Restore Kenyans’ battered dignity
President Uhuru Kenyatta was yesterday emphatic that it is time to end embarrassing situations that have been the lives of millions of Kenyans.
The President, while outlining his government’s scorecard during the State of the Nation Address, said Kenyans should never have to compromise on their quality of life because of want. Uhuru said no Kenyan should die of hunger or live in fear.
Indeed, a section of Kenyans have never known anything in life other than want.
From basic commodities such as access to potable water, good healthcare or clean and affordable food, many Kenyans have been forced to live like second class citizens.
It is a pity that what the rest of the country pays for 1,000 litres of water is what many in the informal settlements pay for their daily rations.
Slum mothers enjoy a maximum of two hours on the maternity bed, before they are discharged since there is a queue of expectant women.
This is the lowest a country can sink with regards to treatment of mothers. There are many who do not even make it to the maternity bed because access is impeded by myriad issues including extreme poverty.
That children go to bed hungry because their caregivers do not have a means to earn a living is disturbing.
It is, therefore, encouraging that the President has given priority to access to capital for the youth so that they can start businesses, fend for their families and ultimately own a decent home.
Access to education is a country’s ultimate goal for its children. Enhancing this access and expanding the facilities so that no one is left behind is a noble goal.
However, these issues have been canvassed since the country attained independence.
Different regimes have come up with different priorities but ultimately the goal is one: to make life liveable and the cost of living bearable.
However rosy, the policies are or the pronouncements sound, it will be the same story decades later if looters of public coffers are not brought to book.
It will be the same story if voters choose bribes and not leadership qualities. In short, all the good pronouncements will come to naught because of corruption.
We urge those charged with realisation of these dreams, whether at the national or county level, to put the fate of children ahead of that of their pockets. To think of the country and not aggrandisement or self-seeking.