“It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error;it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.”
U.S SUPREME COURT JUSTICE
Robert H. Jackson
Sometimes think i take this quote too literally.
I will never forget when the Egyptian revolution was at its peak,a middle-aged woman out having coffee and CNN caught up with her.
I can’t remember the name of the reporter who did the story but I will always remember what she said,when asked her opinion on what was going on at Tahrir square.
She said she was embarrassed her generation had not spoken out sooner,and here were young Egyptians fighting for a more democratic Egypt.
But then i am reminded daily by all the news channels of the things going awry in government and I soldier on.
I tell myself am creating a better country for my children and their children and future generations of Kenyans
Because if we don’t speak out now,who will?
The ongoing teachers strike, has come at a time when national exams for secondary school are just a month away.
How does money for education get allocated to the military for a country that has not gone to war in the recent past nor is it going to war with its neighbours in the near future.
And then there is the small matter of Mp’s
not payng taxes.
Most parliamentarians say they are being hijacked 3 years into their 5 year term as legislators into paying taxes.
They say this was not indicated in their terms of employment.
Taxing them right now will disrupt their budgets,these MP’s who earn almost 1 million Kenya shillings when a teacher with an undergraduate degree will be lucky to earn more than 15,000 shillings.
The same people who passed the constitution were not aware that there was a new sheriff in town,never bothered to read between the lines and missed this little matter of all Kenyans being obliged to pay their dues to the tax man.
Yet when the media zones in on this matter,they(MP’s)say the media is being too selective on what it reports and is blowing the matter out of proportion.
Another not so little matter the government has not done much about is the flouting of traffic rules.
Gone are the days when every public service vehicle had a speed governor,speeds were limited to 80kp/h.
You will find these public service vehicles flouting all known traffic rules by overspeeding,overloading,driving unroadworthy vehicles you name it,it’ s like demons have found a home behind the wheel of most vehicles on Kenyan roads,and the road carnage statistics are proof of this.
But still Kenyans put on a brave face and solder on with their daily lives.
We look away when money meant for education goes missing, leaving it to a few activists in the civil society whom we collectively think are mad for doing what they do to protest on our behalf.
We cheer on leaders who have failed the integrity test and quickly blame it on “political enemies” out to finish them.
We wax lyrical about them when they lump as together into tribal cocoons, talking about alliances as they seek political power.
We forget we are the guardians of the constitution that determines how we are governed,
We err when we neglect this civic duty.