Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I have mixed feelings.

It is fallaciously presumed that only one emotion can reside in one person at any time in reference to a person, a place or a thing. The Freudians and Jungians alike will confirm that it is possible to have mixed feelings about multiple subjects. It is the same with the Jubilee government. We both love and loath it to varying degrees at the same time. There are those who, in addition, hold it in utter contempt, persuaded that it is made up of a bunch of carpetbaggers out to make a fast shilling at the expense of the whole damn country. There are those who are so fiercely loyal to the Jubilee stalwarts, they are in danger of being accused of idolatry by the fundamentalists of the Christian persuasion.

This blogger, too, has mixed feelings about the Jubilee administration. This blogger would like to see the government achieve all its objectives, fulfill its manifesto and wipe away the tears of the past decade. But this blogger is a pragmatist; he does not expect that the Jubilee government is all-angels or all-demons. It just is.

For a decade-and-a-half, Kenyans have been fed the lie that the government is their Number One problem-solver, if only the right people were in charge. This lie has become so large that its perpetrators have began to believe it too. Thus you have the spectacle of grown men and women unhinged at the thought that the "wrong" man is in charge or that the "right" man is over the hill. It largely explains, too, why even intelligent men and women are incapable of thinking about their government without the subtlest intimations that serikali ni baba na mama!

It is this welfare-state mentality that guarantees that Blue Ribbon policies like Kenya Vision 2030 will remain works in progress long after their target dates have been passed. If you see this as a bit harsh, remember that the Government of Kenya has promised water for all since at least 1972 with the target date of achieving the aim being pushed and never attained. Same too the promise of universal maternal care. In contrast, the always-in-crisis United States of America may have some of its citizens whingeing piteously about the winner-takes-all attitude of the Republican Party, but no one seriously proposes that the Federal Government nanny everyone all the time the way Kenyans expect to be nannied by their serikali.

Therefore, while I may admire the youthful facade of Team Jubilee, it is increasingly apparent that it is stuck to a serikali-ni-baba-na-mama mindset that has guaranteed poverty, illiteracy and disease on a colossal scale for nigh on thirty five years. And that makes me as angry as a rhino that has been disturbed from peaceful slumber. Why they insist on riding the same square-tyred bicycle that the Kenyatta I and Moi regimes rode to destruction remains a mystery. And to camouflage their complete paucity of fresh ideas, they cover their flaws with Big Ticket projects riddled with pork and five-fingered discount specialists: Single Gauge Railway, Laptops-for-tots, LAPSSET...the list is familiar and depressing.

It begs the question why stellar private sector titans like Adan Mohammed and Sicily Kariuki are still doing in the government. When their contracts come to an end, and they peddle their CVs at international institutions, they will face the same harsh scrutiny their Cabinet Secretaries will face because they will have completely fucked up the machinery of the State because they were unwilling to move beyond the tried and tested serikali-ni-baba-na-mama mindset.

I have mixed feelings about Team Jubilee. And that is as it should be.

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