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February 18, 2019

Graft: Let’s not be the sheep

Let's not be the sheep
Let's not be the sheep

The political elite have thrown taxpayers under the bus. The burdened lot are enjoying false satisfaction of the sleeping sheep. Meanwhile, cunning canines are devouring succulent meat.

The metaphor of the three travellers captures the infectious indifference in the age of ascendant greed. The theft of billions of shillings in public funds does not mean much to millions of citizens who cheer as a few raid the public coffers.
But for how long will the contented sheep sleep under the bus, without being crushed?
Three travellers left Mbita on a Sunday morning for the500km journey to Nairobi. The three had hoped to be in the city by nightfall, but  only one of them arrived.

The bus driver started the engine once the three passengers — the Dog, the Sheep, and the Goat — settled in. The bus drove off, picking new passengers along the way. They boarded with goods that told of the dominant produce of the local economy.

More passengers boarded at Homa Bay with sacks of omena. No more fish here thanks to the suffocating carpet of water hyacinth. The goods were tstrapped to the rack. But there was nothing in the sacks to excite the three passengers. At Rodi Kopany, 12km from Homa Bay town, more passengers boarded with sacks of watermelon. At Murram, more travellers boarded with sacks of potatoes. There was nothing to attract the interest of the three special passengers.
More passengers boarded at Rongo, Migori county. Banana hawkers assailed the bus, with pleas to buy. But there was nothing special to attract the attention of the three anxious passengers. Two of them were getting hungry and restless.

The Sheep was relaxed and indifferent.

At Suneka, in Kisii county, more boarded, as banana and sugarcane hawkers pleaded with the passengers to buy. The three special passengers were talking about the greenery they saw.
In Kisii town, through to Obaracho, Keroka into Nyamira county, many other banana, avocado and sugarcane hawkers pleaded with the passengers to buy more.The three special passengers were engaged in an animated discussion, moving across subjects, as the bus raced through the narrow road. Each round of bumps, brakes, and roadblocks woke up the passengers in a jerky way.

The bus passed through Sotik and Bomet, with nothing spectacular to hold the attention of the Dog, the Sheep, and the Goat. But the Dog was visibly anxious. The bus was taking too long on the way.  In Narok, something gave in for the Dog. Raging intestines were taking the better part of the canine. The world outside the bus was dusty hot. It had not rained in Narok for a long time.

The Dog came alive when the bus stopped. It was salivating at some scent and sight only the canine could figure out. The Goat and the Sheep noticed the grin on the Dog but they did not understand what was happening.
  The Dog jumped out of the bus, heading in a direction its nose had defined. The scent was irresistible. Fresh meat was roasting at the end of the lane. The Dog had arrived.

When the bus engine revved 20 minutes later, the anxious passengers could not trace the Dog. The conductor remembered the Dog had not even paid the fare. Its journey ended in Narok, thanks to succulent nyama choma.
At Mai Mahiu, it was the Goat’s turn to flee, without accounting to anyone. Hunger had taken the better part of this passenger. The shrubs outside the bus were irresistible. The Goat jumped out of the bus without notifying the driver or the conductor. The Goat paid the fare, but forgot to collect the change. It’s always running around looking for change. The Sheep arrived in Nairobi 10 hours later. It had paid the fare in full.  It’s no coincidence you are likely to find a sheep asleepunder parked cars.  Relaxed and contented. They have nothing to fear about cars.
   It’s no coincidence dogs are more likely to get hit when fleeing at the sight of cars. Guilt.

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