When Uhuru Kenyatta and William S Ruto came together and brought their parties together to form the Jubilee alliance, they made many many promises, and painted rosy pictures of life under the Jubilee government. They catered or styled their campaign message to appeal to the youth. There were promises of how the youth would be first and foremost in everything that the Jubilee aimed at achieving. Hey it was campaign period, and every five years politicians get to paint very very very nice pictures of the many things that they will do to help lift the country out of the misery of poverty and deliver us to Canaan. i give kudos to the Jubilee team for being able to make the campaign about the the old vs the new. With that, the were able to crown themselves as youth, as the hip team, as the team that is up to date, the team that is rolling with the times, THE DIGITAL TEAM.
I am not one to believe what a politician will say, and more so not a Kenyan politician. Politicians have no shame and will say and do anything just to get elected, and there forms the basis for my pessimism with their promises. I have to also admit that I slipped – a little – and believed in the Jubilee team, when they named the Cabinet Secretaries. I was wowed by the fact that the team they gave us contained highly learned individuals, who were relatively young(er) than the people that Kenyans have had as their ministers. I also slipped when Uhuruto were displaying some serious bromance at State House and I was like, this is surely going to be a new Kenya, run by a young enthusiastic team of professionals who are even inviting the media for tea at statehouse. But like I said, I slipped!
The Jubilee government has had to deal with lots of obstacles and challenges in the short time that they have been in power, and on some they have dealt with very well, and on some failed miserably. In my opinion, for a team that is supposed to be highly digital, one that is active on social media etc, there have been 3 major decisions that they have made that are purely ‘UNDIGITAL’
I) NYUMBA KUMI INITIATIVE:
Terrorist attacks are effective because they do to things that have very huge impacts. The first and most obvious one is the huge losses in lives and the destruction of property. This runs into huge losses and its the first and immediate effect. The second and longer lasting effect, is fear, they yield fear, fear means people do not go about their business in peace, they reduce their economic activities and as a result, the local economy is destroyed due to the fear. For a country that is highly dependent on tourism as a source of income, such fear will lead to huge losses in the tourist industry and all related industries. Now, with the stakes so high, and the impact of the westgate attacks, (and including all terrorist attacks on Kenyan soil) was huge, and we will continue to feel the effects many years after, but with stakes high, Kenya’s response was ‘Nyumba kumi initiative’. So we are going to tell tourists, potential investors, and Kenyan citizens not to panic for the nyumba kumi initiative in on? How ‘undigital’ is that?
II) NIGHT TRAVEL BAN
Accidents in Kenya have claimed so many lives, and a lot of property has been destroyed. One can never put a price and a human being’s life. Our roads are a menace and something has to be done! With that said and done, banning night travel is not the solution. The accidents do not happen because is dark, but because the drivers continue to flout traffic rules, thereby over speeding and over loading. The traffic police who are supposed to ensure safety on our roads by preventing these criminals from have their licences have turned it into a money making venture. These and more issues are the ones that should be dealt with to reduce the road carnage. Night travel ban, in itself not only inconveniences the passengers but affects the economy, which we can barely afford to do. The livelihoods of so many people are being affected by the ban. Think of the many stopovers that benefit, the small hotels and restaurants, the cafes, the petrol stations, the hawkers and the list goes on. It seems plain obvious what the effects are and who is affected by the ban, but does our ‘digital’ team see that?
III) RE-APPOINTMENT OF MUTHAURA, WAMAE AND CO.
I understand that there is a need for experienced hands in running some of the various projects, parastatals and offices of the government. I understand that a person like Muthaura has a long resume and very few can beat what he has done over the years. With all that ‘understanding’, its important to realize that a impedes service delivery to the Kenyan citizenry is not lack of experience, but the fact the culture of non delivery, the culture of not having consequences for not meeting goals and objectives, the culture of mediocrity, culture of same old same old that is so entrenched in our government system we are grinding to a halt and we do not even know it. What such a system needs is a young people, who are still trying to build a legacy, who are still trying to prove themselves, the old may have experience but where a culture change is needed and not experience, they are not the best fit. I do not expect new ideas from the likes of Muthaura or Wamae, they will continue to do the same old same old as before. It therefore goes without saying, that it was so ‘undigital’ for the digital team to have appointed them!