for this I especially find our first vice president culpable. Maybe he saw things differently, but now with history as our guide, it was a mistake.

The second mistake was to have Moi lord over us for 24 years. By the time he was toppled in the election that promised hope to the people, the country had been so polarized along tribal lines, corruption was the order of the day, police harassment was the norm rather than the exception, poverty had reached levels beyond measure and employment had reached such levels that are no longer tenable.

The election of Kibaki, he of I have one wife press briefing, was seen as a harbinger of good tidings. Well, people were fooled, and terribly so. He said one thing and did the exact opposite. In his rein, tribalism was made a god, how christian of our christian nation, people worshiped at its foot. He shamelessly appointed his cronies to government positions regardless of whether they were beyond retirement age as long as they answered to the mother tongue. It is during his time in office that we had the worst psot election crisis ever witnessed in this country and which gave us the current clowns in government. A government of thieves run by thieves! One wonders when will people ever wake up and say enough is enough. We have run away cost of living, unemployment is at an all time high, poverty levels are unspeakable and they shamelessly can pay ghosts billions of shillings. When will the so claimed elite class wake up and realize they have been fucked for so long and it is time we said no, not anymore.

If this isn’t bad enough, that same Sunday, some Kenyans who use twitter had the nerve to tweet that the clown is god’s gift to the country. What level of insanity is this that an educated person who possibly is of the voting age can write such an asinine remark. A clown whose election was contended at the supreme court, and even if it was settled by that not so august house, is still a matter of contention whether those men and women acted judiciously. It is sad and disappointing. I hope that we will leave to future generations a better country.

The offending tweet

and my question

I hope that one day men and women will rise to say no silliness, no patriotism, and no to government servitude in all its forms.

Moving on

When I last wrote about politics, a case had been filed in the Supreme Court of Kenya challenging the election of the Uhuro duo as the president and vice president. The case has since been decided and the ruling was delivered Saturday and we have a president who will be sworn in a few days from now. My friends who are worried for my safety shouldn’t, at least we are not trying to kill each other.

The jury is still out and it will be for a long time to come whether the decision by the SCOK was to safeguard constitutionalism. Here and here are just a few of the articles I have laid my eyes on concerning the ruling. I will let jurists, political scientists and other pundits to talk about this for generations to come. That notwithstanding, I will say my two cents on the matter. To start with, in as much as I support universal suffrage where everyone eligible to vote should, I have some qualms with such a system. It allows anyone  to participate and this to me is it’s greatest weakness. I don’t know a better solution to this problem but I think there ought to be a way of determining who can or can’t vote.

We are not a democracy neither are we a united nation. No, that is a sham and you are a fool to believe it. We are a group of tribal nations forced to live together by the colonialists within a randomly drawn border making a country called Kenya. Anyone who believes differently is an idiot of the first degree.

When the matter of the election was taken to court, it soon came to [at least following what I observed on social media] a contest between the two ethnic groups at the centre of this matter viz the Luo and the Kikuyu. Very few people took time to consider the merits of the case, the impact it has on the future conduct of elections and whatever democracy we are trying to build. Insults and invective was the order of the day. Any time an issue was raised concerning the conduct of the election, people could reduce it to a tribal matter regardless of how far removed it was from any ethnic consideration and it is a shame that the people involved in this exchange are those we would want, for a lack of a better word, call the elite and the future of the country. What future are we talking about? We behave like savages, the only thing that stops us is the state control on arms but in essence we aren’t any better than the Syrians or the Somalis indeed we could even be worse!

I am proudly Luo. Am a humanist to the core but at the same time am proud of my heritage as a Luo. I will not hesitate to speak out against Luos, no, am an equal opportunity basher and no one is exempt. You can call me tribal if you will but remember I didn’t choose to be born along the Lake Victoria basin and I have not treated anyone as being different or less a person than I am because she is of a different tribe. Acknowledging my Luo heritage doesn’t make me tribal. I have written that I stand for equal treatment of all, regardless of religion, race, gender or status in the society. I have said strongly that I abhor all forms of slavery and am equally against any forms of favoritism that disenfranchises an individual[s] based on factors out of their control.

