Starting today, officials from the Kiambu County government will scour through shelves for imported eggs in the area. They will be enforcing an order by Governor Ferdinand Waititu, who has warned that “those who stock foreign eggs will be dealt with ruthlessly”.
Just as unworkable and repugnant was his earlier order to public and private institutions and businesses operating in the county to employ 70 per cent of its workforce from the dominant ethnic community, this order will surely fail. It will also haunt the locals in the long run.
Those eggs on the shelves were imported probably by a city resident who at the end of a busy day will be enjoying a plate of ugali and sukuma wiki or cabbages “exported” into the city by a Kiambu farmer. The beef stew, probably cooked with onions, coriander, tomatoes and bell peppers from Kiambu.
The order is fundamentally flawed because it panders to misplaced protectionism. Mr Waititu should be educated on the interconnectedness of commerce. Better for him to educate and empower his farmer-voters to compete in the global markets than to seek populist, short-term solutions that leave them worse off.
It is time Mr Waititu realised that he is the substantive governor of Kiambu and not the candidate he was a few months ago. Leaders like Waititu are dangerous and undermine, rather than advance, Kenya’s development agenda.
Like this newspaper has said before, his thinking represents the average mindset of the arrogant political class that has had a stranglehold on the country’s leadership; those who think it is their right to decide who gets what and when and how. Their time is running out, fast.