Governance issues show Kenya is not truly independent

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Someone born when Kenya became independent is now 60 years old – a mature, wizened, elderly individual. If employed, whether in the private or public sector, this individual has about dispensed their quota of formal nation building and is teetering on the brink of retirement. The same cannot be said about our country that came to being at the same time, with the coming of its independence, though. It seems stuck in adolescence and nowhere near maturity.

For some reason, we have been unable to shake off some challenges that should ideally afflict nations at a much younger stage, trying to figure themselves out. For starters, and embarrassingly so, lately we do not seem able to properly manage supply of electricity that powers everything, after all these years. Every so often, and particularly in the last few months, we are suddenly plunged into darkness, cutting off critical services.

Clearly, that infamous monkey that, once upon a time, was blamed for causing an electricity transmission line to trip, leading to a nationwide blackout, seems to have learnt new tricks; or has since rapidly brought forth others of its kind with propensity to hang out on these lines and cause darkness. Even more bewildering is that those who should be having answers and solutions on these nationwide power outages seem oblivious and wonder with the rest of us, clutching at straws. From mulling power rationing as a solution to speculating about some supposed sabotage for unclear reasons, all sorts of theories are being thrown at the challenge.

From managing national examinations to some supposed pandemic of fake academic certificates, we have quite a lot to deal with. All the efforts that have been expended in building the country over the years seem to have left us in some inertia of sorts. So much has been done yet we still grapple with very basic issues that we should have figured out by now.

Rather than deal with the pressing matters at hand, the convenient excuse has been to blame past regimes for mistakes of omission and commission. It almost seems as if we are on autopilot and do not really have a plan. Whatever became of our long-term national development blueprint that was meant to deliver to us all a prosperous country with a high quality of life? With only a few years to the maturity of this dream, looks like we might just need to crawl back into bed.

Individually and collectively, prosperity remains a mirage and might not be delivered in this lifetime. Curiously though, most of these challenges that we are presently struggling with had been foreseen, considered, and planned for by the bunch of brilliant minds who wrote up our country’s roadmap into the future.

Like many other great ideas of our country, this too seems to have been packed in some shelf, forgotten – no one talks about it anymore. Years ago, when it came into force, the promise was that it would endure through regime changes until the Promised Land is finally delivered to all. Now, every new administration seems to have its own plan that does not really pay attention to the masterplan.

Surely, our country needs to act its age. We need to quickly get our act together and move forward, otherwise we will remain stuck in this phase of delayed maturity. It has to begin with paying keen attention to our nation’s masterplan.

@butunyi

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