Our country Kenya turns 54 on the 12th of this month and like every birthday we have plans to throw a party on the Jamhuri Day complete with a great speech from the President. But really, besides getting older what else is there to celebrate?
We’ve just gone through a most trying period in a competitive poll that nearly tore us apart and left a section of the country still sore. But being the people that accept things and move on, we’ve moved on.
Essentially we’ve gone back to being our usual mediocre selves. It appears 54 years of self-rule has turned us into lawless, angry people who have little patience for logic.
It sure does sound like a broken record every time analysts come on TV to remind us that at independence we were at par with Malaysia which is not the case now. Or how we gave aid to South Korea in the 60s and now we’re beneficiaries of their tax payers money, yet these statements are quite telling.
What then are we celebrating? Retrogressive-ness? We have retrogressed in nearly every sector despite the choir of politicians in government singing about this development and that development.
Major Towns stink
The major towns that became cities after independence were already set for the same by the white government. They had running water, proper sewerage system and a good public transport system.
Today, nearly every city that’s worth that term struggles with a broken sewerage system. Poor garbage collection system and a complete lack of urban planning and development.
Even the capital Nairobi has nothing worth to report home about after 54 years. God forbid it rains for one week straight. You’d be forgiven to think we’re living in the days of Noah. All the roads get flooded and pedestrians wade through the water which sometimes is knee-deep. You can only imagine the waterborne diseases that come out of that clear lack of urban planning.
The white man left us clean organized cities that we turned into filthy, disorganized urban places. And today more than 50years later, for every posh estate we have a slum as a reminder that ethnicity is not the real problem.