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It's been tough for everyone and here are my five wishes for 2023

The honeymoon accorded President William Ruto’s administration won’t last forever. One hopes that by mid-year a significant portion of the Hustler promise would have been felt. [iStockphoto}

The year 2023 is finally here. Like every new year it comes with hopes, aspirations and dreams for a better tomorrow. And as is tradition of this column, our first piece of the year is dedicated to hope.

In 2022, we hoped and prayed that the elections would be peaceful and that the transition would be smooth. It is so easy to take our peaceful election and power handover for granted until you read stories of goings in our neighbourhood. Thanks be to God and all those that made this peaceful transition a reality.

For 2023, our first hope is for a people centred economic revival. Having been to various parts of Kenya this holiday, I know people are struggling at a level the typical middle-class Kenyan have no awareness of.

The Hustlers who woke up early on August 9th and made the unimaginable win by Kenya Kwanza happen, are getting unduly anxious. Granted, we were so deep in the economic hole it was impossible to govern with the poetry that had defined the campaigns, but one hopes to see a galvanised sense of urgency about getting the quickest economic turnaround that targets the lowest of the low.

The honeymoon accorded President William Ruto’s administration won’t last forever. One hopes that by mid-year a significant portion of the Hustler promise would have been felt.

Secondly, I am hopeful that in 2023, our once formidable opposition party ODM and its allies will transform into a true and capable opposition. While I have no doubt that the Kenya Kwanza administration has capacity to take this country to great governance and economic heights, I also know power, even in the best hands, requires checks and balances, otherwise it corrupts.

In an ideal world, Parliament would be the check on the Executive. However, with Kenya Kwanza having a commanding majority in the House, only the naïve would have such expectations. So far, ODM and its allies seem lost after the election defeat, but we hope 2023 is their wake-up year. We need a strong opposing alliance to keep government accountable.

My third hope is that this will be year we totally reform the public education system. For those of us who, like 90 per cent of Kenya’s children, are beneficiaries of the public school system, the near collapse of the system is alarming. Formerly great performing national schools are showing signs of stress and standards therein deteriorating. When public universities like the great Egerton threaten to close and other public universities show signs of collapsing under the weight of too many students overseen by overworked and demotivated faculty, there is an urgent need to rethink our entire approach to the public school system.

Public universities and public national schools were always some of the greatest opportunities for children of the Hustlers to cross the poverty bridge. Not anymore. The task force recently appointed by the government must ensure this bridge remains fully functional.

Fourthly, I am praying for a kinder nation. In the last year, scenes of brother rising against brother, particularly in the Valley of death, wives slaughtering husbands, parents murdering their children, boys killing their girlfriends have crammed our daily news. I am not sure how much of this is due to increased reporting and how much is actual increased violence but, either way we have a problem. The security forces that protect civic life must be seen in action, enough has been said.

The social networks, whether operating under family or religious institutions, that enhanced social ethos and social connections thus reducing social violence, need reactivating. Enough tears have flowed.

Finally, I hope the world will find a cure for Alzheimers. For those of us whose loved ones are going through this decapitating illness, we know a cure is already too late for them. But we cannot imagine anyone else having to bear pain of mourning the living.

Formerly confident parents terrified of the evening. In 2022 there were glimpses of possible treatment. We pray that it materialises soon. Lastly and most importantly, to you my dear reader, I pray that this year, your cup overflows beyond your imagination. Happy 2023!

-The writer is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya