Both, I'm sure. But the latter worse than the former.
I know many would like to hit me over the head with a rungu right about now. What? have I been sleeping? Don't I See how terrible the leadership is? Selfish, shortsighted, corrupt... endless list?
Sure, I'd respond. I see it. It's only too clear! What's even clearer, is the same amongst all walks of life within the confines of Kenya. What's worse in this case is how little anyone sees how similar they are to their leaders. And manifest in that those who are not leaders of Kenya have learnt to point fingers always; without ever thinking that it might be their fault. The latter, a very common occurrence.
Let me put out a phrase I use often in this blog, at least I did when I used to write this blog. Cause and effect. Action and consequence. Never is there going to be an action that has no consequence. Having said this, when was the last time Kenyans in general were quietly sitting, analyzing and letting the government work without throwing out 30 something threats? That, my people, is an action. So ask yourselves, what has it borne?
While the leaders suck,(they really do),everyone else is not innocent. All of us! Corrupt individuals. Blaming the leaders because someone required you to pay a bribe so that you could get your passport. really? what is he supposed to do? you know the laws. Just say no! And if the next person does the same, and you all in line make it clear that it will be a bribe free experience, I'm betting the person behind the counter gets to work. In your possession is a camera phone. Advise them calmly, that there bribe seeking face will be out in the media as soon as you're out that door unless they remember that you're a citizen and you're there to claim your rights. And then wait calmly for a reaction. That's the extent of violence and threats you ever need to get to. And not merely a threat. If the need arises, keep that promise. Let's see the faces of shame. Twice that happens, no further bribe seekers. For a good to sell, there has to be demand for it. The same goes for bribes. It needs both takers and givers to be a successful marketplace.
What about the "fire this person" "resign" chants that have taken over. No one cares about due process. And for that matter, no one cares about corrective procedures. where do your politicians come from, God and the Angels selection? These people are human. Unless they can make honest mistakes and have an opportunity to learn from them without fear of losing their jobs, they're going to form alliances and platforms to rob you of the power to harm them. That's how they see it. And that's what it is. The eventual outcome is either rogues or people who aren't qualified for other jobs who would ever take this kind of thankless jobs, and worse a combination of both. There are human errors, process errors and they are not the same as corruption. And a difference needs to be highlighted, made clear and explained to all Kenyans. Stop with the chanting! if people don't err, they don't learn. And if people aren't allowed to err, they start to lie. You can turn a really good person into that by not allowing them the space to be human. We're effectively ruining our leadership or at the very least making it worse.
In a nutshell, the error on the ground is that Kenyans have no idea what their roles are. To be a citizen is not to be convictor of people for crimes you barely understand. To be a watchdog over your MP and his behaviour is not to become the uninformed critic of all he/she does while offering no helpful solutions. It is in part to be a good follower. To find ways to communicate what you see is lacking within your constituency and develop plans to fight the issue. The point is to form alliances with the MP. Give them a fighting chance. Guide them towards the real needs of the people. And become apart of developing solutions. Even you have to work towards making your surroundings better. Nothing comes for free. And the solution to the MPs always wanting more free stuff for themselves is not you getting free stuff for yourself. It is everyone getting apportioned what's gainfully theirs. When you understand the previous two sentences, you understand it all.
A simple test is to evaluate what kind of employee you are. You might be the manager who fires all who you deem as threats to yourself. In which case then you are exactly like the Kenyan leadership. Why would anyone ever let go of valuable resources just because they're insecure? At that point, you have no value to your organization and are in fact a liability. Your personal fears impact your environment negatively. Maybe now you understand your MPs a little better.
And the list goes on. And the rot continues to multiply. As your children watch you bribe cops and learn something. As they hear you speak ill of other tribes. break the cycle. Just say no. Just say no!
Note: Initially wrote this on 2/13/09 and left it as a draft. I just reread it, didn't change anything and decided to post it.