If a goat is stolen in the Limuru area of Kenya, residents demonstrate violently, blocking the Great North Road that is the lifeline of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern Congo. When they have issues with their governor in Narok County, angry residents destroy property and block the road to the world-famous Masai Mara game reserve.

Not to mention that a quarrel between neighbors over livestock pasture could easily trigger massacres among the Pokot and Turkana of the Great Rift Valley. Why are Kenyans so easily provoked to turn violent?

The tragic story of violence in post-independent Kenya begins and ends with the inaction and lack of creativity of the country’s middle class.

Just look at the way our teachers, lecturers, nurses, doctors and journalists express their grievances in the streets. They shout angrily, jumping up and down. They even make donkeys of themselves, rolling down in the dust and blocking all vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The demonstrators carry green twigs and hardly legible placards. The late professor Wangari  Maathai must turn in her grave at the scale of destruction we cause to the greenery she so much cherished.

One would be forgiven for not telling the difference between charlatans and these highly learned Kenyans who are supposed to be the role models for the younger generation.

At any given time, a visitor to Kenya from another planet would be surprised to learn that the country has a fairly young and highly educated president and deputy president trying to catapult their country into the 21st century through transformative programs in various sectors.

In comparison with North America and Europe for example, Kenya is a natural paradise with plenty of sunshine 365 days a year. Why for Pete’s sake does anyone go hungry, or even worse, starve to death in this paradise of friendly weather?

Why do residents of Nairobi or any other county go without water while the mighty Athi and Tana Rivers flow to the Indian Ocean all the year round? Why don’t we have super dams and earth pans in every county to tap all the water that goes to waste during the rainy seasons?

In the bread basket of USA, farmers have just about 6 months to till their land, plant, grow, harvest and store enough food to feed over 300 million people, with a lot of surplus for export.

If only we Kenyans complained less and worked harder and more creatively, we too have the potential to create plenty within our borders and to dwell in harmony with our neighbors and environment.

The huge international demand for macadamia and cashew nuts would turn every farmer in the Tana Delta into a millionaire. Planting these Trees of Fortune would evidently be more profitable than using machetes to butcher each other for no good reason.

By Leonard Njoroge in ATLANTA    Email: [email protected]

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