Having said this, I must now say what I think [ the Kibunja’s commission that is busy arresting people for hate speech-what does this even mean- please listen]. It was wrong for the high court judges that heard to the case challenging the eligibility of Uhuru and Ruto to run for president to not find a problem with their candidature. Anyone having a court case in future has every right to refer to this case when they are running for office and their eligibility is questioned. It is to me a failure to discharge their duties as they swore to do  when they took the oath of office. Anyone who for a moment thinks we have an independent judiciary is deluded. I am not asking anyone to agree with me, but if you are going to disagree you will have to show cause why you think am wrong. It is not lost on me that some judges have acted to assert their independence, but please tell me how many these are and how many cases of national importance they have dealt with.

It was a failure by the media to point out that it was wrong to allow Uhuru and Ruto to run. Please don’t give me the line of benefit of doubt. I have neither the time nor the patience to grant them that. If you have please do but I don’t want to hear it. I have said in several posts that we have the second most useless media anywhere in the world [I don’t know the first]. Many Kenyans have a false aura of superiority. To get a small glimpse of what I mean, one need only need use the twitter hashtag #someonetellBotswana to get a picture. If there are any areas we have excelled, they are not so grand that we have bragging rights to insult our neighbors whenever we feel slighted. It is stupid and cheap and guys have to grow up or sooner you will have eggs on your faces.

I will say here that I am a supporter of candidate Dida. His only failure at least to me was his thinking we need to pray to god whenever we are faced with problems and I will say am a great fan of Raila Odinga, yes I am, go ahead and call me tribal. He stands for something so dear to me. He is our connection to the fight for democracy and constitutionalism, a journey began by among other Jaramogi, Oneko, Rubia, Pio Gama Pinto, J.M Kariuki, Anyona among others. It is also not lost to me that  he has many faults which I pointed out in my open letter to Raila. He is a great statesman. His losing the petition is not only a personal lose to himself but it is a loss to anyone who cares about rule of law and constitutionalism.  And those who take offense, the tribal bigots when I call you fools take note that neither a Raila or Uhuru or any other person’s presidency for that matter brings food to my table, no, I still have to work for it. But you must know that a Raila presidency is a step towards national cohesion, constitutionalism and a semblance of progress.

The SCOK failed in its mandate to uphold the constitution. It is indeed strange that people like the chief justice, Willy Mutunga, who claim independence of mind, would make such a ruling. That all of them agreed that the election was free and fair in the face of evidence to the contrary citing late filing of evidence, shortage of time and I don’t know what else is a sign of the careless that I think is unparalleled anywhere in the Commonwealth of nations. It is one institution that I can’t trust to defend my rights and freedoms should I be aggrieved by the state. Many of you will hail the decision, many have already done so, calling it Solomonic [whether Solomon was the best judge, the jury is out] and adding that it will be an example to other countries in the region and beyond. What lesson is this they will learn from it? That the supreme court of the land will not consider evidence because they are short of time? Someone please tell me that there was a dissenting opinion. Am beyond shocked that someone in their right minds would think there wasn’t evidence to show that the election wasn’t credible. It is indeed abdication of duty to make such a ruling and the judges must remember they failed in their mandate. I will say again that this court is useless and is to me a sham.

The parliamentarians who were recently sworn in have as their first order of the day a desire to increase their salaries. As you can recall in the open letter I wrote to the MPigs last year, I did ask that their first duty be reduction of their salaries, those of PSes and other state officials earning obscene amounts. It appears to me and to those who have eyes that we are going to be fucked from the ass by this house. It is indeed worrying that both houses are controlled by the government, many of them people who give a rat ass about constitutionalism. I allow those celebrating to do so now, but in a few short weeks we will be together when things come to ahead. There are those of you who think those of us raising such matters are doomsday prophets, but ask Americans what happens when you elect a not so intelligent guy for president, you end up fighting wars you don’t need and budget deficits only shallower than a black hole.

As I finish therefore, a word of advice to all of us. If this country is to move beyond tribal enclaves, then we must do something about our institutions. We must look ourselves in the mirror and ask hard questions of where we want to go and how we will get there. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and hope that tribalism will go away, nepotism will go away and corruption will go away. We also must be concerned with party politics not just as organs for getting state power but as drivers of opinion, good governance, democracy and constitutionalism. We must put our elected leaders to task. We are their paymasters not the other way round. The media has to examine itself critically and ask themselves whether the independence they claim is real or just a mirage.

Lastly, though am not sure he will read it, I advice Raila to go for holiday in the Bahamas, take up some job in some country where ideas are valued and send his greetings every once in a while when we are fucked just as a reminder that we need to be smarter in future.

Here is Raila’s concession speech

This dear Kenyans is my rant.