SAME MONKEYS DIFFERENT FORESTS

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Am sure we are all outraged and aggravated by MPs who ostensibly purport to have been oblivious of salary cuts by Salaries and Remuneration Commission led by Serem.To me this is height of aloofness and insult to Kenyans. For starters, the Serem team is a constitutionally formed commission which can only be disbanded through a national referendum. Legislators Mithika Linturi, Jimmy Angwenyi and company are toying with the idea of initiating a motion in parliament to kill the commission riding under the notion that a good number of Kenyans are complacent and will just sit and watch. I overheard some saying they left lucrative jobs to join politics and therefore the salary they are meant to get should befit their ‘status’. So who cares where they were working previously, tell me whats arrogance if that’s not?  That goes without mentioning they are the highest paid legislators in the 54 member commonwealth. They want to enjoy hefty perks as their predecessors when they have in fact increased in number,a whole new senate with no commensurate increase in revenue. Our economy is struggling with reduced grants from the West, high unemployment rates, poverty and many other challenges.

Its unacceptable when 70% of our budget goes to recurrent expenditures living only a meager 30% to development. Our current wage bill is slightly over 12% above internationally accepted standards of  7% .Article 104 of the constitution empowers the electorate to recall any MP before the end of the term if he/she fails to meet their expectations. Am so happy with Consumer Federation Of Kenya and other rights groups who are encouraging Kenyans to invoke that article.

And speaking of misbehaving legislators, in the US, President Obama on Thursday displayed one of his angriest moments in public after members of the Congress failed to pass a key gun control measure that would have expanded a background check on people buying guns. A grim faced Obama scolded the lawmakers for caving to pressure from a powerful gun lobby group even after after the country went through the deadly shooting at Sandry Hook Elementary School.

So when did the rain start beating us? Do these characters depict what the society has transformed to? Greed, selfishness and lack of empathy? I was so impressed with Kenyans on Twitter with their hashtag SomeoneTellLinturi venting their seething anger on social media. Its a step forward, Kenyans should remain vigilant and jealously guard their constitution.

EXITS KIBAKI; ENTERS UHURU

KIBAKI-AND-RUTO-e1363180006867One thing you quickly notice with these two gentlemen is that they do not have christian names, one is a contrast of the other from age, character to background but somehow intertwined by nature’s humour and history.Kibaki who apparently bestows a laid back character has unquestionable intelligence that ultimately made him dust off his pauper background but also thanks to his father who thought he was not useful in the farm.On the other hand, Jomo’s scion is from an affluent family enjoying unprecedented privileges unlike his peers.One thing with Uhuru is that he his charming and exudes charisma anytime anywhere not to mention his mighty handshake. The witty Mutahi Ngunyi best captures these two blokes contrast, he simply says Kibaki did not have many hurdles to clinch power in 2002 but the son of Jomo faced an avalanche of them, consequently Kibaki’s reign was marred with a myriad of challenges , the latter as foretold by Ngunyi will have an easy time. Am tempted to believe this political scientist going by the many post election pacts Uhuru is signing daily which analysts think is crushing the opposition.

Narrowing down to Kibaki who was the first African to graduate with a First Class Honors from the prestigious London School of Economics. We should give credit to his administration for the tremendous economic growth, a stock market which has reached its highest stock market index in four years, implementation of free primary education, subsidising secondary education, 15 new universities created under his administration, more funding of higher education students loans body.Upgrading of infrastructure, tapping on I.C.T and making Kenya a technology hub in Africa, he ensured Kenyans were supporting their own budget as opposed to soliciting money from Western powers.

Amidst all these praises, there are some things he overlooked. Some 2007-08 Internally Displaced Persons are still languishing in tattered camps five years down the line, ironically a good number of them voted for him as their president. Am not sure if he forgot about them, lets give him the benefit of the doubt and blame the highly charged Kenya politics.Either way its an issue that will erase some of his good attributes.Security has remained a thorny issue in this country complicated by ungovernable Somali, global terrorism, inter-clan wars and corruption within security agencies.Not much has been done to tame M.R.C and Baragoi skirmishes.Kibaki has done little to reduce the gap between rich and poor which consequently impedes any economic growth, corruption is worse than during Moi’s era and industrial strikes from disgruntled civil servants. Kibaki has also been compelled to eat a humble pie courtesy of court rulings in a number of occasions.

For me, he remains the best president we have ever had, Chief Justice shocked many when he disclosed Kibaki never used the hotline that was directly connected to statehouse, in other words he did not interfere with the judiciary even after it sometimes ruled harshly on him.

There enters a fairy young man, full of energy and charisma. All the best Muigai Kenyatta.