Monday, December 28, 2015

A thing of wonder

What a year! I thought that Kenya had found its nadir in the cauldron of 2007/2008's post-election conflagration that threatened to burn down the whole country. But 2015 has proven a true heartbreaker. The callousness demonstrated by officials of the Government has proven, if more proof were needed, that the hoi polloi are none but political cannon fodder. 

The Garissa University College massacre paled in comparison to the Westgate Mall siege, yet official government tears were not shed for the one hundred and forty seven students massacred as police assets were used to ferry fatcats to the scene of the massacre and the families of high ranking police officials to Mombasa. The lives of the 147 were celebrated in foreign capitals and by civil society windbags, but the official government and the official opposition only paid lip service to those lives snuffed out in their prime.

Do you remember the 1,300 Kenyans who were brutally murdered in 2007/2008 and the 600,000 who were "internally" displaced? Do you? Someone sure does in 2015 because they have done a pretty damn good job of making sure that Kenyans don't talk about it ever again. Instead, Kenyans have been treated to the perverse spectacle of grown men and women acting like asses at international conferences, getting paid to be international pests, all so that words like "murder", "rape", "international crimes" and "forcible displacement of persons" don't mean what everyone thinks they mean. The 2015 Assembly of State Parties meeting at The Hague was the bluntest message possible that the victims and the dead of 2007/2008 don't matter at all.

Then came the fiddles with our hard-earned taxes. 109,000-shilling wheelbarrows. 2 million-shillings Facebook pages. 791 million-shilling three-person tenders. Now-you-see-t-now-you-don't billions from sovereign bonds. International, multi-country junkets to study fine dining. Mileage claims for journeys not taken. Loans granted without security. Kenyans were told to mind their own business or they would live to regret it. 2015 reminded Kenyans why they so loathed the KANU era because the new fiddles may have a veneer of sophistication about them, but in truth they are the incarnation of the KANU era smash-and-grab that minted billionaires from dust.

What a year, but I bet 2016 will top it all. Not the terrorism. Mandera Kenyans are proving rather daring in defending their fellow-Kenyans against terrorists. On the financial fiddles, they will either go big or burn the National Treasury down, because 2017, yes sir, is an election year. Don't forget the 2016 referenda, which will be a dry run for how many more billions than the paltry 250 Eurobond billions they will be able to yank it out of the public coffers. 2017, and the twelve months leading up to the general elections, will witness an unrivalled avarice a voracious appetite for public monies, an unapologetic resurrection of ghosts long thought to be buried in the ash-heap of the 2002 genera elections. We have lost billions already. 2016 will give us the first trillion-shilling swindle and it will be a thing of wonder.

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