Kenyan leaders are so used to lying that, it came as a big surprise when President Uhuru on Jamhuri Day told Kenyans the truth that “We are not yet in the Promised Land.”
Surprisingly, instead of appreciating this truth that President Uhuru could have suppressed, many Kenyans and Uhuru supporters in the social media cursed, not Uhuru who had said it, but those who like me took the liberty to amplify the truth of about the true condition of people’s lives.
Appreciating Uhuru’s statement is important because if somebody in the opposition said it, many Kenyans and especially Uhuru’s supporters may dismiss it as untrue, not because it has been investigated and found wanting in veracity, but because it has been said by someone from the opposition. Now that the truth has come from Uhuru’s own mouth, one would expect that many Kenyans would receive it with the gravity and seriousness it deserves. But they have not. By attacking those who have dared to amplify the statement, Uhuru supporters are saying they would rather he lied than told them the truth.
Kenyans live in terrible self denial and would rather, nobody tells them the true condition of their lives – that they are poor – and where their country is economically – not in the Promised Land.
What Kenyans fear most is not being told where they are not, but where they are if they are not in the Promised Land. The truth is, if Kenyans are not in the Promised Land, they are either in Egypt of colonial slavery or in the desert of poverty where President Kenyatta left them when he died.
The truth however is that Kenyans would rather be in the Promised Land than in the desert of poverty where most are wallowing in the sewages of Korogosho, Mathare, Kibira, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Land Panya, Kivumbini, Bondeni and other similar slums.
But Kenyans will never get to the Promised Land without acknowledging that they are currently in the desert, don’t like it there and whatever it takes, they must leave. Instead of accepting this truth, the poor are busy denying their condition as if denial will change it.
Be that as it may, the admission by the President is very important because it is the first step he would take if he believes in leading people out of the desert.
Indeed, at 50 years, Kenya is at the crossroads, and must decide which way to go. Stay where she is in the desert. Go back to Egypt. Or go forward to the Promised Land.
If Kenyans will cheat themselves that to be in the desert is okay, the desert is the Promised Land, they will be doomed to perish in the desert.
Uhuru’s admission is even more important because he is not in the desert himself. Before President Kenyatta died, he made sure his family, friends and the ruling class were in the land of milk and honey that only those who got could have. For Uhuru therefore, it is a matter of looking back at the Kenyan masses to remind them that they are in the desert if they have forgotten. But if they insist they are not in the desert and are happy to be where they are, how can Uhuru or anybody else save them?
Some are even asking, what is Canaan if our desert is not?
Canaan is what many people call the developed world, first world or heaven on earth, comprising countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Israel, Singapore and Japan where citizens’ basic needs of food, water, clothing, housing, security, transport, treatment in hospitals, adequate education, employment and support when out of work, are all met by government as a matter of course.
What President Uhuru did not tell Kenyans however is that for them to leave the desert, they must have a Joshua to lead them to the Promised Land and whether he is that Joshua or not. To me, his hesitation to say if he is the expected Messiah or Joshua who will take Kenyans to the Promised Land means that he is not.
If Kenyans fail to resolve the question of right leadership by sharpening their minds to discern the right people for leadership, they will never reach Canaan.
To reach the Promised Land, Uhuru must also have told Kenyans that they must have an industrial revolution which all developed have had. Only an industrial revolution can give us industries to add value to our agricultural products, produce commodities to sell and employ people in millions.
To have an industrial revolution however, our education must lay emphasis on science subjects and develop technological skills to produce things for use and sale.
To reach the Promised Land, Kenyans must also have a fundamental land reform that will distribute land to the poor and the unemployed to grow food for the nation above all else. As long as a few people continue to possess hundreds of thousands of unused land when others are suffocating in slums, we can forget the Promised Land. To have a green revolution, we must take good roads and trains to the farm lands to take harvested produce to the markets.
Over and above, we must substitute capitalism with social democracy. If capitalism has not eliminated poverty in the last 50 years, it will not in the next 50 years. Nor will capitalism eliminate greed and corruption, the arch enemies of human development.
And yes, people divided by negative ethnicity cannot move together to the Promised Land. To reach Canaan, every citizen must have a piece of the national cake.