Never in my life, did I imagine that in the name of democracy, a massive fraud would be committed against the Kenyan people with the participation of the international community. The Kenyatta oligarchy, having bought the complicity of the international community through inviting them to buy into the privatization of our schools and hospitals, turned against the Kenyan people and made international players like UNDP, John Kerry and the Carter Center cheer them along. Never has the victory of racism been so complete in Kenya. It has made the world expect so little of Africans that they do not care whether the freedom we have is genuine, or whether the elections are fairly done.
Whether Jubilee wins this coming election or not, there's one thing that needs to go: Vision2030. It has caused us so much grief, except for the business community and tenderpreneurs who are singing their way to the bank.
Vision 2030 was a boardroom document that did not involve broad consultation, especially with people outside the business sector. Four years after it was launched, Kenyans ratified a new constitution through a popular referendum. That Constitution should have overtaken Vision 2030 as the guiding document for Kenya's freedom and socio-economic growth. Instead, Vision 2030 remained in the drivers' seat, and seven years into the new dispensation, we have ended up with a list of sorrows.
“Accept and move on” means this unease about the election. It means people moving their families to their rural areas until after the elections. It means us holding our breath as political parties go in and out of the courts debating machines (BVR kits), poll counting, judiciary independence and "credibility vs peace." It means a king kicking tantrums against the judiciary in the open field, in what seems dramatizing the judiciary's independence to the international gallery.
In a normal democracy, these are minor items which we shouldn't be debating because they're obvious. Judiciary independence should be a given. Technology should work. Accurate figures should be sent from polling stations. The technicalities of elections should be such a non-issue, that by now Kung Fu Panda should be running for president and an avocado should be on the Nairobi governor ballot. Like seriously. Like Lord Buckethead run against Theresa May.
In their book “The Big Conservation lie,” Mbaria and Ogada chronicle how KWS’s historical disregard for science and scientists has made the organization fail to protect the sovereignty of this nation, which includes our biodiversity and wildlife.
One major element of this failure is the fact that KWS directors have rarely been scientists. Based on the managerialist myth that all organizations are run well if run as businesses, KWS has appointed a succession of directors who put more emphasis on business-style management than on actual environmental science or the sovereignty our nation. And by the Kenyan nation, I mean every living thing here, not just human beings.
There’s no doubt that the NASA manifesto has caught many Kenyans off guard. With the manifesto launched a day after Jubilee’s, it seems that many Kenyans, including in mainstream media, expected a literal replica of the Jubilee manifesto, except with a sprinkling of some characteristic NASA spice. The expectation that Jubilee would set the trend was comforted by the fact that the Jubilee manifesto launch party was more flamboyant than NASA’s.
But we were in for a rude or pleasant surprise, depending on one’s political affiliation.
When I returned from my doctoral studies nine years ago, I met a curious welcome when I returned to teaching. These days, I was told, all universities have to show how their programs are aligned with Vision 2030. Surprised, I asked: but what about nationhood, what about forming character and building citizenship? How do we sincerely expect issues of culture and values to be included in what is, essentially, a business strategic plan for the nation? Most of all, how do we deal with social inequality?
Of course, I got no answer.
It is one thing for Kenya's richest families to promote land purchase, speculation and ownership. But when idea shapers and professionals do it, I get worried. instead of writing a blog post, I decided to curate a few of my more prominent facebook posts about my worries on Kenya's land ethics. Other posts can be found on this blog under the subject Land and environment.
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