You know that thing about the serikali, that it is supposed to give you stuff or do stuff for you? That thing that every oppositionist tells you is supposed to a serikali duty? That thing you hold on to because your life sucks balls? Well, that thing is like a mirage. Just because you can see it, it doesn't mean that it is a real thing. So, unless you want to be a public servant, a policeman, a spy, a soldier or a clerk in any of the dozens of parastatals that make your life a living hell, don't come looking for jobs from the government because the ones I have mentioned are the only jobs to be had, unless you have an in with the powers that be and you can wangle a Cabinet Secretary's, a Principal Secretary's or a parastatal CEO's job.
What you want the government to do is create a level playing field so that if you're looking for work at this, that or the other company, it will be based on merit and merit rightfully earned. But not even that seems to be within the job description of this government. Some grow up with modern amenities at their disposal, even if they pay a stiff price for them. Water, electricity, schools with the necessary facilities and teachers, safety and security...these are the things that make for a level playing field. They are not to be found in every corner of this republic. In some corners, they are not to be found at all. Hence, "Tunaomba serikali..."
The truth is no Kenyan government has been able to create the circumstances necessary for job growth. More often than not, even in the heyday of the Kibaki First Term, it has created the circumstances for serikali jobs, the circumstances for blue-collar, helmet jobs, but not enough for the growth of white-collar jobs. The Chinese are about to upend even that apple cart, now that some of its nationals are experimenting with roadside maize-roasting while others have become quite adept at playing hide-and-seek with Nairobi's "inspectorate" as they run Chinese-only restaurants (all those missing canines) and engineer a quiet takeover of the "exhibition" space in Nairobi's CBD's shopping real estate.
Being a mfanyi kazi wa serikali is pretty neat, even if you are not a CS, PS, parastatal head honcho. Salaries, despite the whinging, are quite high on average. There's the job security; firing a public officer is like pulling wisdom teeth from a two hundred pound gorilla. There's insurance and the possibility of a low-cost mortgage and a low-cost car loan. The only downside is, unless you are really deaf, everyone hates you. Maybe not your parents, but definitely everyone else hates you because you are corrupt, lazy and more often than not, stupid. It doesn't matter what you do, only your granny thinks that what you do is a good thing. Everyone else just wishes you to get hit by a Citi Hoppa. And all because you have a job and they don't because you couldn't conjure one up out of thin air.
And yet the premise is not wrong. Serikali may not create jobs directly, but its policies do create jobs. For now, the bulk of those new jobs are blue collar; but the greater the number of employed people, the more they will need specific services: lawyers, doctors, and architects and engineers who design and build the houses they will rent or buy. What we don't know is whether serikali policies are true to this goal or have been hijacked in the zeal to line the pockets of CSs, PSs and CEOs as fast as possible before the music stops in 2017. That doubt is truly poisonous. You can see how it has distorted the narrative into the embezzlement of hundreds of millions from the NYS. Government can create jobs, just not the way you think.