“You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” – Albert Einstein.
It is a painful analogy, but that is what it is. It said that kings of Siam desirous of ruining some of their courtiers would present them with white elephants. A white elephant was of sentimental value but really useless requiring large amounts of resources for maintenance and upkeep. It couldn’t work, more of a child’s toy. The result was that the courtier would sooner or later become a pauper, unless he killed the white elephant. And so we have our very own white elephant, it is upon us to choose what to do to it or with it. Most of its members are many of questionable character and dubious credentials.
About 99.9% of the tenth parliament of our August house as currently constituted is a white elephant, an ensemble of incompetence, corruption, debauchery and randiness. It lacks wisdom, purity and empathy for the people but excels in verbal dexterity in defence of its interests. We are told that a fish begins to rot from the head. The head of parliament Hon. Kenneth Otiato Marende who, with an attitude that surreptitiously belittles the voter (& taxpayer) is on record as saying that members of parliament would only pay taxes if they felt “sufficiently philanthropic”. This snide and ignominious remark was to haunt him on a visit to the United Kingdom when he was asked about whether mps would pay taxes on BBC’s Focus on Africa hosted by our very own Sophie Ikenye. Her questions were germane, lucid and coherent. He was caught flat-footed as Sophie was quick-witted and armed with all the relevant information while his arguments were incorrigible.
We cannot deny the fact that honourable men and women have walked the corridors of Kenya’s parliament, but they were exceptions. These were few men and women of integrity who put the interest of the nation and the citizens first, and their pay was a pittance in comparison with the astronomical figures received (not earned) by the current members who have very little to show for their pay. A first without an equal must be Thomas Joseph Mboya. Members like Hon. Eng. Ephraim Maina of Mathira have tried to bring bills on the floor of the house meant to cushion the people against the effects of inflation and the rising costs of living. His Price Control Bill may not be “in force” practically but at least he had the will. We have recently seen his vocal opposition to the proposed introduction of VAT on basic commodities and we should commend him for that.
Hon. Eng. Muriuki Karue, immediate member for Ol Kalou has his name etched in golden letters in the annals of history of Kenya. He gave us The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which was more of an improvement of the Focus for Rural Development which used to be a cash cow for KANU operatives in the days gone. CDF, used in the manner it is meant to be, will transform the fortunes of the country and the people for the better. Also patched at the zenith is Hon. Justice Njoki Ndung’u, former nominated MP and currently a judge of the Supreme Court of Kenya. Now this is an exemplary lady who shattered the glass ceiling. Her Sexual Offences Act 3 of 2006 did what the Penal Code could not do. Although substantially borrowed from The Sexual Offences Act 2003 of the United Kingdom, it was a timely intervention in our criminal jurisprudence. This earned her accolades including being honoured by the United Nation’s person of the year award in Kenya. Although she failed in her quests to be nominated to parliament and being elected as a speaker of the National Assembly, the nation rewarded her and she will serve the nation much better while developing law at The Supreme Court.
It is with great sorrow that I watch MPs sit on US$3000 seat and at his/her disposal is cutting edge technology which they can’t competently use in an almost Kshs.1 billion refurbished house. This is misplacement of priorities. It is said that they borrowed the design from the German Bundestag. What a joke! Germany is light years ahead of Kenya in everything. We should remember that last year when people were fundraising to feed their starving fellow Kenyans the Mps were busy following up the progress of the “new parliament”. We should not be hoodwinked by the new wineskins of the constitution and parliament because the wine is till old wine. Currently Kenyans are fundraising in order to build a spinal injury hospital costing an estimated measly Kshs. 250 million. None of the mps has uttered a word in support of the cause, the ministries of finance, health services and medical services are dead silent. Tellingly as to what to expect from the high umber of presidential aspirants, none has come out in support of this BRING ZACK HOME noble cause. I will lose my hope in Kenya if any of these leaders is elected to any office in Kenya again. We cannot buy and keep another white elephant again! We cannot allow to be fooled twice.