Monday, August 27, 2012

Of the Destruction of a Country......

I write this with pain in my heart as I see all that is happening to our great land of Kenya. I write it because  I want to see change and I want it to start with me and you my reader. The country is reeling in pains of hunger, hopelessness and unrealised dreams. Many a person feel trapped. Everywhere they turn they find a person offering help but at a price. The politician asks for their votes, the pastor asks for a seed (money), the teacher asks for better pay, the hospital asks for a deposit before a life saving operation can be done and the bank asks for your most valuable asset as colateral for a loan whose interest is as high as the amount given. Where do we turn as a people? And in the midst of all this pain, are there genuine people who are willing to serve for serving sake, to earn their just income and be contented with it? People who are willing to pay the price of building a just system. I hold strongly that there such people in all facets of our society. People who are keen to see justice flow like a river and that every Kenyan is accorded the due dignity s/he deserves.

But where is the problem and who holds the solution for it? Is there hope beyond this dark phase our country is in?

There have been prophesies and amazing words of knowledge to the effect that Kenya holds a unique place in the map of the world. This is undiniable given the great interest the international community gives to Kenya. I have to qualify that the interest may not necessarily be in line with Kenyans aspirations for their country. That aside,will Kenya realize that position through a miracle or is there something each individual citizen must, and immediately so, do? Will Kenya develop in the real sense where we no longer struggle with problems of putting food on the table and giving basic education to our children?

Yes we will, but first two things stand on the way - Greed and Personality Cults. The oxford dictionary defines greed as excessive and selfish desire for wealth, food, power etc. It further notes that this desire is despite the fact that one has already enough e.g. one is not hungry but just wants more food. A look around Kenya reveals to you how much greed has become a driving factor. I hold the position that the fuel behind corruption and clashes is simply greed. Someone has a salary but still wants more and thus exploits others by virtue of his position, another has power but wants to gain more or retain it at all costs including taking others  life. The situation is even worse, as ours has become a greedy society. This is where the giver and receiver are both greedy. Everyone wants more with no regard of the process. The end seems to be all that matters. This is what has led to many people loosing their money in dubious Quick-return investments.

But what hurts most is the greed advanced in the name of God in some congregations. It is not ours to judge but it is hurting to see all the emphasis on money by many of our preachers. And they are leaving no stone unturned. Every sermon and service seems to be geared on one thing - Giving. And its not giving of your time in serving in the church, but giving of your Money. This they will say is a way to attract Gods blessings. And as in investments terms, the more you give, the more God will bless you. This is based on warped interpretation of the holy scriptures. The interesting thing is that only the top man or woman (bishop, apostle, pastor) seems to be getting blessed. She or he, drives a state of the art car, lives in the suburbs of the city in a house that only appears to us in dreams, does shopping in abroad and flys fast class. The rest of the congregation keeps waiting for God to bless them as they continually plant seeds for all manner of blessings. So are the congregations also made of greedy people? Who are not contented with what they have and want more without necessarily working so hard for it. Who want only what God has to give?

Next is the greed for power that has turned our national arena to place of unending fights. Many a politician is seeking allegiance of his ethnic community so that they can have a bigger bargain on the power opportunities. Kenyans are having to pay a huge price caused by greed. Politicians and government officials in senior positions continually advance themselves more pay and allowances, which some don't want to even pay tax for. And this is justified on the name of "my people are gaining".

Greed has no limits and no dignity at all. A greedy person will take a poor persons last coin.

Can a country be built with this kind of foundation? Even God worked for six days in creating the world. Closely associated with greed is personality cults. This is where the man or woman at the top becomes the symbol of the life we desire to live. It is when s/he has the final word of how we should do things. One sees a lot of personality cults in religious and political circles. Where the Pastors or Politicians word is final. The followers do what the top person says without even stopping to engage their own conciuosness.

I observe that greed and personality cults is the bug eating on the foundation of our country. We must face it or face the destruction it will eventually bring. Kenyans must be encouraged to make choices of their own. One should stop and ask, how comes everything focuses on just money and power. We need to question the actions of our leaders in every aspect. That means we must also stand the test we employ on others.

Two last thoughts. In the spirit of openness and accountability, it will be of necessity to have all churches and political parties accounts audited and the said accounts made public. This is because they both use money contributed by the public. Leaders of any institution found exploiting or misusing funds should face the law. Secondly, I am keen to see a culture of work and reward fully instituted in Kenya. Every country has been built on the sweat of its people. The bible does say that God will bless the work of our hands (Psalm 128:1-2). Our national anthem calls us to build this our nation together.

Lets change where we are wrong and let us build on a foundation that will never be destroyed. I believe its never too late to do the right things the right way.

In Service to God and My Country.

Some thoughts on future of Universities and Scholarship

It was my pleasure to give input on this topic at the just concluded DAAD Young Scholars in Africa Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya. As one...