My neighbour, an addict of high society drama, has cancelled a trip to ‘shagz’ to watch what is already billed as the ‘single shocking event’ in the history of television coverage. Jeff Koinange will host two strange bedfellows. The ensuing drama will cover for the week.
The actors are powerful and ruthless in all angles. They are smart in law and politics. Good in oration and Aristotelian rhetorics and were schooled (so to add) in that generation where a thin imaginary boundary separated public utilities and private properties.
They form the new crop of state wheeler dealers. They are masters in their games and already, each has a following. Yes, followers: tribal, religious, intellectual and whatnot. Wait till parliament and some evangelical churches join in. Wait till some emaciated traditional elders get in the mix. Wait till ‘activists’ – both youth and gender – come in.
Wednesday, if it comes to pass, will see JSC and LSK Ahmednasir Abdullahi and the embattled (and already dismissed) former registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Boss Shollei share a charged debate on the recent goings-on in the judiciary which have left Kenyans dazed and confused; with many awed in equal measure. Shit will happen.
I have a theory.
The reason why Kenyans have shown no outrage to the kind of rip-off exposed in the judiciary is because many, in fact three -quarters of the population – cannot bring themselves to interpret what the amounts can do! People are poor in this country.
Again, another hypothesis is that people feel no sense of efficacy to correct these issues. You see, after a decade of constitutional talk and how the ‘constitution’ was to self-correct how people handle public utilities, the generation which took to the streets to dramatise ugly rip-offs and grand embezzlement is long dead.
Even more poignant; this country has never been fair to ‘defenders of public goods’. The wealthy of today were the robbers of yesterday. They live in gated boulevards while their counterparts; they who stuck with the oppressing pedagogy of the school system – “honesty pays” – still walk back through dark alleys and disappear in the rentals owned by their ‘former peers’.
For a folk who has never counted shillings 50 thousands at a go; talking of a million is far removed. In pyschology classees,we learned about ego-involvement. Today, apparently people have given up on caring.
What is sad about wednessday is that when it will be through and the cameras have been rolled down, it wil not be ust another interview on the ‘Jeff’s bench’. It will be another milestone in the dying craft of public service.
For all our talk about attainment of middle income states by 2030, the current greed is so endemic that it defies any economic sense.
It is difficult to tell who will be championing ‘wanjiku’s rights’ during this interview. I think in another country, the kind of revelations in the judiciary would have led to violent protests and a few human collaterals. But here today, eti corruption? That’s normal!
Ahmednasir and Shollei will have their say. When they are through and Jeff also has avoided asking the important questions, or substituted with common myths and stereotypes, a country will get to slumber as usual.
A friend often quips:
“This is Kenya!”