By: Uncle Githinji
“Cartels! Cartels! Cartels! What is it with all these cartels?! Are they existing characters or is it just
another creation of these politicians to try and take our minds from the fact that they are not staying
true to their manifestos?! You! Githinji, what are you the cartel of? Heh! Tell me now!” Lamented Baba Boi. He is always the beginner of political arguments at the food kibanda, or as we liked calling it, Kibandaski. Due to the fact that most of the people here loved Tony Mochama’s work. Baba Boi was reading the daily. It was lunch time and him being a mason nearby, this was his every day food joint. Though lately it was becoming a politics discussion joint more than a food joint. People came here to discuss politics more than they did to eat. Food was just but a complementary item at this joint. Today our main man, Baba Boi, had decided cartels in the city were to be the topic of discussion. “No. I am not a cartel Baba Boi. Though I see our governor and nominated deputy governor have gotten to you too. Cartels do exist my friend but I think they have sort of become a scapegoat in the
execution of office duties. Whereby our leaders don’t execute their duties but when questioned they’ll keep screaming cartels and predecessors are the cause of their problems. I mean, have you gone to downtown? It’s the opposite of amazing! Thing is—”
“Thing is, our governor should realise that he is governing a business and commercial capital of the region,” Mwaniki, another local, interrupted. “The man spoke during Labour Day and sent some threats to all people in office that are sleeping on their jobs. But almost a month later, we have Cabinet Secretaries(going by the name City Regeneration Committee)getting involved in the growth, rather the correction of the governor’s error. It’s unheard of. When you see the National Government muscling its way into City Hall affairs through a cast of Cabinet Secretaries, then you know it’s not just serious, it’s deadly bwana! Deadly to the fact that our initially praised City under the Sun is at the threat of being jeopardized!” “Baba Boi, what do you think of the thought of nominating the Canadian for Deputy Governor?” Jaduong asked. He was also a local. “I think it is a move towards togetherness and overcoming the demons of division, ” he answered almost too confidently. “Wrong! It is a cowardice move! A move to create a false image that does not exist. An image of togetherness and overcoming the demons of division. Even if the governor pushed for him to get the seat. He has to be approved by the National Assembly. Of which, they don’t seem too pleased with the move. There are other obstacles right up the chain, and they get more formidable the higher one goes. If the governor thinks he can push this through , he is not as smart as I believed. If he is still into political tricks pitting the rival Jubilee camps, then he has lost it. We are here expecting a workable and livable city, not a joystick, one to be toggled around by cartels, predecessors and inept Governors!” retorted Jaduong. “Very true Jaduong! This is what I believe, if the governor stops blaming cartels and his predecessor for everything in the sinking, stinking city, then a solution will be found. And again I thought the Canadian was no longer Kenyan. Yaani, that’s how the expatriate has dug deep into our economy! One minute they are just Canadians, the next minute they are nominees for mighty seats in Nairobi! My friend’s eldest brother had been nominated for the seat, but because he is just but a keen and devoted engineer with no political background he can’t serve the city he so yearns to serve.
It is indisputable that cartels do exist. But it’s also indisputable that our leaders’ incompetency is the cause of all this cartel infestation and infiltration,” I explained. “One mistake leads to another and another and another until we have a city piled with garbage,
potholes and blame games!” Mwaniki stated. But after all that, the blame goes back to us. The voters. We vote based on ethnic basis and party affiliations.
“Let us hold ourselves accountable for what is currently affecting us.”
Author: Victor Githinji
A writer, blogger, and student at Strathmore University