In the year 2002 Kenya was promised that the country’s biggest problem would be solved. Education. We needed our kids, so desperately, to go to school. So we voted for the guy. And he delivered. One day he woke up and decreed that education was to be free. That year alone, national enrollment went up 23%.
It was tragic.
Students had no books or pens; there were more kids in any given class than there were teachers in the country and money was stolen. Nevertheless education was free. Forget the fact that 30% of the students who finish primary school don’t even get to high school; then that a further 60% of those that get to high school fail. Education was free, and that’s all that we were promised.
A story in the Nation today talks about wrangles for county offices. There are little disputes about who gets what office and where said offices should be located. So, since 27th August 2010 when the constitution was promulgated, no one thought that these guys would have to have offices once they are voted in? We all woke up after elections and remembered that we have to situate these people? And this is even before we begin trying to allocate and distribute funds.
President elect – Mr Freedom – swore that he would give Kenya free Medicare within the first 100 days in his office. Now, if the same folks who ran our FPE run this, I’m slightly apprehensive. Our doctors are on strike every other week and, when they are working, our nurses go on strike too. They already claim to be understaffed and under-equipped. Pumwani Maternity hospital used to be the best maternity hospital in East and Central Africa. Now it’s just some place where we used to go.
What, then, could happen if the little money they get from patients was to be taken away? If some leader stands up and says that no one should be charged for medical services, without taking anything into consideration. Yes, the donors will flood in and money will, as it invariably does, disappear. This means people will be stranded outside hospitals that should be free, and the private medical hospital system will thrive; because they will be the only ones that work.
And that’s Kenya for you in the long run, isn’t it? We seem to have created a country that has no feel for logistics, planning or thinking ahead. Nairobi streets and buildings cross each other like a cake that was cut by an unruly 6-year-old child. We waste 15% of all the food we grow, and then import food from abroad. And don’t even try to raise the issue of family planning in a Kenyan household.
Based on the above I have decided that I should be the next president of the country. Among my top promises is that every working individual will have a Mercedes Benz, and jobs will be offered to all at a starting salary of KES 100,000. I hope that no one asks me how I plan to fund, or sustain this project. That’s not my issue; my successor will figure it out. I know this will probably run our economy to the ground, and I’m fine with that.