Monday, Jan 26th 2015

Who Will Save This Rotten Society?

Friday, August 3, 2012 - 00:00 -- BY JERRY OKUNGU

Too much democracy and individual rights are destroying this society. This country is in a chaotic state. There is too much lawlessness. Nothing seems to work. Because of excessive human rights, criminals are having a field day. Today a murderer, a rapist or even a terrorist can get bail from our courts because their rights are guaranteed in the constitution. A foreigner can today barter a Kenyan woman and rush to court to stop the police from arresting him!

The mounds of garbage, overflowing sewers in our urban centers makes one wonder what the local authorities or even a government are doing to deal with this organized chaos. Every day, senseless deaths continue to occur on our roads as anarchy is allowed free reign. If you look at the number of economic crimes that have been committed in Kenya in the last 20 years, you wonder whether we have laws that can punish economic crimes.

If you look at violent crimes that have been committed by organized groups, gangs and foreign criminals, you wonder what really happened to our penal code. There was a time not too long ago when our highways were safe and secure. I remember on the eve of Easter Holidays I would drive my car from Kisumu to Mombasa in one day and return safely. In those days, road users had respect for one another and traffic police department worked. Not anymore. These days, a drive on our highways is like a contract with death.

There was a time when the police motto of “Utumishi kwa wote” meant something. Yes, they could harass ordinary wananchi from time to time for petty offences. But one could count on them when a major crime was being committed or was already committed. They would come and indeed do some serious work and even charge and convict offenders in some cases.

The only remedy to get rid of this madness which is as a result of a breakdown in the system is to have a ruthless and benevolent dictator to do the unexpected— restore order and sanity in our lawless society. The reason we have a sick society is because the entire social fabric is rotten to the core. Fathers are abusing and molesting their daughters. Grandsons are raping their grandmothers. The police force have become partners in crime. We can no longer trust teachers with our children. Priests are either defiling our children or recruiting prostitutes to help them con their congregations.

The reason why crime has gotten out of control is because our society is rotten from the top to the bottom. The once celebrated institutions of excellence that the society used to look up to are no more. Universities stopped being inspiring a long time ago! Today, they are no different from village polytechnics. A look at their staffing tells a different story. From top to the bottom they are a reflection of the ethnic environment.

Our honorable MPs stopped being honourable a long time ago. To be an MP these days is no longer admirable. They are now better known for looting public funds than providing leadership. The number of corruption scandals investigated by various parliamentary committees speaks volumes. These days, most people bribe their ways to Parliament for reasons other than public service. They go there to make fortunes for themselves and their families.

In the last 10 years, almost every government ministry and state corporation has been investigated by different agencies of the state. We have seen Governors of the Central Bank, Ministers of Finance, Local Government, Transport, Education, Internal Security, Agriculture, Energy, Special Programmes and even the Kenya Bureau of Statistics under the spotlight.

If you visit our hospitals, the situation is no different from our rural primary schools. If one stinks to high heavens, the other has children sitting on stones and learning under a tree. You would think we are still in Stone Age. If you see the amount of public land being grabbed by power barons then sold to the unsuspecting members of the public; you know we are indeed in big trouble when palatial homes built on such parcels of land come tumbling down. Yet the original grabbers never get caught and punished.

It is this sorry state of our society that makes it cry loud for a benevolent dictator to right things that have gone badly wrong for so long in the past. And I believe a benevolent dictator can cure this disease. The late John Michuki tried in his small way with public transport on our roads and he indeed made a difference. John Gakuo tried the same in his small way within the Nairobi City and made a lot of difference. He cleaned the streets, brought light on our streets, collected garbage and restored Nairobi River.

John Michuki and John Gakuo had one thing in common apart from the first names. They brooked no nonsense from law breakers. They came hard on anybody who dared to break the law. They are the reason this country is crying for a benevolent dictator. Ghana, Rwanda, Singapore, Malaysia and China have benefitted from benevolent dictatorship. We too can restore this great country to its original glory. We have to do this for posterity.