From time immemorial, good leaders are let down by the people around them. Sycophants are keen to lie to the king that all is well.
Unfortunately, it takes long before the king realises he has been living a big lie. When this happens, the sycophants take off and deny any association with the naked king. This is the common scenario facing most kings around the globe. The big man is ever in the company of self-seekers, who are ready to do everything to benefit from the influence of the their master.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta is by all intents a good man. He means well for the country. All this is evident going by the ambitious development plan. The Jubilee government has a very good manifesto capable of changing the country for the better. I have doubt in my mind President Kenyatta is out to leave a lasting legacy. But will those around him allow it?
Going by the reports of corruption in high places, I daresay that the Jubilee team is working to fail the president. For instance the laptop project is yet to take off. Why? There is attempted graft touching on the signature project. The Karen land grab is another classic example. This is not encouraging.
The president should expose all corrupt elements in his government. There should be no room for sacred cows in this fight Well-meaning leaders are failed by the untouchable juniors. Will President Uhuru crack the whip on rogue government officials? Only time will tell.
An MP’s death, graft and insecurity
Less than two weeks ago, a member of the Kenyan parliament, George Muchai, was killed in cold blood in Nairobi city centre.
Mr Muchai, who was the MP for Kabete, Kiambu, was in the company of two bodyguards and a driver — all of whom were shot dead in the car they were travelling in on that fateful early morning. The police reported that they have suspects, who are in custody.
This was an isolated but most brazen act of murder to be reported in the heart of the city in years — even with CCTV cameras and the scene’s proximity to Nyayo House and GPO, two of the most guarded buildings in the capital.
Most Kenyans — and indeed the whole of East Africa — were shocked and scared: If an MP, with bodyguards can be killed so coldly and methodically right at the heart of the city, what of a common citizen? How safe is a common citizen, without a bodyguard and away from the city? Has insecurity become so common and normal that criminals are now operating with no fear in the world? Has life become so cheap that it is taken that easily in the streets?
The death, as is the case with those occasioned by such callous methods, was shocking. Then followed allegations of all manner about the suspected killers, their motives and the person who sent them. The running narrative was that he was killed for fighting corruption.
Insecurity and corruption, together, seen as resulting in death and loss.
Unfortunate as it may seem, this is a perfect opportunity for the government to increase its efforts in tackling insecurity and corruption. A blow to corruption is a blow to insecurity.
The bigger, worrying picture is that if one of us is unsafe, none of is safe. That guns alone or boots on the streets, to say nothing of a tough talking minister or police are not enough — try and incorporate some worthwhile intelligence.
Let the death of Mr Muchai not be in vain/ let it see the government move even faster to fight insecurity. That would be the best gift to the country.
‘TheEastAfrican’ ban unfortunate
It is unfortunate that The EastAfrican remains banned from the newsstands in Tanzania, denying many of us its varied and compelling features and analyses.
However, even as we urge the government to let the paper return to the streets, we also urge the Nation Media Group to listen to the grievances of the government — if any — and address them accordingly.