A few things about home

The say

A fool and his money are soon parted

and I contend here, we are country of fools and for this reason we will soon, each one of us will have to part with money, albeit not through treachery but as a result of actions some of us took a few months ago. During the run up to the plebiscite in March of this year, I did write a few posts, which, just like this one was read by few Kenyans where I told them for the love of the country let us be wise. For most people, then and now, it has been a question of us vs them, mainly antagonism between the Luos and the Kikuyus. I said then and I reiterate, when prices of commodities go up, they will not segregate and have a Luo or Kikuyu price, it will apply across the board both for the poor, middle class and rich alike. And until that day that we will wake up to the realization that it is a struggle between a few thieves, yes I call them thieves and the masses, we will continue to grow poor and poorer and the dream of industrialization will remain just that, a dream never to be reached.

The government has recently adopted a VAT bill[pdf], that was passed by our useless parliament which among its strengths is that it creates a less complex terrain for VAT compliance and determination starting with the reduction in the number of exempt goods and services from 3,000 to less than 50. Whereas this is laudable,  the net effect of this bill is to widen the tax base in effect increasing tax. The government is broke, very broke and it is huge, thanks to the drafters of our new constitution. It beats me why a country of 30 million should have 300 plus members of parliament without counting members of the senate and county assemblies, superfluous principal secretaries, several standing constitutional commissions that do nothing towards developing the economy but contribute to increasing our tax burden.

The reactions to the increased tax have been nothing but interesting. They show the level of discontent with the government and I hope it is only a matter of time before we go the Egyptian way. Am skeptical that we can rise up above our ethnic groups to say no as a nation to the political class. We are a nation of fools, that it would take help from the Olympian gods to even open just a few eyes. Everything is looked at through the prism of our person regardless of whether the person in question has swindled the public of funds. This apathy, exhibited especially so, by those Kenyans on Twitter[#KOT], a group one would think represents the middle class and the educated mass of this country is far from depressing.

https://twitter.com/Yekaken/status/375327502379388928

What I find interesting is that the deep political undertones are not far away as can be seen in the tweets below.

And even though there is displeasure with the bill, KOT have a few items they feel should be taxed more

https://twitter.com/superbvince/status/375327053509591040

Before I end this post, I can almost predict that crime will go up. The police or the NSIS can take this information to the bank. There has been no significant increase in the earnings for a majority of Kenyans, unemployment is at very high levels, the value of the local currency compared to international currencies is doing weak, we are a net importer of goods and as a result, the cost of living is going beyond the roof, that is if there is still a roof while the standard of life is taking a dive head first. This situation, which, as it appears to me the government seems to ignore or pretend doesn’t exist is recipe for chaos and civil unrest.

And that friends is where I stop with this update on motherland. I will let you know if and when we decide to say no to this greed but I hope we shall not have starved or internet will have become so expensive to keep blogging.

                                                                                 

Related articles

Board to ban milk hawking

Why Vat bill is a tax increase by parliament

Milk, book prices set to rise under new VAT regime

Kenya at 50

Friends since my last post we have had elections which as you remember I had talked about so passionately a while ago for two reasons; one regarding the choice of president and the second reason was to do with the conduct of the general populace after the voting and consequently after the tallying. On the first we tentatively have a president and I don’t like him [on that on a another post] and two you know things are really bad when friends call to congratulate for having a peaceful election not a credible one, as the one we had had been far from credible and I will at least attempt to show why.

With that introduction, I want first to educate you my friends about the history of our country as briefly as can be allowed in one post to where we are now. I ask you bear with me.

I will not cover much of the very early forages into the coastal areas by the Portuguese then the Arabs then Germans in the period of the slave trade since this I think did not affect the mainland in a big way but I felt I should mention it. We have a fort, Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese in Mombasa in the late 1400s and is one of the attractions at the coast. When you come to visit, please find time and visit.

The history am more concerned with and that is relevant to our topic of today begins with the British protectorate. The British initially had not so much interest in Kenya since the railway line they were building from Mombasa was to take them to Uganda. Things must have changed along the way since when by the time they got to the highlands they must have decided to make it a home. What happened next was the annexation of land owned by natives who were moved to reserves and these fertile highland areas became known as white highlands. The few communities that put up resistance were ruthlessly dealt with. As you all are aware, a time comes when even the slave says to his master and this is what happened in the events leading to the declaration of emergency by the then governor. The different communities [especially the major ones] had different grievances against the colonial government and were united in fighting the good fight. Many lost their lives, others were maimed and others were jailed.

