I have a stand

Posted: May 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

My political opinions have in many cases earned me names, most of which are demeaning. Most of my readers who happen to be close friends and family have often accused me to be on the payroll of some politicians as part of their propaganda machinery.

Most recently a friend who also happens to be a law student at the University of Nairobi called me “fickle” for refusing to take a stand on a debate that was on the floor of the national assembly. For once I thought my English was failing me and I had to go back to my dictionary to look-up the meaning of the word “fickle” lest it’s meaning and usage had changed from what my good old teacher of English Mrs. Omollo had taught me in my primary school days.

I however understand where most of these people are coming from. In Kenya we have the tendency of supporting political parties or factions blindly even if we know that they are wrong. In many cases we support them because of our ethnic affiliations and everyone who departs from the trend is somewhat considered a looser or brainwashed and if you are neither then you must be in somebody’s pockets.

Everyone has a price I agree. I have just not yet decided how much I will auction my soul for but when I do you will not fail to notice. I was known to be a staunch supporter of Martha Karua and I do not deny that. As much I try to be objective with every piece I write on this blog as opposed to my other blogs, driving my point home is a more important factor to me even if it means sacrificing objectivity.

I still believe in Martha Karua together with about 32,000 other Kenyans but let’s be real with each other. I voted based on my conscience on March 4th (not that the rest of you din’t) and my candidate performed dismally because bigger factors were at play and these factors are:

1. Ethnicity
2. Ethnicity
3. Ethnicity

So today Martha Karua is babysitting her granddaughter (or was it a grandson?) somewhere in Gichugu away from the public limelight and I have two factions to choose from. Jubilee or CORD. Again I am not a strong believer in the CORD leadership so I chose Jubilee, not because they are in power but because I believe that they fairly won the elections and I admire their youthful leadership.

My support for the Jubilee coalition does not however mean that I sanction everything about Jubilee. I for one think that their choice of speaker of The National Assembly will take this country back to the days of single party rule where the legislature was just another arm of the executive. Then there is their leader of majority in the National Assembly. I literally switch channels when Adan Duale stands to speak in parliament or is being interviewed on television because he has turned out to be nothing but a sycophant – someone called him an errand boy at statehouse and if this was twitter I would RT.

I have been on record (not sure which one though) supporting MPs push for decent pay. Again a friend of mine told me that I should be slaughtered together with the “pigs”. What however surprises me about this particular friend’s comments is that she is related to one of the politicians (whom I don’t know his stand on the salaries issues yet) and I would expect that she would understand my arguments better.

There is a very large population of this country that do not have access to internet so they are neither on facebook nor twitter. They don’t own Tv sets nor radios neither do they read newspapers every day. Most of them do not know that an MPs duty is to represent, legislate and to oversee actions of the other arms of government. To them an MP is supposed to pay school fees for their children, hospital bills for their relatives when they are sick, give generously whenever their loved ones die…I did not mention the church and school harambees. In many parts of Nyanza (I don’t know about other regions), the gates to an MPs home are never closed. Guys come in for breakfast, lunch and supper – not withstanding the fact that the home owner is in most cases in Nairobi.

Go to their Nairobi home they never have time to spend quietly with their families. There is always some other constituent from the village who is not even a relative who is camping around as the MP is trying to hook them up with a job somewhere or who probably has a court issue with his/her employer and they have come to brief the MP so that he can help them sort out their issues….and when they are finally sorted and they are travelling back to the rural areas they will need transport reimbursement! Now you want my MP to earn Ksh. 540,000 and still be able to take care of all these and many more?

My most valid argument over the MPs pay is the need to attract the most brilliant minds in parliament. I think this is probably why we are currently witnessing sub-standard debates in the August house. Like any other other institution, to attract competent personnel (read MPs) we have to provide attractive remunerations otherwise we will end up with a bunch of baked vegetables in the August house and the same goes for County Assembly Representatives.

Even as we refer to the not so honorable members as pigs, I think the biggest pigs we have around are the African heads of states with the exception of the President of the Republic of Botswana. These leaders watered down out Jubilee celebrations with their remarks on the ICC. I was however not surprised that the motion was moved by the Cow-in- Chief Yoweri Musenjini (sorry that should have been Museveni) and seconded by another warlord. The irony however is that Museveni himself invited the ICC to Uganda to prosecute Joseph Kony for crimes against humanity. I am not a lawyer neither and IR expert so I will limit my comments on the ICC and AU to that.

I have a stand, my stand is with issues not individuals, groups of individuals or political/ethnic affiliations.

Follow me on twitter @IamOminde


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