Monday, February 16, 2009



February 15 2009

KENYA HAS BECOME A MOURNing country. That is now a well known fact. What has not come out clearly is that we have two sets of mourners.

The first is the ordinary Kenyans who have limited options for implementing remedies to the myriad of problems that afflict the nation. They squandered their chances during the elections by voting in leaders based on euphoria of phantom change and the lure of monetary inducements.

Having lost their chance then, all they can do is to mourn about anything and everything, from the failure to pay tax by the ladies and gentlemen they voted for barely 14 months ago, to the melee of corrupt scandals that are unfolding with abandon.

Short of the recall clause in the Constitution, the first set of mourning Kenyans have to wait for 2012 to shed blood and demonstrate their displeasure.

THE SECOND SET OF THE MOURNing Kenyans are leaders who have been vested with the responsibility to effect change and offer solutions to the problems affecting our people.

The intensity with which this group is wailing and mourning is really baffling. The milkman is crying about perpetual delays in milking the cows. The farmer is all tears about the weed that has invaded his farm.

The chef is ashen with anger about the awful taste of the food he has cooked. What is the world coming to? If the store man becomes the chief wailer about the disappearing tools from the store, what about the rest of us, mere mortals?

Let’s just take a cursory look at three cases of this new-found style of professional mourning. I will start with the gallant lady from Gichugu, the minister for Justice, Constitutional Affairs and National Cohesion, Martha Karua.

Addressing the Kenya We Want talking shop, the good minister complained that there are 870,000 pending cases in our courts system. Yes, that’s close to a million cases pending. Roughly, it means that out of every four Kenyans, there is one Kenyan with unfinished business with our Judiciary.

This, even by the standards of a banana republic, is an unacceptable situation. It would be better if that complaint came from the first set of mourners, the ordinary Kenyans. The bad news is that this mourning came from none other than the minister in charge of the Judiciary.

If the minister, who has real power is the one leading in the mourning spree, what are we to do? If I were the minister for Justice, what I would do is to go racing to my boss and tell him “Look, I think you made the right choice by appointing me to be your minister, but I think that where you got me from there are other Kenyans. I wish you would get somebody else who can clear the mess in our Judiciary”.

The second example of the wailing, shrieking store men is none other than the mercurial prime minister himself. He was quoted recently as saying he has invited an international team to investigate the National Cereals and Produce Board. Reason? He believes there may be some problems at the parastatal.

What he did not tell us is that the Public Sector Reforms and Performance Contracting Unit is right in the office of the Prime Minister. That is the unit vested with ensuring that there are processes within the public sector, including parastatals like NCPB, that helps us not to close the stable when the horse has already bolted.

The Prime Minister did not tell us that the Inspector-General of State Corporations and the Efficiency Monitoring Unit are all in his office. As he joins us in the wailing, he needs to advise us whether these institutions should be folded up now that he has invited international experts to over the maize-gate.

THE BRONZE MEDAL OF THE ORDER of the Wailing Warrior goes to the latest dreamer-philosopher, the Mr Mutula Kilonzo. When the nation was coming to terms with the grief that was the Nakumatt fire tragedy in Nairobi, the good man from Mbooni was lamenting about the lack of fire-fighting equipment in Nairobi City, the heart of the grandiose metropolis.

Now this lamentation did not come from the relatives of the Nakumatt victims; it came from the minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Development.

While developing the lofty dream that is Nairobi 2030, the minister did not see the need to start with small baby steps, what we refer to in management parlance as “Quick Wins”. Had he done so, he would have seen the need to start with deliverable number 001:-Fire fighting equipment for the city of Nairobi.

Mr Kuria is the secretary-general, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (


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Submitted by mnyawade
Posted February 16, 2009 03:07 AM

Good observation Mr Kuria, especially regarding the fact that WE, the electorate plundered our chance in the last elections.The bunch of people we put in government are not fit for purpose..but do we ever learn? No we dont, so WE voters must stop mourning, SHUT UP AND PUT UP with these insensitive, self seeking individuals that we chose..OR NOT?

Submitted by okerioarita
Posted February 15, 2009 10:29 PM

you are spot on. our leaders are lamenting from January to January. Nobody ever thinks outside the box. their is no strategy in providing services or imprementing policies to move forward, i think our leaders need to go to class to get basic priciples of leadership and management