2019: The Year of Spills and Spoils
Unfortunately we do not have many great things to say about the year that has just died. Sugarcoating lies and pleasing power is not what we do here. 2019 ended with Wajir Senator confirming the wayward corruption and the looting of county coffers by those whose pyrrhic victory few celebrated. It was a year of violence against girls, youth unemployment and locust infestation. The year drew to a close with Merus from Isiolo County conned under the pretext of meeting the Deputy President. Of course office bearers will scoff at this; but it was a year of spills and spoils, looting and laundering, underdevelopment and abjection. As we usher in 2020, we must all look in the mirror and talk to the man and woman looking back at us. Literally talk to yourselves and ask many WHYs.
Ask why nothing is improving in our locality. Why stealing of public funds has been normalised? Why unemployment amongst our youth is increasing while Counties budgetary allocations has increased?Why our economic status is stagnant or, worse, declining? Why have many died of hunger and none raised a finger or said a word against it? Why our animals are perishing and there is no government on site to deal with the diseases and drought that is killing them? Why locust has invaded and the county government is mum? Why the annual shillings 150 million cannot be accounted for?
Ask that man or woman in the mirror why there are no changes for the better even after the change of guard?
If by chance he or she is among the few who are wallowing in wealth, ask themselves many more questions. What did they do to earn their wealth? What industries have they built? How much investment have they under their names? How many jobs have they created? What have they invented? Why is there so much need and poverty while they are wallowing in wealth they cannot account for? What future will their children and grandchildren expect from wealth that is not earned?
If he or she is someone in a leadership position they should ask themselves even harder questions. How did they find themselves leading and whether they deserve to continue occupying their positions? What did they do to uplift their constituents from poverty? What did they do with the money meant for roads, water, SMEs, salaries and youth empowerment? Why are their constituents wallowing in abject poverty while millions or billions belonging to these constituents have gone through the county or CDF accounts? They ought to remind themselves that while they can bribe away their crime what are they going to tell their creator when they are asked to account for every penny on the day of reckoning?
Continue asking that person in the mirror all the WHYS you can gather. Study the questions and analysis the answers. Share with those close to you or even in a public forum. Shame yourself that you wasted 12 good months at best feeding yourself while your neighbour could ill-afford 3 square meals or pay their hospital bills. In this life loyalty to self is the lowest desires one can fulfil. Its loyalty to more than the self that must count. Feeding yourself or your family and looking at human misery through the window is an animal’s way of living. Speaking against evil, injustice against your fellow beings and standing up for what is right makes us human.
There are broadly 3 categories of people in today’s world. Those who will not give a hoot about what is happening to their fellow beings, those who care and try to prevent the bad and encourage the good by their words or actions and then there are those who discourage the actors against evil and enablers of good from acting or speaking. This is the worst category. In the Qur’an it is mentioned there are those who discourage people from paying charity. They do not pay and discourage those who do. These are mentioned as worse than those who do not pay. Unfortunately, in our midst today, are those who will frown upon speaking against the bad and encouraging of the good. They will call the activists names, label them as busybodies and people with no purpose. They shame those who speak against corruption, theft and injustices.
This new year; ask yourself which category you want to belong to. If you will ever be in any category do not become the category that discourages those who act against the bad. Try to be an enbaler of good by not only doing good but by preventing and speaking against evil. Youth unemployment, theft of public funds, violence against others are some of today’s evils you need to speak against. If you ever speak, speak truth to power.