In the history books used in lower and upper primary school [at least at the time when I was in school] presented a picture that I have come to know is different from the facts as they were. It was taught that Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of the republic and prime minister was a member of the Mau Mau and that he fought alongside the greats like Dedan Kimathi and other long forgotten heroes. Well this is as far from the truth as things can get. There was a fallout immediately by those who felt that he had betrayed the reasons why independence was sought. The divisions, who seeds were planted then, seem not to have left us and they have pitched two families, the Odinga’s and the Kenyatta’s,  in a long battle that is where we are now. The difference between the families as it seems to me has always been ideological. When Jaramogi resigned from his post as first vice president, it was on matters of principle. He could not stand the replacement of the white colonialist with a black one. We are at an ideological divide again, we have a fight for constitutionalism and democracy one hand and on another the maintenance of the status quo. Which know which side either family stands.

Sometime ago, I wrote a post where I said human beings as a race are stupid. Today I want to modify it to say that Kenyans are doubly stupid.  I will show you a few tweets from a group of Kenyans who occupy a class called the educated middle class.

image002

These ladies and gentlemen sending these tweets feel themselves as highly educated and progressive and are for all intents and purposes are as tribal as their grandmothers in the village who does not any better! What kind of generation is this. What do they do in the various universities or colleges you attend. Are you able to think beyond your tribe? Or is every issue to you to be reduced to tribe?

The election rules allow for petition for any aggrieved party, what is your problem if he goes to court? Why do you want him to concede if he can show the electoral process was flawed and was not free and fair. What is wrong with him exploring avenues allowed him by the constitution? Why does it seem to heart you so much that you lose all civility and engage in ad hominem attacks?

It is time you grew up from stupidity! If your can’t think for yourselves, let those among you who can think talk for the group but please spare us this level of stupidity and insults!

Unless you didn’t know, the courts exist for one reason, to help in resolving disputes. So while you take high ground insulting one guy who is asking that the electoral body answer as to why there were irregularities you are insulting him. Who is worse?

Look at yourselves, think about what you have written. Does it make you feel intelligent? Do you think you are ahead of him because you can write such invective? You are idiots of the first degree. You want to see more of your stupidity, I will show you and am not going to black out your names, no I want you to always remember when you come here that I called you idiots of the first degree.

Faces of idiots

Faces of idiots

Am still not done with you, those who so call themselves #KOT. You are idiots, you don’t read, you behave like sheep. You saw a friend tweet #someonetellObama and you joined the bandwagon making foolish idiots of yourselves, insulting a gentlemen whose only mistake was to make a wrong comparison while addressing a group of American journalists. Am not saying what he said was in order, am saying your responses were idiotic and does only to show how uninformed you are. I will show you a sample and judge for yourselves whether there was any sense in the vitriol you keep tweeting!

More stupid faces

More stupid faces

The media house kept telling us to keep peace. The question am asking and that must be answered, keep peace at what price? Is peace so important that you media personalities find it so hard to point out election malpractice? You have as a bunch failed in your duty as a public watchdog. You signed contracts to keep your mouth shut no matter what! Well, you forgot that there is electronic media and you don’t control that! While you kept your mouth shut, others were vigilant in ensuring that we do not botch this election. Well, it appears the powers that be may have had other plans. When this is finally over, please look yourselves in the mirror and ask yourself some hard questions, could you have done better? Was the best you could do? And while you are it, ask yourselves why did the BVR kits fail after the massive investment the country put in it. What is the size in bytes of a sms text that would jam a dedicated network? You who have asked us to keep peace must answer us to the price we are going to pay for the peace. You must tell us if integrity, credibility, fairness are also important. How is this peace you want us to keep to be fostered? Are these not the elements that make peace a default?

As I finish this post, I will quote from the speech Raila made on Saturday after the results were announced and I hope those of you who think you win by incivility and insults are deluded!

Those who say he should keep quiet, do you have an explanation for this?

