Sunday, November 05, 2006

Jaramogi’s Words of Wisdom

I just read Oginga Oding’s Note Yet Uhuru, a book that could be gathering dust on our politicians’ shelves. It struck me that governance issues, which Jaramogi was addressing 39 years ago are still rife today. The last Chapter, OBSTACLES TO UHURU, reads like an address to today’s breed of politicians. Following are quotations on how Jaramogi's Note Yet Uhuru address our current problems:

On distinctions between pre-independence and post-independence (current) politicians:

“To the early generation of leaders, politics meant struggle, keeping close to the people to maintain their confidence, building unity to overcome the powerful enemy. To the later generation of leaders, politics can mean public standing, handsome salaries, shiny motor cars, and the manipulation of party branch and government office to stay in power because it brings personal advantage” (p 250).

On “Kitchen Cabinets” that have led to economic disasters such as Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing scandals:

“A government by a small circle of leaders could too easily be influenced by forces against the national interest” (p 284).

On overdependence on Western aid and investment;

“If our aid and investment come from one source only we can banish the prospect of pursuing and independent policy, for we will be brought under control by the withholding of aid, or by some other economic pressure”. We must (therefore) break this predominantly Western influence, and develop relations with both east and west” (p 285).

“It would be an insult to our dignity that a foreigner should tell us what is right for us (p 295).

On hawkers’ suppression by the City Council:

"Failure to (let the masses) attain full economic freedom will rob Kenyans their political freedom" (P 285).

Jaramogi’s words of wisdom were written down in 1967 (39 years ago) but nobody listened. Maybe we bloggers could revive Jaramogi’s dream of agitating for accountability in our government and more personal freedom for Kenyans.

1 comment:

coldtusker said...

So true... I also like Animal Farm... as well as Chinua Achebe's stories... esp... A Man of the People