With Methuselahs and dinosaurs in control, Kenya all but doomed

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KALTUM GUYO

By KALTUM GUYO
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Watching and listening to the May Day celebrations at Uhuru Park, one wonders whether it was a political rally or a day to celebrate workers’ achievements.

I have written countless times to say that politics is strangling us and those who are mad and bad about 2022 are doing it just for themselves. How insensitive and insincere to workers to see the speeches being all about politics?

It was not surprising to see the low turnout. The workers have voted with their feet and sent a message that there’s clearly nothing to celebrate. They were right. If there was something to celebrate that included them, then we won’t have had it hijacked to be run like a political campaign rally.

The problem of inertia within the labour industry starts with the fact that we’ve let people who have overstayed their welcome in offices to carry on despite having little to show for the decades of occupying high office.

Having dinosaurs and Methuselahs in charge in this digital age leaves us on the back-burner. There’s nothing new that incompetence can herald. It’s just that, however, efficiently we recycle it.

Recycling leaders is corruption! We talk of fighting graft but do nothing at corruption that stares at us in the face. When you have people coming back in circulation at the same post or any other, only one thing is possibly happening. It means they’re revolving through ‘a nod and a wink’ and only corrupt systems work like that. If we applied meritocracy, 90 per cent of ‘revolving-door’ leaders would stand no chance. But Alas!

The promise given to youth sounds hollow if nothing is done to give them a leg up.

We can only achieve social mobility by creating opportunities for youth and especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. We can’t achieve that by clogging the system with people who frankly have outlived their usefulness.

Industrialisation is part of the Big Four agenda, but at this rate, it will just be a pipe dream. I am not sure which form of industrialisation the agenda is planning to take, but given the fact that the world is increasingly becoming digital, it is irresponsible that we push the tech savvy youth to the side in favour of people who are in fact a waste of space.

In the last few years, we have read a lot about the suffering of Kenyan workers abroad. I was more familiar with the issue of south-to-south migration at the Coast. It was easier for residents of Arab descent to find work in the Middle East due to shared cultural values.

Migration to the Middle East has now affected every community in Kenya. The abuse gets worse every year.

The influx could greatly be attributed to lack of opportunities at home. The issue that those in the labour movement, and indeed the Big Four Agenda, need to grapple with is how those jobs could be created at home where the locals can work in safety and nearer their families.

It would also be a great way to create wealth.

There’s also the issue of protection of Kenyan workers abroad that needs to be addressed, and yet it seems to be treated with disdain time and again.

The labour movement that has turned a blind eye to abuse of workers in the few local industries won’t have the muscle or intent to offer protection to Kenyans working abroad.

But rather than talk pertinent issues affecting workers and their rights, Cotu’s Francis Atwoli has taken to politics like a duck to water. He should be eating, living, breathing workers’ affairs and say how he plans to help the industrialisation cause.

Many other issues need to concern organisations like Cotu, including and not limited to the plight of pensioners, who struggle to get their dues after retirement, the employers who run modern-day slavery by refusing to pay workers, and sexual harassment in the work place. The list goes on.

I’ve wondered how much benefit politics brings to the country. I think it depends who is asking. For those in leadership, of course, it offers riches beyond their imagination.

Voters clearly have a different take; they’re made to accept the crumbs, if lucky. Politics is quite enmeshed with everything done in Kenya but offers citizens little, and it is deceitful to purport to be political on their behalf.

We must divorce politics from the Big Four Agenda to achieve the goal of industrialisation.

Most importantly, it’s worth giving the younger generation a chance to drive the manufacturing agenda. The digital world is theirs and if we’re heading for a take-off in industrialisation, it would be imprudent to carry dead weights and prudent to embrace technology and youth instead.

Nairobi County is dying to be rescued from the jaws of gangster(ism) and lawlessness it turns ungovernable.

In the hands of the current regime, the city is not being run but run down. It’s management by crisis at its very best.

When you have someone at the helm of the capital city hell bent on running parallel system to the country’s norms and values and indeed its Constitution, the city is left teetering on the brink of collapse.

This is a city with a governor, who has little to no regard for the rule of law and whose management style is marked by vendetta and unruly behaviour. A governor, who would rather live a life of opulence in a city with the highest level of poverty in the world.

When a governor is recorded  arrogantly buying a gold chain worth a million and half shillings,  and flicking dollar notes just like gangsters do in a vulgar rap music, then you know, we have a gangster in charge and not someone with any leadership skills.

How long before the authorities wake up to the chaos and mayhem bedevilling the capital city and rescue it from total collapse?



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