BWIRE: How the culture of greed is eroding gains in Kenya

By Victor Bwire

Kenya’s political scene has as always expected taken its shape; ugly, manipulative, dirty, sectarian and disruptive, frustrating any effort for the President to cement any predictive development legacy.

It’s sad that the national development narrative has been overtaken by the political noise and games that seem to have extended to the public service including the security sector and private players that are critical to building a legacy.

Within the high octane political environment that is prevailing in the country, it’s likely that fundamental freedoms will be curtailed, the big four agenda will be frustrated, the census exercise will done in a tensed environment, the boundaries review exercise is stuck while the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process will be done in a very polluted environment.

Such an environment is not conducive for meaningful national development. The threat to the implementation of the Constitution and the enjoyment of the progressive fundamental freedoms provided is real. The pressure is so high on some key institution that a lot of missteps will be seen.

The political greed that has prevailed in the country creating the requisite space for such evils as corruption, looting of public resources, corporate fraud in the private sector and crime is at it again, three years ahead of the 2022 General Election.

In such environment as the one currently in Kenya, where the ruling party is deeply divided, half the executive is not interested in delivering to Kenyans, a cabinet that is mistrusting, MPs that seem focused on their individual needs at the expense of voters’ interests, county governments out of touch with citizens needs, and political electioneering full activated, can anything meaningful happen? Can we attract direct foreign funding or attract investors in such space?

How does national initiative function is such a hate-ridden political environment? How does national institution like the national security advisory council, cabinet, Council of Governors, national inter-governmental relations committee meet and function when there is such high level of mistrust and suspicion?

Nearly 4000 guns are in the hands of wrong hands, billions of shillings are reported by relevant public agencies to be missing from the public coffers, stalled multi-million projects dot our counties, public servants threatened daily in line of duty, the two Houses of the National Assembly can’t agree on national issues, but the politicians can’t hear any of these, their eyes are fully glued on the 2022 general election. Where are Kenyans in the mix?

We are a country that rarely learns from our past failures and spends too much on frustrating working systems because of individual greed. Outside our national values as provided in the Constitution, Kenyans rarely respect any form of values or ethics in doing things.

We have denied our country the best in ourselves, and in all cases sell to our motherland even that which we could have given for the national good. The culture of national greed has pervaded all or national sphere and we eat, drink and sleep greed.

This obsession with disruptive politics among Kenyans, is not only puzzling, but a threat to the  country.

We love dramatizing things to appeal to the emotions of the public, irrespective of the outcome of such negative mobilization, even when aware that whatever is at stake is personal. Our main aspiration is to politicize even national issues to help us aspire to get into public service or leadership position not to serve, but to help individual selves.

We have over-politicized our thinking and way of doing things, and now, our services including public service and politics are big business and returns dictate how much we give to the country.

We must abandon this culture of national greed. Kenya is one of the few countries in the world where we develop the best policies on almost everything, export them for implementation in other countries and then we visit for benching marking purposes.

The writer works at the Media Council of Kenya

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