“Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed.”
~ Mwai Kibaki
The past few days have been very eye-opening for me: I came face to face with the selflessness and gritty determination that some within our country exhibit; I also saw the barefaced avarice and hard heartedness that is the bane of our thieving ruling class.
This two disparate yet intertwined faces of this cobbled up geographic entity we call Kenya came as no surprise to me; especially the fact that the downtrodden and bottom feeders are the majority of the former, while the bellicose political actors, that haven’t got a shred of decency when it comes to rewarding themselves for their collective shafting of the hoi polloi, populate the ignominious ranks of the latter.
What am I going on about you might be asking, well consider this two stories:
- Zack Kimotho, who is paralyzed from the waist down and is living with the trauma of a spinal injury from the aftermath of a car-jacking incident from 2004, was unveiled as the face of a campaign effort by The Kenya Paraplegic Organization (KPO), dubbed ‘Bring Zack Back Home’ and aimed at raising Sh250 million for the construction of a Rehabilitation and Trauma Center for spinal cord injury victims in Kenya. In this initiative Zack will attempt to ride the 4000km journey to South Africa by wheelchair and he can only be saved the toil and peril of this journey if this target is hit before he goes too far.The initiative is live at bringzackbackhome and is being backed by SafaricomLimited.
- Concurrently, the Government of Kenya plans to waste Sh200 million in handouts to a bunch of current and former parliamentarians as allowances which have been backdated to 2003. This is in addition to another Sh825 million in gratuity payments spelled out in the same Act passed by the shameless legislators. Even worse local media is reporting that these payments are aimed at bailing out lawmakers who are facing charges in court for Sh30 million they awarded themselves earlier.
The mind boggles….
What is the matter with this country’s leadership? How can it be that in a bid to raise Sh250 million, a man paralysed from the waist down has had to cover 700km –with 3300km left to do– on a wheelchair, heading to the nearest facility which is in South Africa because he cannot get therapy here; yet in the meantime we tolerate plans to spend a billion shillings (money we don’t have by the way) by simply shovelling it into the pockets of already wealthy MPs in the form needless gratuity payments; even worse this payments have been voted on by their own damn greedy selves.
And you tell me there’s hope for a better tomorrow in this here banana republic?