CHOOSE SOBRIETY

SIMON BODO: Youths can bring the change Kenya needs

They should choose to be disciplined, starting with the coming general election.

Youths at work in Kiandutu slums in Thika on Wednesday, May 20 last year.
KAZI MTAANI: Youths at work in Kiandutu slums in Thika on Wednesday, May 20 last year.
Image: FILE

Revelations by the Auditor General of theft of public funds in government may not have surprised us because Kenyans seem to have acclimatized to such rip-offs and take them as part of life.

But we must point out the humongous nature of this looting because it impacts negatively the country’s economy.

We must call them out for what they are! Of great concern is the legislative arm of the government that should be the paragon of legality yet swindles the public of money by inflating mileage claims.

The colossal amounts run to millions of shillings within a financial year. The MPs do so without any guilt, their handsome emoluments notwithstanding.  

Secondary school heads are not left behind in this rush for rip-offs as revealed by the auditor.

A conspiracy of registering “ghost” students that leaves a hole of Sh1.6 billion in the taxpayers’ purse must not be left unpunished. They do this with zest in the full knowledge that they should be the emblem of virtue for the learners to emulate.

The crude manner in which the head teachers have exhibited their lack of rationality is best left for the ministry to handle; ours is to hope that all the tainted ones would be shown the door so that vacancies are created for many youths who are ready to dutifully serve without corruption.

The least the ministry can do is to accelerate this without mercy.

However, I would like to draw youths’ attention to the elected politicians because of their (youths’) strength numerically and physically.

It is this strength that politicians abuse. They are thus taken advantage of and used by the political class then they are left along the periphery during resource allocation.

This draws me to the first example - the lack of integrity among some legislators. They engage in such vices to amass wealth then use an infinitesimal fraction of it during elections to hoodwink the youths.

Buying liquor and disbursing Sh200 for every youth is enough for the youths to embark on orgies untold; deaths and looting become the order of the electioneering season.

These are just but delusions of reprieve. Eventually, we end up with an incompetent bunch of politicians in the name of leaders.

It is emerging that nearly all tainted leaders whose corruption cases are still prosecuted in courts have declared their interest in higher offices.

Implicated Cabinet Secretaries and MPs want to run for gubernatorial seats while accused governors want to be president. They want to use public office to protect themselves from the consequences of their crimes.

In the absence of these mega corruption scandals, the government would easily be capable of giving every  every unemployed Kenyan a monthly stipend of not less than Sh7,000.

This is not an arbitrary figure but arrived at through scrutinising the Kenya Bureau of Statistics.

The steely chutzpah of the youth should not be channelled to hubris and mayhem during elections. Youths can still salvage themselves!

The encouraging aspect of man’s life is that man is expressly capable of preserving a vestige of spiritual freedom of independence of mind even in such terrible conditions of psychic abuse by the political elite.

The youths can still soul search and choose sobriety over negative emotional exuberance bereft of socio-political gain.

Youths need to realise that man has both potentialities of (being dutiful/ discipline or behave like swine) within himself; whichever is actualized depends on decisions but not conditions.

While the politicians have chosen to behave like swine the youths should desist from that and choose to be disciplined, starting with the coming general elections.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris