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Friday, August 31, 2007

President Kibaki: Uncomfortable In The Midst Of Sweat And Bad Breath

I saw something the other day, which did not quite make sense. There was this man (definitely in his 50s) cruising around town in a car that had extra wide tyres, fancy rims and very loud music—too loud for somebody over 20.

The mystery was solved when a friend explained that the man was a well-known Baba Sukari (sugar daddy) who preys on school girls and very young girls in town, young enough to be his grand daughters.

This is a terrible thing to say but I marveled at how he understood his target market so well. No young girl in her right mind would hesitate to be given a lift in such a car and would then fall easy prey to the evil man's other machinations.

President Kibaki and his administration are the very opposite. Every day they display a complete lack of knowledge or understanding of their main target market (the common man with a voting card) and what their aspirations and desires are.

The common man gets upset being preached to about economic growth more so when they cannot put food on the table and yet they used to find it much easier to do so when the said economic growth was in the negatives.

Over the last couple of days President Kibaki has been doing what he has hardly done in his long political career. To mix with ordinary folks and shake their hands. Yep. The ordinary riff raff who will inevitably have bad breadth and to whom the current economic growth has not allowed them to afford a good deodorant or after shave to keep smelly sweat at bay. This is especially true in the Coastal city of Mombasa where temperatures and humidity are usually excessively high.

The president has adjusted well although at times he looks a little uncomfortable and like a fish out of water.

If only it were possible for all those people who have shaken the president's hand over the last few days to pass on their aspirations and wants via a process of osmosis triggered by the handshake. The president would have by now realized just how much a let down he has been despite all his efforts, to the people who elected him so unanimously in December 2002.

Ordinary folks want pretty basic things, like jobs, money in their pocket and affordable basic foodstuff. As it is to date, no single presidential candidate has brought up the issue of skyrocketing prices of basic foodstuff (let's hope they address this issue now, at least two of them read this blog very regularly). They should also come up with viable and practical ideas to bring food prices down. One of the ideas floated has been to abolish or zero rate VAT on basic food items sold in low-income areas and slums.

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