What Kenyans witnessed instead was the failure of virtually every instrument the IEBC had deployed for the election, The poll books, the servers, the telephonic transmission, the BVR – they all failed despite the billions spent on acquiring them. Two days after the vote, the electronic tallying was discarded and fresh counting begun afresh via a manual count.

And for this

In Laikipia North constituency, on Friday the IEBC announced the results of the Presidential vote there – I had 11,908, and the Jubilee candidate had 11,361. But the Laikipia North results had already been announced by the IEBC the day before! The result then was different – I had 11,596 votes while my opponent had 9,707. Where did these extra votes come from? This is not the time to point to other examples of rampant illegality.

And please show some respect for the gentleman. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if winning by any means is what is important or should fairness and credibility be part of it?

But this time we have a new independent judiciary in which I and most Kenyans have faith. It will uphold the rule of law, and I will abide by its decisions. I will therefore shortly move to court to challenge the outcome that the IEBC announced a few hours ago.

And while you think about that, maybe this video will help you understand how flawed the process was and if you still have a conscience after this you will shut the fuck up! This is just one polling station in Nairobi. What do you think happened in the out stations? Please for the umpteenth time, I ask you use your brains this once!

An open letter to Raila Odinga

Dear Sir,

I hope this finds you well.

I know you are a busy man and therefore I will make this letter short. I will start by congratulating you on your nomination to vie for the presidency of this country and wish you the best in the election that is a few days away.

I am writing to express my disappointment with you, first in the five years that you have been prime minister and then on the conduct of ODM nominations especially with regard to those MPs who for lack of a better term I would call sycophants and family members. I admit that everyone has a right to contest any elective post whether they are your relations or not, but as one person who keeps telling us you stand for change, then you must through your minions obey the will of the people. They have said expressly they don’t want to work with your brother, sister and in-laws, don’t force them on the people. Speak up and walk the talk, give the people their wish and you will get to where you want to go or we will vote for your competition in spite and send you home to retire.

Mr. Prime Minister, you have said you want to see the end to nepotism and tribalism in this country but your conduct speaks a different language. I know your defenders would say that in the presidency of JFK in the US his brother was the Attorney General, nobody refuses that but look at it this way, you appointed your sister ambassador to the US, your brother was the Assistant finance minister and I don’t know what other members of your family have been appointed to state positions, don’t you think it makes you a hypocrite to criticize others or when your minions criticize others when you do the same thing. We need better leadership.

All of us have been made to believe you have fought for constitutionalism in Kenya. I think this is true but I want to submit here that when you had the power to do so, you failed to be a beacon of hope. You instead felt comfortable with appeasing your sycophants. I know politics is a game of numbers, but what do you think it would be your status among the general populace had you reduced your end of the cabinet to be within the new constitutional requirements? You would not have acted contra the constitution but would have been a beacon of hope of what we would expect in your government if you should win the election, as it is, there is nothing you inspire in me.

There is the big matter of corruption, I don’t know how you have performed in this sector. You were the supervisor of government ministries, unfortunately the reports from Transparency International show that corruption is still rife in government. The question is do you know and have chosen to be complacent or you don’t know and are inefficient?

On matters national security and asking us to be patriotic. There have been senseless killings in Taita Taveta and Garissa, you have a motorcade paid for by our money, it is unfortunate that you haven’t found the time to visit this families and grieve with them and yet you expect their votes! Are you hungry for power for power’s sake or is there something different we are to expect?

Five years ago at the end of the election that you maintained that your vote had been stolen I thought you would have learnt a few lessons. If your party cannot hold fair and credible elections what are we to expect of your presidency?

Lastly this is a bit of a personal matter. I have spent several days with this question and hope that someday I will get an answer from you. Of all the MPigs and good citizens we have in this country, is Kalonzo Musyoka the best choice of a running mate you could choose? This is a fellow you have been at loggerheads with for the five years of this coalition unless this has been for show. I know we are meant to forgive those who wrong us, I need to know what has changed in watermelon Kalonzo, when did he become a reformer, a proactive leader and what he now stands for? I feel really disappointed to say the least.

I hope to hear from you or one of your minions before the election date before I cast my vote.

Yours sincerely

Concerned voter.