OPINIONPeople Daily

We need referendum to address ‘excesses’

We are soon heading to another round of voting, if heightened talk about another plebiscite comes to reality. Not that it is something to look forward to. It is tragic that every vote we cast seems to take us one step lower to the gutter.

That is how we have ended up in the sorry state that we are in today. Kenyans cannot be blamed for trying though. Only that we mess every golden opportunity that destiny offers us for national resurrection.

It is akin to playing Russian roulette. But if we are still going to have a referendum — hope for the last time — let it be based purely on the consideration of how to improve the social and economic welfare of the majority of citizens.

Rumours that the powers that-be plan to restructure the top pecking order to accommodate the insatiable greed of the ruling class is shocking. It is like digging one hole to fill another. We should not reduce the number of elective offices down the political food chain, only to replace it with a top heavy pyramid.

The new Constitution 2010 bequeathed Kenya excess baggage. We have an inordinately high number of governors, down to members of county assemblies, whose work is simply joy riding on the gravy train at the taxpayers’ expense.

But if a recent argument I had with a group of academics early this week is anything to go by, we are sunk!

There seems to be an intellectual vacuum in this country, of men and women who can educate the masses on what is good for them.

I gave examples of how more developed societies coalesce to fight the status quo during crises, regardless of the individual’s social status.

I maintained that the middle class here has unconsciously sold its soul to the powers that be, while leaving the plebs to do the dirty work.

This is a war I could not win. I resigned to the words of George Carlin, American actor and social critic, who stated that, “Governments don’t want an intelligent population because people who can think critically can’t be ruled. They want a public just smart enough to pay taxes, and dumb enough to keep voting and electing corrupt politicians.”

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Elsewhere, Murang’a waters run dry as millions downstream shower with millions of gallons of water. But we have seen more dust from Governor Mwangi Wa Iria drama, than the light of facts that would help us empathise with the situation.

Wa Iria is fighting a losing battle by trying to engage in a political bare knuckle duel with his Nairobi counterpart Mike Sonko Mbuvi. He is hitting his head against the wall.

Of course, Wa Iria has a point. There are no free lunches, even for governments. Not that Murang’a should think they have struck oil, like Turkana county.

Rather, they need sufficient compensation to sustain and improve their custodial role of the national resource. Also, it is insane that residents of Murang’a county have lived all these years with chronic water shortages. Seriously, how do some of these things happen? – The writer is the Executive Director, Centre for Climate Change Awareness. [email protected]

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