I posted this one on my facebook a while back after the Sinai fire tragedy. And after the outcry over the MPigs’ decision to lower their education requirements, it all just came back to me. It’s MY vote, MY decision; whether they go ahead with that amendment or not, it’s MY choice whether or not to elect someone without a degree to represent me. It starts with ME. It’s time I took responsibility for my choices.

Sinai: The “tragedy” of Kenyans.

Looking at my wall today,I am reminded of this photo that was doing the rounds on facebook sometime back. It was a chart that was supposed to be a representation of facebook wall activity-minimal on an ordinary day and a HUGE spike on one’s birthday. But whoever came up with it must not have been a Kenyan. Why,you ask? Because had they been Kenyan, they would have added another spike for national “disasters”. Seems to me whenever some calamity befalls Kenyans,it’s all we can talk about for days on end.

Now before you brand me cynical or insensitive,take a moment and just think about recent events. Kenyans for Kenya, Sinai fire disaster;and today im told 12 people have died in Nyahururu after taking some illicit brew.Will Kenyans never learn?? Drought in north Eastern is nothing new;it happens every year. And as for the fire, NTV and Daily nation ran the story of encroachment on the pipeline 3 years back. Don’t even get me started on the number of times we have heard of people dying from illicit brews.

A lot has been said about the amazing way in which Kenyans responded to fellow Kenyans’ starvation. And while I am proud to have contributed in my own small way,what saddens me is knowing that this will be nothing but another knee jerk response;a stop gap measure if you will-until next year when the same thing will happen yet again. Today, it’s all about donations-blood,blankets,medical supplies. Tomorrow, it’s the government paying for the funerals with taxpayers’ money. But we never really stop and think about what we are doing.

Whenever something like this happens, we are quick to anger, even quicker to point fingers at each other. Barely 2 hours in, the blame game had already begun. Why did KPC not have any safety measures? Why did the law enforcement not remove these people from their illegal dwelling? Why didn’t their MP get them to settle elsewhere? Why were they siphoning fuel? Who lit the fire? Why did the fire truck take so long to get there? And of course, the usual-“Tunaomba serikali isaidie”. Why,why,why indeed?

Time and again, I have always said the biggest tragedy facing Kenyans is the fact that we are all just too complacent. We wait until disaster strikes to react yet we all saw it coming. Sure,someone slept on the job and lots of Kenyans paid for it with their lives. But what we need to understand is the real root of the problem. Instead of asking what someone else could/should have done, ask yourself how you have contributed to the problem.

Why do these people continue to live in a place where they surely must have known they were trespassing? Because someone went ahead and built those shanties. They don’t live rent-free! Most,if not all of us will say they don’t know anyone living in a slum. But how about “I know a guy who knows a guy who owns some shanties in the slums” Sounds familiar?

Some of us will say, maybe they died out of their own folly..”Who didn’t hear about those folks in Sachangwan? Didnt they know better than to siphon fuel from the pipeline?” But for every “idiot” who siphons fuel, there is an even bigger one who buys it.

Or perhaps, they live there because they can’t afford to live anywhere else. But who employs these people? “How can the government force me to pay my mboch 7k??!!” A little closer to home now?

My pet peeve has always been the MPigs and their total lack of sensitivity towards their constituents. Every other time they are increasing their salaries while the common mwananchi continues to languish in abject poverty. Yet when tragedy befalls “their people” they are first in line when it comes to dishing out the blame. Publicity stunts,we call them. “Why didn’t they create policies that could have prevented these issues?” Others call them “elitist”,only in it to protect their own selfish interests. But then they don’t elect themselves to parliament,we do! “Come 2012,we will show them!” How many times have we said that,only for the politicians to do their usual musical chairs;change political parties,dance to a different tune and yup,you guessed it…we re-elect them! Getting a little personal now,huh?

I have tagged you for one of many reasons-could be that I thought you may find this a twisted point of view, or because your status/comment provoked me to write this. But most of all, I tag you because I am trying to do what our leaders have failed to do-get you to think critically about creating a better kenya for our future generations. I’m really sick and tired of this deja vu,aren’t you?

So,next time you want to “help” a Kenyan in trouble, help them in the best way you possibly can-by becoming the change we all want to see.