Recently , VOA hosted Hon. Aden Duale, the member of parliament for Garissa Township and Majority Leader of the National Assembly. The interviewer asked him a series of softball questions which the charismatic, outspoken politician adeptly used to his advantage turning the interview into an opportunity to promote himself as the kingpin of North Eastern politics. Instead here are 6 questions VOA could have asked that the people of Garissa Township who he represents in Parliament would like him to answer:
1. Can you point to any 3 students in your whole political career spanning two decades, you provided with scholarships?
2. You’ve been accused of imposing undeserving representatives upon the public – from the current gaffe-prone Women Rep, to the deadbeat governor to Mca Waaberi down to the distribution and appointments of chiefs and assistant chiefs in wards. When will you stop imposing your will upon the masses and start respecting the popular, democratic will of the people? 3. In a recent pompous documentary showcasing your economic might, we have seen on display over 8km stretch of arable land fenced exclusively for grazing your herds. You must be aware about the county by-laws prohibiting land ownership beyond Outer Ring Road. Why should a charcoal burner in Bula Orgi and a peasant from Burburis be stopped from owning more pieces of land when their billionaire MP is the first one to violate the county by-laws and is allowed to own miles upon miles of free range land simply for the indulgence of his livestock? Why should they comply with the law when their lawmaker isn’t ? And as a follow-up question: aren’t you indirectly inspiring the ethnic clashes over land ownership when you go on a crazed land fencing spree and members of the public copy you by fencing as much as they can spark the land-related tensions we’ve witnessed recently?
4. It’s said you are grooming an online cultish sect composed of naive jobless youngsters who obsessively fawn over you and who tirelessly wax hagiographical lyrics that you reportedly relish so much Why are you wasting the youth’s time and talent with outdated, Nyayo era, hero-worshiping platitudes such as ‘our master’ and ‘king of politics’ our lion and other nauseating epithets? When are you going to stop giving out weekend stipends in return for praise and cheerleading and start giving out real stable and secure jobs to this hapless youth?
5. A few months ago you were doing a great job spilling the beans and exposing all kinds of shady underhand deals within the County Government (through your proxy sock puppet accounts ) but since the mediation efforts in July you’ve gone mute. Does this mean you are now overlooking and turning a blind eye to corrupt practices despite knowing about them? Have you, in a span of 3 short months turned from an avowed anti-corruption crusader to an enabler, even a facilitator?
6. You have twice stated on record – once in a rumbling monologue with yourself and another time in an interview on Citizen TV with Hussein Mohamed that you can jump off a cliff if Ruto asked you to do so with the assurance that you’ll be ok. This is because he gave you a job and made you who you are, you explained. Well, we the people of Garissa gave you a far better job and made it possible for you to brush shoulders with the Rutos of this world and we’re just wondering if we asked you to jump into a boiling lake, would you jump? Or do you only recognise Ruto as your one and ultimate boss?
Mr Deen is a socio-political Observer.
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