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Three evils we must fight fiercely this year

By The Standard | January 4th 2016

We are still in the early days of 2016 and the greeting "Happy New Year" is still on everyone's lips. But even as Kenyans wish each other well, there is a tinge of suspicion that this might not be such a good year after all. However, it is only natural to wish one another a happy 2016 as last year was not a good one either.

Unfortunately, some of the evils that dampened Kenyans' lives in 2015 will continue to haunt them this year, perhaps even more aggressively. Three of them; corruption, Al Shabaab and tribalism particularly pose a major threat to our very existence and how we deal with them will determine not only how our present pans out but also our future.

Corruption has been a nagging problem since independence. While consecutive governments have taken steps to battle it, their efforts have been nothing but baby blows against the monstrous dragon. From the infamous Goldenberg scandal, to Anglo-leasing scandal and now the NYS scandal, corruption continues to flower and there are no signs, despite assurances by the Government that it has the bull by the horns, that the war will be won soon. The ugly truth is, Kenyans will continue to die of treatable diseases and travel on bumpy roads as long as a few continue to fatten themselves with taxpayers' money.

Secondly, there is little doubt that the miscreants from Somalia, who go by the name Al Shabaab, and their local agents will continue to make our lives miserable this year. Notably, there were many terror attacks in 2015, the worst of them at Garissa University College where over 140 students were butchered. Encouragingly, however, police claim to have warded off many threats and are slowly making a headway in the war against terror. They must do more—and all peace-loving Kenyans must help them in this endeavour—to diminish if not banish the threats.

Finally, tribalism is another war we must fight vigorously this year. It has gnawed on our society for ages with catastrophic results. As we head to the polls next year, the problem is likely to become more pronounced. Last year, various leaders were accused of spreading hate messages, some with an eye on 2017. As we head to 2017, more leaders will be tempted to spew more tribal poison with the hope of winning the hearts and votes of their tribes, while antagonising others. This should not be tolerated.

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