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Friday, July 27, 2007

We Have Made A Difference Already And Hope To Do Much More

Why Kumekucha Is Not "Just For Whiners"

I just want to bring to the attention of our regular readers and even casual readers, what is happening in this blog with mostly those leaving comments.

As traffic grows in leaps and bounds, many folks arriving here have been referred here by various people and arrive here with certain prejudices, which are at the top of their minds before they read a single sentence. These prejudicial views of course depend a lot on the views of the Kenyan who has referred them.

While I welcome all readers kindly note that when you rush to make sweeping statements and prejudicial remarks, when you have not taken the time to even read through one post, it is annoying to other readers.

You are of course welcome to your own views, and that is something I would defend on your behalf because it is the essence of the democracy we aspire to so much in our beloved motherland.

However I do not agree with the view that this is a site for whiners who do nothing but complain, “when the economy is growing”.

In fact we have been able to achieve a lot here apart from “growing” and becoming better people. Personally Kumekucha has changed my life because it has enabled me to meet so many wonderful people and to learn so much from them. I am sure many other regulars can say the same.

Let me also emphasize that if my writing comes across with too much passion, I have no apologies to make because I am privileged to be fairly familiar with the plight of the common man in Kenya struggling to put food on the table. Many Kenyans have no problem making fun of the poor because the general belief is that poor people are poor because they are stupid or lack “business acumen.’ I beg to differ. Most poor people in Kenya are poor because of bad, selfish, insensitive government policies.

So if I sound a little angry and impatient, it is understandable and I really have no excuses to make.

Although president Kibaki has done a lot since 2002, not only is it too little too late but it is taking the country in the wrong direction. The right direction in my view is starting off with policies that are designed to put the economy in the hands of the common man so to speak (Not a few a handful of investors mainly from one community).

It is important that the engine of the economy and of growth are in the hands of ordinary Kenyans. This means determining that the creation of jobs should be the top agenda which should be reflected in everything the government does.

Saving Kenya, in my view will also require many "thinking out of the box" ideas that the current political class cannot handle, let alone think up. For instance establishing work for higher education farms and work for food schemes countrywide. We urgently need to give a helping hand to our brothers who are doing badly thanks mainly to mega corruption scandals like Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing that have devalued the currency overnight and caused great suffering across the nation.

We need a government policy where a certain percentage of government contracts are reserved for small scale businesses and ways found to finance them by paying 50% upfront for services and products ordered from them. (You will be surprised poor people are much more honest than rich folks).

We need a government that will be sensitive enough to remove all VAT and other taxes from basic food stuffs sold in slums and other low income areas.

We need a very intensive countrywide sports and football program (that would be very easy to finance) where soccer talent can be nurtured and developed even as the youths there go through a special education program to prepare them for life after their sporting professional careers. I personally know Kenyans who are good agents and can help us sell this talent to big soccer clubs in the West, even as we develop the game locally. There should also be numerous active programs to keep the youth busy so that less of them end up in crime as is the case today.

We also need a truth and reconciliation commission to deal with our dark past and to send a clear message to any would-be-thieves of the future that corruption may make you rich in the short term but in the long term it does not pay.

Our foreign missions need to start actively assisting in helping place qualified Kenyans in openings available at their stations and also promoting trade much more aggressively.

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. Please keep reading this blog and we will unveil more of these ideas as we head to the mother of all general elections.

I am grateful that some very powerful people in Kenya today read this blog regularly and quite often take action on various things we suggest here. The most recent example is the directive by the government to the Nairobi City Council to go slow on the implementation of the ban on plastic bags. I believe our small humble efforts here contributed in a small way at least to that decision.

So you see, we are not just whiners, we have built a forum here (by the grace of God) where tens of thousands of Kenyans can exchange views and learn things that will improve our country. The problem with many of our readers, especially those from you know where, are desperate and eager to link us to a certain politician or foreign financier. Good luck to them because the truth is that I am just an ordinary Kenyan trying to make a difference and I have been joined by many other like-minded persons who love their country even more than I do.

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1 comment:

mmnjug said...

You couldn't have put it better. True, there are some people who visit the site with their mind set. Unfortunately, thats the greatest problem we are facing in this country. People who cant think beyond their boxed minds which happens to be the greatest stifler of ideas to forge ahead or solve problems. Whether you are working for foreign masters or not is neither here nor there, what matters is that you have given an otherwise voiceless people an arena to speak and be heard and opened to others the same fora to give a trial to blogging. If that is your crime, them you are as guilty as the newspaper editors for having the 'letter to the editor' pages in the dailies.

My two cents worth of advice to you is go on and let not the eyes of the frog dissuade the bull from drinking from the river. For, if anyone feels offended by any article in this blog, there are millions of blogs elsewhere where he or she can visit or create their own blogsites to counter you for that matter.

As they say, keep the fire of kumekucha burning.

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