Hard questions as independent Kenya turns 58

This year will mark 58 years since Kenya attained internal self-rule after a hell of over forty years under the British colony.

History records that colonial rule started in 1920s.

Fifty-eight years of self governing is not a joke.

Indeed we should all raise up our glasses of water and say together in harmony, “cheers to self-governance.”

It is a joyful moment that all Kenyans should celebrate; sing, dance, unite and honor the founders of this nation.

It is also a good moment that we need to maximumly pay attention with our pens and notebooks.

We should be ready to jot down the many lessons that we have picked ever since this self-governance was attained back in 1963.

As we do that; as we raise our glasses of water up and sing and dance, we should also be questioning ourselves on whether the system has worked for all Kenyans.

Is it possible for every Kenyan to access a glass of clean water so that we raise the glasses as a nation in unison?

What of health? Is every Kenyan at the moment getting free or affordable access to health service so that we don’t lose fellow Kenyans while in the mood of celebration?

Children tend to be stubborn at celebration parties especially when they are hungry.

Is every Kenyan child at the moment getting at least a single meal per day and those of school age, are they doing their homework?

Going back to the words and strategies of our founding fathers, have we eliminated poverty, illiteracy and minimized the dangers of pests and diseases to maximum productivity as they aimed when they were seeking this self-governance?

There are so many questions that we need to ask ourselves and seek their answers as quickly as possible before we lose it again.

Thousands of questions that can be summarized by two main questions; has the system worked for every Kenyan?

And, since 1963, is there anything to smile about as a nation?

These are very fundamental questions that we need to bring every single individual on the table.

If the table is too small to accumulate everybody, then let us consider using Uhuru Park in Nairobi or Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.

We will be seeking answers to very important questions.

Yes, I must appreciate that comparing where we are as a nation and where we were thirty or forty years ago, we have made many steps ahead.

We have witnessed many houses being connected to the national grid, we do appreciate that thousands of Kenyan children have been able to enter the classroom and acquire knowledge from Kenyan teachers.

We have also witnessed infrastructure being improved and new ones being established.

I cannot fail to note that we have also been privileged to witness how our government can act just incase of a pandemic or a terrorist attack or even an attack from locusts.

I swear to God that we have seen a lot!

Have we only made positive steps since 1963?

Of course not; I could have started with the Goldenberg and Anglo-leasing scandals but I prefer to use Arror and Kimwarer dams’ scandal.

I pick the two since they happened the other day.

My pen is tempting me to write on the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal but I will settle on the more recent one.

I am referring to the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) scandal that left many Kenyans with one Swahili quote on their social media platforms, “ Serikali ya Kenya inaweza hata nyang’anya mgonjwa uji.”

I am about to talk something on unemployment but that will not be necessary since Kenyans are now used to it.

Their hope on this went very low when an actuarial science graduate was spotted in the capital city with a placard.

How about the issue of our national natural resources?

Has the oil in Turkana helped turn the issue of energy crisis the other way round?

Have we considered establishing our own local industries and bringing back to life the likes of Mumias Sugar Industry and Uchumi or Nakumatt supermarkets?

Yes, we are trying as a nation, we are really trying to make Kenya a better place, but is it the most enough that we can offer on the table?

The answer is obvious.

Kenya is a rich nation, not just rich in form of coins and notes; we got more than enough land to cultivate our own food and import the rest to our good neighbors.

We have enough rivers and lakes to ensure no Kenyan lacks clean water and even harness our own electricity.

Thinking of bright brains to implement these?

We have got many fresh brains that can channel their energy towards making Kenya a technology hub.

We have enough institutions and we are in a good position to establish more to install the relevant skills that this nation needs.

This country has enough of everything and that is why our founding fathers decided that its time we rule ourselves.

Do we really need a nation with unemployed and frustrated youth?

Do we really need a state with many established industries and companies but due to mismanagement they are useless?

Is this really what our founding fathers wanted back in 1963?

I had promised not to ask more questions but I have no idea where those came from.

Again, I will state that we shall obtain many answers from the many questions we shall have asked ourselves but only two answers will carry the rest; that we need a system that works for every single Kenyan and a government that can make every individual in this country to smile.

That is now the self-governance that our founding fathers anticipated.

And since we are looking for a system that works for every Kenyan and which carries enough smiles for every person, there is therefore a need of us as a nation heading back to the original position and putting on a veil of ignorance, then we start again to think of a new system.

A system that will not bring about corruption, discrimination, tribalism, election violence, terrorism attack, impunity among many other negative things that are causing a bigger distance between us and the anticipations of our founding fathers.

Kenya can be turned into a better place, only if we question ourselves and draft something good for every Kenyan, not just a few.

  • Mr Odongo is a Bachelor of Science (Bsc-Renewable Energy and Environmental Physics) student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). His contact: t.odongo@scholarmedia.africa
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