Blamuel Njururi is Kenya Confidential-Editor-in-Chief
The FALLACY, HISTORICAL DISTORTION NONSENSE and INSINUATIONS about “MARGINALISED” Counties in Kenya MUST NEVER be used as justification for more money in County Revenue Division debate.
Kenya was a colony for 43 years 1920-1963. Any injustices in that time SHOULD be directed to Britain NOT the Kenya Government.
Mau Mau did just that! President Uhuru Kenyatta has twice promised Ksh 10 billions for historical injustices reparations during State of the Nation addresses in Parliament but nothing doing.
British settlers in Kenya were here to stay until Mau Mau uprising with Land Freedom Army. They developed the areas they had settled on – the so-called White Highlands and extended cash crop farming by selected Africans purely for their exclusive consumption and export to their homeland Britain.
African Coffee and Tea farmers were not supposed to process any for their use. We could not dry and roast the Arabica coffee we grew in Embu for domestic use. The same applied to all other cash crops for which murran road infrastructure was provided for ease of transpotation.
Other token benefits were missionary and government schools and health centres – the so-called development said to have marginalised other parts of Kenya. Many schools were burnt down during emergency 1952-1960 during which Central Kenya suffered untold brutalities.
Development does NOT chase people BUT works BEST when people themselves adopt development projects. Some Pastoralists in Maasailand and NFD have accepted new ways of live including farming and schools. Farms and schools can’t pursue migratory herds whose owners sell for handsome incomes.
Jomo Kenyatta was President for 16 years, Daniel Moi was President for 24 years, Mwai Kibaki President for 10 years. Their home areas, especially Constituencies, are among the POOREST (marginalised) in Kenya’s rural poverty. Gatundu is jigger-invested, Baringo children learn under trees and Othaya poverty is higher than Garissa Constituency.
Listening to marginalization vocalists one would think Thika-Nyeri road is decorated with industries on both sides. Thika town that had been designated a mini Birmingham industrial town by the British colonialists is a sad story of abandon.
Located about 15km from the Nairobi Central Business District in the affluent Karen neighborhood of Nairobi, lies the historical and majestic Karen Blixen. This property was first owned by famous Danish author Karen Bror and Baron Bror, her Swedish husband. Sitting at the foot of the famous Ngong Hills, this ancient farmhouse is now a national museum and has a history that spans over 100 years. That is a property the famous Kikuyu author Ngugi wa Thiong’o can only own in his dreams – a victim of Moi war on intellectuals.
Isiolo town is no longer the single dusty road town I last visited in 1968 as information officer with a single Frontier Lodge Hotel and NAAFI hot drinks at military mess, when Julius Kobia was the District Commissioner. I remember Kobia repeatedly telling every public Banaza that residents SHOULD STOP treating syphilis as a show of manhood disease because it was rampant.
Further north Modogashe is not a hamlet of a cluster of makeshift structures but a town of development growth evidence. The area hosts one of the biggest aqua recharge storage potential if rain water is directed underground.
Garissa is not the bush town that I visited last when Benson Naaman Kaaria was the Provincial Commissioner at a time bandits attacked a bar killing some people. The clampdown that followed saw the late GG Kariuki, as home affairs minister, fly to Garissa to man-hunt for me furious with my reports that Standard was publishing. He never found me.
The same can be said of Wajir where for years I flew KAF de Havilland Canadaian DHC-4 Caribou specialized cargo aircraft with short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability as the easiest means of transport. One can drive all the way from Nairobi to Wajir on tarmac today.
In cantrast my Embu town has hardly changed from the single thoroughfare street built by colonial government. Nanyuki is almost dead save for being a Kenya Air Force base and a British military training facility.
“Mogadishu dogo” alias Eastleigh, has seen billions worth of Real Estate development by Somali business community who have also invested heavily in several other parts and satellite towns – especially Kajiado and Ngong’ towns.
Many have been diverting cash intended for rural development to invest in Nairobi shopping malls, palatial residential homes and Petrol stations. They are gradually displacing Kikuyus and Asian business community in Eastleigh and other parts of Nairobi.
Some of the money diverted to Mogadishu dogo and invested in the capital City of Nairobi is scooped from public funds intended to develop the so-called “marginalised area” by politicians including MPs, Senators, Governors and Ministers.Another huge portion comes from piracy funds from Somalia and cash looted from government parastatals.
Then they all sing in unison the song of Marginalisation for over 50 years of Kenya’s independence, when Central Kenya allegedly benefitted just because it has produced three presidents. That is hypocrisy that should no longer be justification for greater funding than any other part of Kenya.
Many parts of Kenya whose economy was based on cash crops was systematically destroyed during the Moi era, when the cooperative movement became his target to destroy central Kenya wealth. Nyanza and Western Kenya were also victims of the vicious corruptocratic Moi system. NFD was also a victim when Lifestock Marketing body was dismantled.
The Coast suffered destruction of cashew nuts, coconut and fishing industries. Many progressive parts were victims of Moi era alcohol and drugs exposure destruction targeted at youths.
The total sum of Moi era agricultural, industrial, economic and Human Resources destruction is the biting poverty, unemployment and other social maladies afflicting Kenya today. Kenya became a net importer of basic industrial goods, food and even labour from India and China.
As far as the Senate numerous debates, amendments and adjournments go, it is quite obvious that it is a rudderless sinking ship under the command of an impotent captain Lusaka. He was unable to guide mature debate by allowing multiple senators to move numerous amendment to an Act of Parliament in direct conflict of procedure of amending Laws. the Senate sounded like a House of Babel in its last session.
Lessons should be learned from Moi era that ethnic politics cannot be a tool for development – siasa mbaya, maisha mbaya that is his legacy today. Sadly that is the game The Senate is playing.
Kenyan elected leaders must decide whether they are national leaders whose first priority should be the Kenyan Nation or they are parochial leaders driving small enclaves’ interest.
They should choose between nationalistic patriots or village chieftains. They must also decide whether they will fight CORRUPTION or NOT.
There is too much lethal poison in Kenya politics in the true prophesy by the late Tanzanian President Mwalimu Julius Kabarage Nyerere that Kenya is a man-eat-man society. Selfish greed for the biggest portion of the national funds means wishing other Kenyans poverty and death.