OPINION: Saba Saba 2021!

sabasaba

sabasaba

By Cyprian Nyamwamu DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND GOVERNANCE CHAMPION

Kenneth Matiba, James Orengo, and other leaders stage a protest on July 7, 1990, a day that later came to be known as Saba Saba. PHOTO//COURTESY

Today is Saba Saba again, 31 Years later. 

This is a day for renewing our commitment to press towards the wholesome Liberation of our people from economic, political,  sociocultural and existential threats, deprivation,  oppression, discrimination and exploitation.  

Our threat remains impunity and greed. This impunity and greed is perpetrated by external and internal agents. 

We are not where we used to be under the Moi-KANU tyranny but we are certainly not where we want to be at. We are not near the Kenya Bora Tuitakayo. 

The COK2010 has provided a strong avenue to slow down the agents of impunity and greed but it has not stopped them at all.

The corruption,  disrespect for the rule of law and flagrant disrespect for the people of Kenya and our institutions has actually, in some cases,  become worse during the COK2010 era. 

✍🏾Elections have been rigged and mismanaged terribly under COK2010 leading to illegitimate governance. Kenyans do not like saying it that Uhuru Kenyatta is in power illegitimately.  2022 is only months away but there are no signs nor  is there any guarantee that we shall hold a better election next year that meets the Art 81 standards. The BBI enterprise threatens to worsen the situation. 

✍🏾The presidency and Executive agencies are havens and perpetrators of corruption and impunity. President Uhuru who continues to benefit from this impunity and greed, gleefully and shamelessly tells us how his gangs in power steal Kshs 2 b daily. But he will not resign. BBI promoters are telling us that if we get a PM from Parliament, MPs as cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers, then we will suddenly get good leadership and better government.

✍🏾The Police remains a force and not a service. It’s captured and biased. Corruption in the police force is malignant. Incompetence and excesses are the hall mark of the force. The few good elements in the force continue to safeguard the country from terrorist attacks and deadly crimes that are being planned every single hour of the day. But the excellent elements are denied resources which are controlled by the OP against the recommendations of the Police reforms lobby. 

✍🏾The National Assembly and Senate are a big and expensive joke. They absolutely do not play any oversight role over the executive. MPs think that they were elected to distribute CDF funds to schools and police stations. Representation of Kenyans is near C-, legislation is at C- Because the laws passed in Parliament are anti-people and anti-Kenya, oversight is at D, and appropriation at D+ seeing that the budget is at 3.66 tr while our revenues are not even Kshs 1.7 tr which is the reason borrowing continues to expand and makes money available for stealing. That is why roads, railways, electricity projects etc cost four times the market cost. The Executive runs Kenya as if there is no Parliament. And BBI wants to increase the MPs in both houses by nearly 185 so that we can get more of the same greedy and unpatriotic guys in the national parliament at our cost. It is really very sickening.

✍🏾The Judiciary has remained as the only arm of government doing its work. For this, it has been targeted by the Executive and the Parliament  for vilification, denial of resources and revisit attacks so that judges tone down and allow the judiciary to become an agency that is an enabler of greed and impunity like all the others. Even with its shortcomings because there are corrupt judges and magistrates in there, the Judiciary remains a shining light of hope for the Kenya Bora Tuitakayo.

✍🏾Commissions and independent offices are now stuffed with Uhuru Kenyatta praise singers. NGEC and CAJ for example are not recognizable as constitutional commissions. The Commissioners are “rewardees” not champions of anything. The KNCHR has gone without Commissioners for 15 months. You can be sure that it will be Uhuru and Raila’s activists that will be rewarded with being commissioners. IEBC remains a laughing shame that organizes the most expensive elections in the world that are almost always rigged to give us the people we do not want in power taxing us and using our police and agencies to clobber and silence us. Parliament has not seen anything wrong with this. Senators and NA members are in court fighting for BBI to be allowed not standing up for better and effective institutions.  

