Kenyans Must Demand Services From The Government

Kenyans Must Demand Services From The Government
Kenyans Must Demand Services From The Government. Hungry children: PHOTO/COURTESY

A few days ago, I received a call from a friend in Kenya who told me of the suffering of our people due to the current economic hardships that have engulfed our country and are being blamed on draught that has lasted the last 3 years. Of course, the current Covid pandemic has not helped the situation and neither has the Russia Ukraine war. My friend told me Kenyans are dying in large numbers especially in those arid and semi-arid districts. The worst hit places are in Turkan, Samburu, Garissa, Wajir, Tana River, and Mandera. My friend wondered if Kenyans living in the Diaspora are aware of the situation and whether they can do anything to mobilize some resources to help alleviate the plight of the starving families.

I have no problem with Kenyans coming together to assist their fellow brothers and sisters who may be facing challenging circumstances. However, I think as citizens, we are not holding the government accountable but instead are easily stepping in to do government’s work and thus aiding it to abdicating on its responsibilities.

A day does not pass before one is approached to assist a relative or someone in your church, neighborhood, and/or in your home village pay their hospital bill, purchase medications, or pay school fees. All these services are guaranteed for in article 43 sections (1) and (2) of the Kenyan Constitution as part of government’s responsibility of providing economic as well as basic social services to the citizens. And I am aware that citizens have a responsibility to play in the role of transforming their own country through partnerships with the government to do philanthropical work. Where do we draw the line?

Two weeks ago, Kenyans watched the vetting of cabinet secretaries by the parliament. One of the questions that was asked by the speaker of the National Assembly was how much each candidate was worth. Evidently, all those that were vetted are millionaires who will be earning a basic salary of KShs. 554,000, a house allowance of KShs. 200,000 and a market adjustment of KShs.169,600 all totaling to KShs. 924,000. per month.

Besides, the CS has other pecks including medical allowances for the whole family, a KShs. 10 million car loan, and a mortgage of up to KShs. 40 million. Kenyan parliamentarians, senators and cabinet Secretaries are some of the highest paid in the world and this does not reflect well for a third world country that is chocking under the weight of Loans that are given but accomplish nothing because the funds are all stolen by corrupt and greedy leaders.

Parliament will never move any motion that will reduce their salaries and other pecks. If anything, the government and the opposition members always are in agreement whenever they are asking for additional pecks. Why should these politicians earning such huge salaries be given house allowances including subsidized house and car loans? The history of house allowance in Kenya started during the colonial time when Africans employed to do menial and clerical work were earning very low salaries. They were given the house allowance to enable them afford living in the native housing projects of Kaloleni, Kalendonia, Bahati, Shauri Moyo, Kariokoo, etc. Do people earning KShs.500,000 to 1 million need a house allowance?

The leadership class is destroying the country looting everything and using the system to protect themselves. Soon after Ruto ascended to power, all the cases of the leaders who had supported him in the campaigns were dropped. Of course, the first case to be dismissed was that of the deputy president Rigathe Gachagua. Some leaders became snitches betraying their old colleagues.

For instance, the world watched with amazement at the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) declaring that he did not prosecute some cases because the then DCI Kinoti did not provide credible evidence. It is cheap for the DPP to betray his old friends just because there is someone else calling the tune. But that is the character of Kenyan politicians.

They have no principles and will say what the masses want to hear. Case in point, during the 2022 presidential campaigns, the leader of Azimio Coalition Raila Amollo Ondinga declared that if elected president he would abolish importation of used clothes (mitumba) because they undermine and subsequently kill the textile industries.

The Kenya Kwanza brigade including their presidential candidate had a field day attacking Raila and telling the Kenyan electorate that he was not in touch with the common man because he belonged to the dynasty class. Kenyan masses were disappointed with Raila and evidently, he did not win the presidency. In less than 100 days after the election, the same Kenya Kwanza brigade including President Ruto are now presenting a case against mitumba and the masses are convinced. What level of hypocrisy by Kenya Kwanza? But a more disturbing question is how can the Kenyan masses allow themselves to be treated like fickle senseless individuals by the political class?

Yes, I got carried away and almost forgot the original point I was making to Kenyan masses to start demanding services and stop bothering fellow citizens to offer services that the government is expected to provide. This is a form of taxation. If the government wants Kenyan citizens to help in delivering services to the citizens, then it needs to introduce some form of compensation where one is given tax exemption for the amounts they spend. That is what they do in America and it motivates the givers.

Dr. Theora Thaituru


Kenyans Must Demand Services From The Government

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