By Victor Jawaseda:
Today I took some time to ponder the way forward for our country’s struggle to book itself a place in the league of great nations.
Kenya is known for her beautiful sceneries and rich culture; it is one of the preferred tourist destinations of the world. This is the home of Jaramogi, Kimathi and Mboya. My mamaland!
Looking back, I must admit that we have come a long way. At the birth of the republic the struggle had these main enemies to concur: ignorance, poverty and disease. These enemies have been persistent and have metamorphosed into sophisticated forms. Examples of the new challenges Kenya must deal with are: Terror threats, crime in major urban centres, the perennial floods, hunger, massive unemployment especially amongst the youth, corruption, ethnic animosity and hopelessness that comes with all the above.
There are so many reasons why the struggle must continue.
First, as noted above, the enemies have taken new forms and shape; hence this calls for new ways of tackling the problems of today. The point here is that we cannot just sit back and hope that things will sort themselves out. No. Never. Someone must act. That is you and me. Deep down in your heart, I ask you to take a vow to fight against evil no matter the penalty.
Second reason is that change never comes easily. From history, I am persuaded to believe that there were dedicated men and women who had the vision and passion to make a difference and who led the populace to embrace new ways of doing things. A new culture if you will. For my country I prescribe a revolution of values and priorities.
The next reason is for checks and balances. We have a new constitution and I personally like devolution that comes with it. I have never regretted why I voted for this katiba. As the warriors for a new dawn, we must now stay awake and watchful for its implementation, while questioning and seeking explanations where we feel that the constitution I being kept in the drawer during any exercise that is carried by us or on our behalf. The watchmen must always shout lest the sheep be consumed!
The warriors for change from all the counties must now set their priorities and discuss the same with their county leaders. I expect that the issue of getting piped water to the households in Siaya county for example would be among the top priorities for the governor and members of parliament who are about to be sworn in. I do not want to see my sisters and brothers displaced by the furious waters of Nyando five years down the line.
When will I be able to walk the streets of Nairobi without touching my trouser to confirm if my wallet is still intact? As a tax payer I expect a lot from the police reforms!
I want my fellow countrymen and women from different tribes to see and treat me like their brother and not as their brother-in-law. When will we realize that our futures are intertwined in an inextricable fashion? The sooner we realize that we grow and fall as a nation, as a people, the better. We must refuse to be divided. We must tame our tongues and stomachs.
So my brothers and sisters if you thought that with the promulgation of a new constitution, the struggle ended, let me surprise you that the struggle has just began!!
Let us stay awake and make our Nation better than we found it, will you?
Victor is a Kenyan writer and one of Kenya’s brightest upcoming leaders. He is currently compiling his autobiography