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Handshakes and hugs good for public show

By Julie Masiga | Published Tue, June 5th 2018 at 00:00, Updated June 4th 2018 at 21:01 GMT +3

What a grand production these corruption scandals are turning out to be! I can’t remember a period in my lifetime when information flowed so freely from the vaults of Government.

Because there is no doubt in my mind that the leakers have the full backing of some people at the highest levels of Government. There’s no way in hell we would have found out about it otherwise. 

These are some psychological warfare tactics being deployed against millions of otherwise reasonable Kenyans. As soon as ‘NYS II: The Next Corruption Frontier’ was released, attention shifted from everything else that is wrong in this country.

Our gaze is now trained on Uhuru Kenyatta, and we have hope in our eyes. The people are falling at the feet of the prince, beseeching him to ‘deal decisively’ with the bandits.

However, with the power at the President's disposal, I find it hard to believe that Uhuru is completely clueless when he directs that investigations must take place so we can all know the truth.

In fact, with his intelligence machinery running in full gear, he very likely has the whole picture, and so does ‘kijana wa kutangatanga’.

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Continuously siphoned

Raila Odinga too, with his ‘networks’, likely has a pretty good idea that money is continuously being siphoned out of the Treasury.

I’m willing to wager that the billions we’ve been hearing about lately are small change in the grand theft scheme of things.

Meanwhile, the band of brothers seem more concerned with handshakes and hugs. At the rate things are going, it won’t be long before we graduate to kisses and cuddles.

But hey, we’re in the season of adding insult to injury. With one side of their mouths, they sanction the release of information that is intended to enrage an entire population, and with the other they say ‘let’s pray’. So you slap us in the face with one hand, and then rub our cheeks with the other.

But that’s not all. They then go ahead to hug it out, purporting to forgive each other, talking about ‘my brother this, and my brother that’, as if their brotherhood will bind the wounds they inflicted through a vicious campaign that left dozens dead and maimed in their names.

These staged apologies and public shows of reconciliation are exactly what they look like: Fake. 

But perhaps we needed to witness the national prayer day and various other fences that were mended in its aftermath. Reason being that it is now clear for all to see that we are in a de facto single-party State.

All this talk about changing the 2010 Constitution could potentially lead to the re-introduction of Section 2A, the contentious one-party State provision in Kenya’s previous constitution that galvanised the struggle for Kenya’s second liberation.

Political entertainment

So yes, as we are lulled into a state of mindless political entertainment, the powers bestowed upon us by Article One are steadily being usurped, and the crazy thing about all of it is that the plays are being made as we watch.

If you haven’t already, it’s time you snapped out of it and realised that you are now living in a country without an active opposition.

Ekuru Aukot might be running his mouth making claims about being the leader of the ‘official Opposition’ but as things stand, his is still a voice calling out in the wilderness. No one knows from whence the messiah will come.

In the absence of a Joshua, and with no signs of Jesus, Kenyans need to find a way to free themselves from slavery. Because what else can you call it when you break your back for a day’s wage, only to be taxed to your eyeballs, and then robbed of what remains? 

But how will this freedom come? I honestly couldn’t tell you. What I can say is that freedom only becomes a possibility once you realise that you have been enslaved, even by the people you trusted to shine a light in the darkness.

One thing is now abundantly clear: Our needs, wants and desires are secondary to our leaders' own interests.

We would be wise to keep that in mind as we figure out how to dislodge the bulbous thumb of the State - and its freshly co-opted opposition - which will drive us into the ground if we offer no resistance.

 

Ms Masiga is Peace and Security Editor, The Conversation Africa


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