Thursday, September 11, 2014

So are they dying or not?

I wade, once more and rather foolhardily too, into the murky waters of the "he said, she said" wildlife is in crisis/wildlife is not in crisis. The Kenya Wildlife Service, KWS, claims that according to their census of wildlife, populations of wild animals are actually increasing and contrary to the scaremongering and smear campaigns of the civil society industry, Kenya was doing much better than those African countries "that deploy their armies to fight poachers." If I had a heart, I would sympathise by the Director-General of the KWS. But I don't so I won't.

I will engage in a bit of baseless speculation, though, based on the thoroughly untested hypothesis that Kenyans are inveterate rumour-mongerers with a penchant for extreme rumour-monger embellishing. Obviously if the Government or one of its money-minting departments says that things are like, that's the moment to hedge your bets against what the Government is assuring you over. If it is in the small matter of wildlife populations, perhaps it is time we started planning for the white-elephant museums that we will erect in each county to display the remains of the Big Five. Every time sirkal tells us things are fine, we end up getting shafted even worse than had we known the dire straits we were in.

That is not to say that civil society industry is a paragon of political virtue. We have been to that dance before and we ain't about to be left holding two champagne flutes while civil society is getting rogered behind the stage by sirkal. No sir! When civil society fell in with Baba Jimmi's government, it was hop, step and a jump to when its leading lights were vocally defending the extra-legal execution of Mungiki men, women and children. (Yes, children. Many were under the age of eighteen when they were marched into forests and had their throats slit.)

Now that civil society seems to have weaned itself of its obsession with sirkal's, let's call them "assets", it has decided to cast a beady eye over the "catastrophic decimation of elephants and rhinos for two decades" as its scaremongering, smear-campaigning leading lights would have you believe. The only fly in that ointment is that little thing called credibility: civil society has about as much of it as a Roman Catholic priest in a boys' boarding school. Many members of the civil society industry are set up to scare the shit out of donors. The scarier the better, they figure because as much as the fear is there, the donors will pay for whatever solution civil society manufactures even if it is utter bullshit.

I sense the same phenomenon of "decimated" elephants and rhinos has reached the scare-the-shit-out-of-the-donors level and they are taking notice. It has something to do with the hypocrisy of the west where many donors reside. They believe in the romance of majestic elephants, tough rhinos, regal lions and such shit. Many sensible Kenyans view them as very dangerous pests, especially the elephants that tend to go overboard in maize farms or the lions that don't seem to have a problem with "borrowing" one or two cows from bomas. So civil society warriors will bandy about with great emphasis phrases like "human-wildlife conflict mitigation measures" as if the mere theorising of a solution is a solution in and of itself.

None of them can be trusted, the KWS or the civil society industry. We have had a very long history of betrayals. Until they can prove to us that their primary motivation for the pronouncements they make are not motivated by their insatiable desire for ever greater oodles of filthy lucre, I intend to hold my nose up. And my hand on my wallet.

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