It’s no secret that Kenya has become the laughing stock of the East and Central African region. We are that country that has no clue on how to build, maintain and restore its national image abroad in addition to being ambivalent where issues of national sovereignty are concerned.
The latest case is the government taking sides with a war criminal against both international and national laws.
But let’s rewind back a bit:
A few months back, during a spell of severe drought which resulted in the #feedKE campaign, there still were Cabinet Ministers openly blaming relief agencies and media organisations for blowing things out of proportion while pictures of emaciated women and children were beamed to the entire world. Prior to and during the confirmation hearings of the Ocampo Six, our government tacitly encouraged its senior officials to continue displaying their ignorance by accusing the ICC of having a political agenda and attempting to subvert an international instrument that we have signed and ratified. In that connection, let’s not forget how a certain Vice President went on two rounds of “Shuttle Diplomacy” to try and stop the ICC cases from proceeding at the Hague only to end up embarassing our country in the eyes of the world.
I’m sure most people are glad that the church took some time off holding prayer rallies and meetings for some of the Ocampo 6 to petition the two principals to address the rising food and fuel prices in the country. Despite the news and newspaper headlines over the past 3 months being dominated by another issue – the real issue that’s been eating into most Kenyans has been the increased cost of living. Everything seems to be going up: ugali unga; unga ngano; bread, oil, fuel… The official inflation figures confirm the price increments; the inflation rate in January was 5.42%, February 6.54% and March 9.19%-the result, public outcry culminating in last week’s mass action protests peaceful demonstration by the Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK).
The (inflation) facts speak for themselves, the question is WHO IS TO BLAME for this extra burden on Kenyan citizens? Some people have laid all the blame on cartels others claim that the influx of Somali pirate money has led to increased demand which has led to a corresponding increase in prices. Others have blamed the government for inaction.
While there may be some truth to some of the ‘explanations’ above it is important to remember that a lot goes into rising prices than pirate money or cartels.