On Jan. 2008, the four men we elected based on what tribe they were born into took an oath to represent us in the national assembly. Three years on, what have they done for us? As I launch this critique of the imbeciles we elected, I'm sure some of the tribalist among us are already rushing to the barricades to defend the clowns that continue to undermine NEP.
Our MPs are consumed with protecting their seats and making sure they've stashed away enough wealth in their bank accounts. Some of that money will of course be used to bribe a few old, illiterate, self appointed clan leaders to deliver the votes of their clansmen once another inconvenient election cycle comes around. Three years ago, we were all complaining about Police harassment, unreliable electricity, poor service at public offices and youth unemployment. Today, all those problem remain and collectively, we haven't improved one bit.
The lack of intergenerational equity has brought to surface a whole lot of social problems. Drug addiction among our youth is rendering a whole generation unproductive. Teen pregnancies are on the rise and school drop out rates are sky high. This has resulted in very ugly incidents such as the widely reported youth homicides. Over 5 young adults were recently knifed to death in bizarre incidents. Local leaders are blaming it on high cellphone use,internet addiction and immigrants from Somalia ..Really??
North Eastern has been turned into a virtual police state. Citizens of this godforsaken province are subjected to daily humiliation by the policies of a fascistic government . The new constitution and realities on the ground in NEP are disjointed. I understand the government has a reason to be concerned about security given its almost paranoid fear of Alshabab but to put police barricades in every village in this expansive region deserves a lot of scrutiny especially when these men are famous for corruption rather than protecting citizens. Travel is a nightmare not only because of the poor road network in our province but also because of constant police stops and harassment. Trade is almost about to grind to a halt. Recently, I talked to a friend of mine, a Zafanana conductor, who confirmed my aforementioned assertions but I believe everyone is aware of this. Just that we cannot protest about it and our local media is too busy playing 70's music to cover any issue of social importance.
Our public schools are no longer institutions that educate, they probably have never been. They have always lagged behind their peers in other parts of the country. If as people we do not see the moral argument for 'better education', we should at least see its productive value. Our clansmen in Parliament have faltered in delivering any results on this front.
Public officers are demi-gods in our province. They are not there to serve us, rather, we are supposed to be slaves in need of their mercy. Routine things like getting a birth certificate for 20 month old child born in a hospital turn into an experience at humiliation and servitude. Never mind the fact that the person frustrating you is a clerk with just high school or college education imported from another place while thousands of our capable youth remain unemployed. Getting an ID or a passport has long ago turned into an exercise in futility. There are about 10 inspection spots between Nairobi and Garissa and 20 more between Garissa-Wajir.
Ask yourself, what has your MP done over the past three years? Maybe, he built a toilet (at inflated price) in your constituency to vindicate himself but has any of his actions led to any tangible improvements to your quality of life? At least Mandera and Wajir have men of who are at the forefront of the silent revolution taking place in Government. How many times have you stopped to ask yourself if your kids will go to better schools than you went to before you referred to these morons as "Mheshimiwa." Adan Dualle, Yusuf Haji, Farah Maalim and Sugow are the worst politicians in the national assembly. At least three of those men are not intellectually at par with their peers in parliament. Yusuf Haji is almost senile and incapable of making a coherent statement in Swahili, maybe english too. Sugow, aaah...don't even get me started on him.
As individuals, we need to bring prudence and reason to these matters instead of regurgitating widely known facts. What North Eastern needs is nothing short of a revolution, a mindset revolution. We, as people, have turned into captives to (partly) our own failures. Nepusa and other student bodies need to educate the public on the evils of tribalism. Sheikhs will have to declare war on our unaccountable representation. Every youth movement in the province has to take on the responsibility of educating the public and protecting their elders from abusive government policies. My entire argument is predicated on the assumption that private and individual industry has the biggest societal benefit. We have the capacity to collectively change our lives if we free ourselves from the shackles tribalism. Young university graduates should challenged the old guard for positions of leadership at the national and municipal level.
The hallmark of human achievement is to learn from the past and build a future that is better than the present. As of now, we are failing on this front but we can surely turn the tide to our favour should we rise up to the challenge. What we need is an engaged active youth that will shake up how things are done in this County and in the entire province.