Uhuru often makes the right noises, but I have rarely seen him do the right things. There is no doubt that Uhuru is blessed with the gift of a gab, a gift he often puts to good use a tad too often. Looking at him, I find it difficult to place a distinction between him and the person of David Norris (played by Matt Damon) in the movie, Adjustment Bureau. David Norris makes a moving concessional speech that after meeting incredibly beautiful Elisa Sellas (Emily Blunt) that catapults him into the apex of political stardom.
In more ways than one, Uhuru Kenyatta, and to some extent his deputy, Messer William Ruto, is like David Norris. First of all, Uhuru can make a speech, in fact, I am obliged to believe that these are skills developed in A-list schools like St. Mary’s School, for evidence see Lupita Nyong’o and James Githongo. Whether inspired by an Elisa Sellas or by a shot of 40% by volume Scottish Scotch, Uhuru can make a speech, so much so that after his ascension to power in March 2013, he has become the de facto poster boy of the archaic heads of African states summit. Like the pied piper, he plays all the right tunes, the man evokes nostalgia on the pan-Africa dream, speaks against Western neo-imperialism and nonchalantly asserts that Africa does not need the West.
Locally he plays the plays to this tune; of course, Ruto plays the pipe.
‘My government shall not tolerate corruption,
We must reduce public spending, × 100
We must reduce the cost of doing business,
We must reduce spending on recurrent expenditure
And increase expenditure on infrastructure and development.’
These are tunes that play involuntarily in Uhuru’s mind that every time he opens his mouth, the same old tune is never far off.
The problem is, even though Uhuru often does say the right things he rarely does the right things. Although Uhuru has made the fight against corruption his clarion call, am afraid he is not winning it. In 2013, Kenya scored 136/177 in the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. This places Kenya in the abhorrently corrupt of countries, a walk down the Kenyan streets reveals all matter of chicanery, and bribes change hands like gambling coins on a roulette table. This leaves the president with egg on his face, me thinks that he has to appreciate that corruption cannot be fought with mere rhetoric, he should borrow WANGARI Karua’s famous line ‘fighting corruption is a process, not an event’ say a speakers event.
There also exists a plethora of moribund state corporations, why can’t the government privatize these? In the past, Kenyans have been overburdened by this state corporation bail-outs, now the Kenyan Meat Commission is in the red, again, and the government is as eager to bail it out. The joke that is the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation continues to make a mockery of the digital revolution, that place is broadcasting museum, not a broadcasting corporation; I say we sell it out for scrap value, and buy bread with the proceeds.
On a shorter note, I do not know why KRA should force diligent Kenyans to do business with the National Bank. Clearly, the banking revolution in this country has passed National Bank by, but I bet all banks, state or not, deserve a right to survival.