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Let us forget the past and seek a way out of the political morass.

With the New Year fast approaching and no resolution to the chaos that has beset our politics, there will be a plethora of analyses on everything that has been going wrong in the past year. As expected, there will be little agreement on the salient points among media analysts and intellectuals although, of course, when pressed, everyone will admit that nothing is as it should be.

However, my feeling is that dwelling in the past is idle. Admittedly, it is always prudent to look into the past in order to predict the future, but it is becoming increasingly clear that politics-as-usual will not work in the near future, and we'll have to look elsewhere for the country's redemption.

POLITICAL CRISISIn my view, the address by the President during the December 12 celebrations would be a good starting point. But will the new resolve work in the prevailing circumstances? Won't the highly divisive politics and tensions bog down any attempt at making this country work again? Many people are growing increasingly pessimistic and, although they may not admit it, they are secretly hoping that outsiders, specifically Western nations, will once again intervene to solve the political problems of our own making.

So much for our sovereignty!RELIGIOUS LEADERSThe fact is, we distrust each other so much that no way out appears possible considering that we cannot even agree that our own religious leaders can act as honest arbiters whose objective is to save this nation from imminent implosion. It is baffling that Kenyans have embraced the liwe liwalo (what will be will be) doctrine, indicating they don't care one whit whether we destroy one another as long as their demands, however outlandish, are ignored.

That is dangerous.When politicians decide that a blatant lie repeated often enough becomes the truth, their followers too readily swallow it and may never be convinced otherwise.

AGENDAbrAnyway, to cut to the chase, on Jamhuri Day, President Uhuru Kenyatta outlined a set of intended actions that are a far cry from those that have heretofore characterised his administration. In a nutshell, he indicated that the government would shift focus from costly infrastructure projects to the provision of basic universal health care, food security and affordable housing for all.

It will also concentrate on manufacturing with the intention of increasing the value of our exports and reducing our import bill.Obviously, this is an over-simplification of a complex economic rejuvenation blueprint on my part, but it boils down to one thing: a timely return to the basics.

RESPONSIBILITYYou cannot leap-frog to a middle-income nation through grandiose projects when some of your people are starving to death, millions in urban areas lack basic shelter, millions cannot afford health care, and cheap imports flood our markets, making fortunes for a few but depleting our foreign exchange reserves.In short, going back to the basics means waging war on poverty, disease, hunger and lack of decent shelter, which is the major role of any respectable government.

Incidentally, many of our intellectuals have been saying the same thing albeit in an unnecessarily convoluted, abusive or combative manner so that the message is continually lost in the delivery. CORRUPTIONAs someone said the other day in a different context, there are many ways to skin a cat, but a number of our "public thinkers" have chosen to do so by flaying it alive, which is not always productive.

Nevertheless, this is just half the story. The other half has to do with many of the seemingly intractable problems that assail this country.

Chief among them are widespread corruption and outright plunder of public resources, as well as tribalism in all its negative ramifications. A divided or polarised society cannot prosper.

A society without a moral compass is doomed. A society led by inward-looking chauvinists will readily unravel.

DISCRIMINATIONbrFor instance, it is amazing to learn that the Kiambu and Kilifi County legislatures have passed laws to exclude the rest of Kenyans from employment within their "territories".This is a most ridiculous notion conceived by jingoists who may believe they are serving their people but are instead rubbing vinegar into an open sore.

Many urban areas in Kiambu are inhabited by people from outside the county. Some were born in Kiambu, live there, and always worked there.

What on earth are you going to do about them, Governor Babayao? Send them packing to the People's Republic of Kenya? Merry Christmas y'all, and Happy New Year!
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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Dec 22, 2017
Words:810
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