The Kenyan economy is in a worse off situation today than three years ago. In one paragraph, Jubilee has borrowed nearly 7 Tr in eight years to expand roads and build railways at four times the cost of the same infrastructure in Ethiopia and Angola, infrastructure that will essentially speed up the Chinese imports of fish and other products reaching Kisumu faster to kill the fishing industry and decimate agriculture. Infrastructure is an enabler where citizens have been facilitated to produce and consume- through favourable interest rates, tax rates and other blockades removed. Jubilee has killed the goose that lays the golden egg. We are now importers of eggs, onions, watermelons, milk, maize, sugar, clothes, shoes, plant and machinery; everything. We even import garlic from China. Jubilee says it has connected more people to the grid, so that KPLC can rip us off with sky high prices of energy. We are witnessing a group of people who have no idea how the economy is worked, built and managed. Jobless growth is the outcome of the Jubilee economics.

So many Kenyans are living on loans including from fuliza and  Mshwari, the government has pushed our businesses from accessing credit and the economy  has been shrinking rapidly for five years. KRA is collecting less revenue and the Treasury has resorted to increasing taxes on air time, cooking gas, petrol, bread, electricity,  and every survival expenditure. The costs of cooking gas and fuel have gone up so drastically but we the disorganized Kenyans dying under the COVID-19 menace are simply too overwhelmed as we try to stay alive. Sadly, tragically, some of us now believe that William Ruto may very well do the job of engineering our third liberation from greed and impunity. Prof Makau finds it a joy to predict that Ruto will be the 5th President of Kenya. 

The Social situation is so dire. More of us are sick, unemployed and without jobs, or incomes, more Kenyans in the 47 counties are suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, anger attacks and the mental illnesses have ratcheted up exponentially. Food insecurity,  GBV, teenage pregnancies,  poorer education performance,  youth despondence, children being maimed, defiled and abducted, marriages that are breaking up, families in distress, deaths from COVID-19 complications, cancer and other opportunistic diseases have all come to define our daily grim lives.

We are a grieving nation but we are told everyone in the world is grief-stricken anyway. Which is not true at all. Ghana for example is doing much better with its political, economic and social pillars even during this COVID-19 season.

The situation in Western Kenya right now is appalling but there seems to be a conspiracy of silence because the government and the BBI stalwarts stubbornly took rallies to Kisumu on Madaraka Day against all advice at a time when the Delta variant of the Corona Virus was spreading quickly across the Lake region.  

We must go back to our Road map towards delivering the Kenya 🇰🇪 Bora Tuitakayo 

1. We must reconvene nationwide citizens Assemblies committees to enable citizens take action directly and take our country back. The Citizens Assemblies are the only way forward to turn the dire situation we find ourselves in.

2. We must ensure that elections are held on August 9th 2022 and that they are elections that are credible, free and fair. Only individuals who pass the Chapter 6 test should be permitted to vie in those elections. The electoral justice demands must be brought to bear on that election.For purposes of ensuring IEBC is funded and it prepares for the election appropriately, No Referendum on the Constitution before the elections next should be proposed whatsoever. A Parliament mechanism for preparing all the essential constitutional, legal and administrative reforms should be convened to midwife the necessary preparations. 

3. Youth employment, economic relief to most of our citizens, relief to most families and businesses, and a recovery plan is urgently needed this Saba Saba. Alliances and useless political drama including known criminals disturbing us with candidacy in the 2022 elections should be shut down and the country be focused on the welfare of our people today. Each county needs a stimulus package to ensure that citizens stay alive.  

4. We must embark on a serious game plan of ensuring that all institutions perform in line with our Constitution. Especially Parliament, the commissions and independent offices. The Registrar of parties for example must create a mechanism for Kenyans to quit parties with costs to parties that fraudulently register Kenyans as their party members. 

5. All of us must come together and agree on how to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. The government has failed badly in standing in the gap for Kenyans at a time of greatest need.

6. The issue of crippling taxation when Kshs 2 b is being looted daily from public coffers is unacceptable. The debt burden which is basically returning our country to colonialism,  the surrender of our sovereignty to the IMF and China and the effect of making credit unavailable to businesses must be acted upon by all means necessary.  

7. We must salvage devolution from the stifling and strangling it is currently going through by the Treasury. Citizens’ vigilance to end the corruption, nepotism and staggering mediocrity in county governments must be scaled up. Let’s UNITE and ACT decisively if we are going to salvage our country from imminent destruction. Lets form the County Citizens Assemblies Committees, the Provisional National Citizens Assemblies Council and lets deliver on these 7 priority actions in a consistent manner to halt the decline and begin the rebuilding, restoration and renewal of our country. 

The Writer is a Civil Rights Activitist based in Nairobi Kenya!

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