Dr. Teddy Kamau

Kenya: Referendum to Sell the Country- Since Independence, Kenya has done nothing progressive for its people. Even government officials have indicated that the best thing they can do for Kenyans is to train them so that they can find jobs outside the country. “Our people are in great demand in other parts of Africa,” noted one senior official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


This kind of attitude is actuated by those in senior government positions in many ways. When Francis Muthaura got sick, he thought that he had better chances for survival in South Africa. The late Honorable Njenga Karume sought treatment outside the country and it has come to be known that he died while waiting to fly to Israel for treatment. Minister of Health Beth Mugo ran away to save her life in America: I said the Minister of Health!


An Assistant Minister had a heart attack in London and told me that the doctors there told him, “It is good you were here. In Kenya you would have just died!” Recently, Richard Chacha took off to save his life in India. Every person I know who has gone to Nairobi Hospital has ended up dead with a Ksh. 1 million-plus bill! Might be the price for a kiss from the nurses while unconscious? My uncle went to Kenyatta Hospital. I found him in “cowshed” where relatives bring food to their patients!


Every year, more than 200,000 pupils graduate from our high schools. Of this number, only about 20,000 find a position in the government universities. Private colleges take in 10,000. More than 110,000 young people end up not finding a school or college. Those who join the Jua Kali private colleges end up learning nothing. Basically, we have more than 150,000 young people every year wandering around the country aimlessly. It is for this reason that every time there is an event in Nairobi, we see flocks of young people standing around. The other day an accident occurred on the Nairobi – Mombasa Road and many young people came out to “Okoa” the victims . . . okoa their wallets, they meant. Then these young people get themselves girlfriends and boyfriends and get married and get children. The children need milk, food, but there is nothing to offer. Every time a gasoline truck overturns, hundreds gather with vibuyus to collect fuel. The Kenyan Jua Kali reporters take a self-righteous stand, asking how these people can risk their lives like that? One resident told the cameras, “Hata tukikufa tutakufa kama tumeshiba.”


I challenge these reporters to try to find a job in Khumusalaba. A small town near Boyani, 50 Kilometers from Maseno University. Young people who graduated from high school are living with their parents who cannot find a job, on a half an acre of land in a divided two acres their grandparents inherited from their parents. Four brothers with wives educating children for jobs in Saudi Arabia to clean toilets and pick up garbage. Isn’t that Neo-slavery? Even those who run away from Kenya to come to America do it in desperation to escape the nonsense. They find it better to work in Nursing homes bathing elderly people for $7 an hour. At least they get an apartment with clean water and hot showers; maybe a car and their children get a shot at the American Dream: I said Dream!


But who can blame them. The accumulation of idlers in Kenya is a result of a useless political and government structure. In the last 20 years, Kenya has not done anything to encourage new factories or companies. The Asian community in Kenya can be credited with providing limited employment to the hundreds of people we see walking from Kibera and Mathare, and Kawangware every morning. I said walking from Mathare because the salaries are so low that they cannot afford any other transportation! Their children grow up in heaps of garbage and the toilet is the flying one.


The political elite argue that the Constitution will change that. Really? How is the Constitution going to change that when already the Speaker of the Parliament is crying to America for a handout. The country within this new dispensation cannot even afford biometric voting registers! Everybody is praising President Kibaki for building roads. Really? What the President has done is to add thousands of miles of potential potholes which the government will not be able to afford to repair. The Mombasa – Nairobi Road is already a mess with the section in Mariakani being fit only for the Mars Pathfinder rover.


My solution is for 1 million Kenyans to woo the politicians into parliament. Make sure they are all there. Then we pick them up and lock them up in a refugee camp near the Somalia Border. Then we hold a referendum to sell the country to Saudi Arabia, or even better, Israel for that matter. At least Israel will turn Northeastern Kenya into an orchard and employ 20,000 of our young people. They might even provide water for Nairobi, or maybe create an army with 1 million jobs for the idlers. Then we can annex Somalia and do the same for their women and children.


Teddy Njoroge Kamau, PhD, SYR/Radio/TV/Director: International Desk. Diaspora Messenger Contributor



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