A clarion call for leadership is beckoning as several Kenyan politicians remain extremely silent. In fact, too quiet, and it’s worrying.
Considering that a few weeks ago some were all over the country drumming up support for the Building Bridges Initiative.
They were loud and unavoidable. Then when the coronavirus came and all public gatherings were stopped by the state, they went quiet.
It is tough to be a peoples’ representative right now. It feels like one is in a hot seat.
As much as we are observing social distance, I would not advise politicians to go into isolation.
A day will come when restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus will be lifted. And when that moment comes, how will they bounce back?
During this period, we are seeing how corruption has adversely affected public services.
If we had visionary and corrupt-free leaders, public hospitals would be well equipped across the country and we would not be worrying about turning terribly equipped maternity wards into coronavirus isolation rooms. We wouldn’t convert boarding schools into isolation wards.
This corruption (read virus), has shown us where the gaps exists and the value of a corrupt-free public service.
There are all sorts of motivational videos circulating on how to utilise this period to reflect, spend time with family or even learn something new.
Politicians should not waste time, as a matter of fact, they should be set-up online situation rooms to deal with the coronavirus aftermath.
Findings by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics released in December show that the country cannot account for 2.3 million of its youth as they are neither working nor in any form of education or training. That basically means a large group of young people can be termed as the ‘lost generation’.
The report indicated that youth between the ages of 18 and 24, some 8.6 million of 13.7 million were engaged in some form of economic activity.
It indicated four million fell in the group of neither working nor seeking employment. They had tried and given up.
That in December, close to four million young people aged between 18 and 24 are somehow lost, what does that mean?
It means that they are dependents of others at a time when even the middle class can hardly depend on itself.
This number will increase with the economic downturn the country is about to take.
There is already a rise of domestic violence in homes and pressure for people to be able to sustain themselves in a period of no work.
So let’s hope politicians are thinking of solutions to jump-start the economy.
Nerima Wako- Ojiwa Executive Director, Siasa Place @NerimaW