11 Jan 2013
As some of you may know, we had an incident in Korogocho yesterday where after successfully addressing two rallies within korogocho our campaign entourage was accosted by rowdy youths who demanded payment for "security" services in other words protection fees!
Three of the ladies accompanying me, one an aspirant, lost their jewellery and a camera while one media house lost a camera stand and bag.
The incident is unfortunate and sadly, a larger portrayal of the issue of poverty that is afflicting so many Kenyans, especially our young men and women. I am glad that even in situations of extreme poverty like yesterday's, reason can prevail. At the height of the rowdy behaviour I alighted from my vehicle and engaged the youth, urging them to abandon the culture of using force and violence as a means. And to their credit majority heard me and escorted me back to my car . Unfortunately a section remained rowdy and had to be dispersed by my security to enable us to leave.
It is important to highlight that yesterday's rowdy behaviour is linked directly to the issues of poverty, joblessness and the desperation that is driving many people to live lives of crime and aggression. These are issues that must be urgently addressed! And which were neglected by the coalition government as part of the Agenda four reforms. Reforms which included a specific call for addressing poverty and inequality. It is this desperation that is exploited by the political class to fuel electoral violence. These are the issues we must address as citizens and as voters. Our votes can and must usher in a regime that can put the interests of people and the country first!
Despite economic growth, the gap between rich and poor has increased and half of Kenya’s populations lives below the poverty line - the so called Nairobi half life!
Corruption and the culture of greed and self aggrandisement coupled with the failure of the executive to prioritise poverty reduction measures has exacerbated this problem.
The recent parliamentary award of hefty retirement packages for the president, vice President, Prime minister, speaker, deputy speaker and other senior public servants and lastly members of parliament, is a good example. It not only burdens the tax payer but it is totally insensitive at a time a majority of Kenyans cannot afford a decent meal every day!
But we must look at this in the context of the culture of greed and self aggrandisement by not only government but also corporations and the top level cadres of corporations, the greed by sections of entrepreneurs and business which are now informing which political side to support. This culture of greed is creating a distortion in the conversations about the issues we are facing and the nature of leadership required to address them in this political cycle. We are not guided by what is best for Kenya or it's people but by our personal interests!
We need to have an honest discourse and ask ourselves where we are heading and whether ultimately this is not going to hurt all of us! Are we each others keeper? Or like Cain in the bible have we disowned each other and our country Kenya?
What is happening all around us, the recurrent fights and killings in Mathare, in Tana river , the insecurity all around us, are all wake up calls not just to the executive and politicians but to every thinking and Patriotic Kenyan. Let us all in one accord join hands to save us from ourselves! Let each one of us do their bit in having the real conversations about the right leadership Kenya needs and together we can and shall overcome!
We need to tame corruption and impunity to create an orderly society and to release the necessary resources to attend to the issues that confront citizens daily, like joblessness, the cost of living, food security and the security of all Kenyans. My bid to be the fourth president of the republic of Kenya is a call to tackle decisively these and other issues, to put Kenya and Kenyans first!