Thursday, July 14, 2016

Five-point transformations and other parables

I am a downer. I find all that you find good in the world and dump on it. Big. Massively big. No more. I am now in the psychological space needed to offer constructive advice. I am emotionally stable and I want to help. Really.

Today I shall offer my well-meaning though unsolicited advice to the boyishly charming Inspector-General and the ramrod straight Cabinet Secretary for the Interior and Co-ordination of National Government. I want to help them restore the glorious National Police Force to its former respected self. After all no one wants more stories of police murdering civilians, do they?

First, obviously, is the preparation and publishing of a Five Point Transformation Strategic Plan. (I know a very, very good consultant who can help; he has operations in eighteen countries and finds twelve-and-a-half million shillings a pittance that he can wire back to serikali coffers on a whim.) This strategic plan should cover all the bases: re-branding, new uniforms, new titles, community outreach, tenders!, expanded recruitment and enhanced budgetary allocation to cover all that plus the consultant's very, very reasonable fees. (If he charges twenty five million for a one day publicity stunt, swallow your pride and cough up the dough.)

Second, equally obviously, scapegoat the scapegoat-able. Underlings with crooked teeth? Check. Minions with a "bad attitude"? Check. (Anyone who thinks "Baba deserves a chance" definitely has a bad attitude.) Shapely officers of the not-gentle-anymore genders who refuse to share and share alike? Ditto! Hound them without mercy in all the courts of the land.

Third, not so obviously, find an eloquent, English-speaking man-candy to handle the public communications. That Owino guy is good, but it doesn't help that he looks so obviously like an old-school karao. You need the cop equivalent of that Mutua guy (not the wedding videos Mutua; the other one with the navy blue suits and million watts smile).

Fourth, and rather crucial, revise history. Extensively. In detail. Finesse is preferred but not necessary. For example, look at how we view Daniel Toroitich arap Moi today as the benevolent father of the nation and a retired president running successful land-buying companies without bating an eyelid. Kenyans have short memories and in the Digital Age all the media tools are at your disposal in rewriting the history of policing n Kenya in which your shit don't smell. At all. Ever.

Finally, pull a Houdini. Give the people something to focus their anti-corruption, human rights animus on. al Shabaab will do in a pinch, but you are better off reminding the people that "civil society" rhymes rather neatly and niftily with "evil society." A catchy slogan is a beautiful way to focus the attention of a people with the attention span of a pigeon, which your target community is. Every time one of your guys foolishly shoots dead another Kenyan in broad daylight you can just trot out the "evil society" slogan as the bogeyman Kenyans ought to fear and, Hey presto! no more police-are-bad stories.

See? I can be helpful sometimes.

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