Friday, January 20, 2006

What they are being driven in as others die of Hunger

It really pays to be a Kenyan Minister doesn't it? It must be nice!!

Standard Newspaper


nick said...

..or may be ur trying to show us "why others are dying of hunger!"

jke said... they drove to a workshop on good governance.


Irena said...

Nick & JKE: I'm so ashamed to see our Freakin Moronic Ministers showcasing their wealth and pretending to be all for the people . How can they be so insensitive, where are their Morals? This is freaking nuts, as a friend has just emailed me "No. That's a commercial for Mercedes Benz. They are not Ministers. They are actors doing a commercial promoting cars made by their countrymen. Shakombo in his Volvo is a source of embarrassment, I say. We must talk to him!And the irony is this: Many criticize the opulence until they are appointed Minister and then the first thing they do is to approach the Mereceds Benz agency for the latest! Their criticism reveals itself to be thinly veiled jealousy!
Do not forget that the average MP gets $144,500 a year!" I could not have said it any better.

Joseph Walking said...

To be honest I don’t expect our ministers to be driving themselves in Toyotas. That doesn’t mean I condone the starvation of Kenyans. We really need to move away from this kind of thinking .its the same thinking that makes people break into other people’s property simply because they are poor. I believe Kenya is rich enough for our ministers to live like they do. It’s high time we start looking at issues critically rather than emotionally .selling all those cars or reducing government expenditure is not the solution for Kenyans problems. sound economic policy and planning yes adequate distribution of wealth is required but it should be a bottom up process that begins with civil service reform aimed to reducing a bloated and ineffective civil service that can not serve Kenyans . Politicians do what they are meant to do .we have to start distinguishing the differences of various arms of government. This kind of cheap propaganda does not help anyone

Mignon said...

it was so ironic when i first read that people were dying of hunger in kenya. it was the week after the oranges and bananas business. everyone was so carried away by the campaigns that nobody stopped for even a minute to consider what was going on. how did it get to that point? God help our people...

jke said...

"Kenya is rich enough for our ministers to live like they do"

Sure it is. But how can they ask donors at the same time while wasting tax payers money like that?
I don't think criticizing their wealth is cheap propaganda.

Brother Jero (BJ) said...

I kind of agree with Joe. WOuld you rather have our Ministers drive Hyundai's. No. Life is such that some people will live well and others will not. This clip does not mean that they do not give to the poor. Am sure they do.

Whispering Inn said...

Very sad indeed.

jke said...

"Would you rather have our Ministers drive Hyundai's."

WTF? Of course, why not? You think Ministers in Europe drive only the biggest cars just because they are Ministers?

Some of them only use bicycles. But Kenyan Ministers have this sort of linear thinking. I think that's the cause of many evil developments within a government.

Sorry, but I can not agree with some of you.

Poi said...


Irena said...

JKE:I live in DC and I have seen the senators one of the richest country in the world driving the "toyotas". Does that mean they cannot afford the"mercedes" of course they can. No there is no "emotional look but a logical and a fair criticizm and I'm sure millions of Kenyans would agree , this is another case of mismanagement of resources. JKE I'm with you on this and I cannot see it any other way because I care for the down and trodden and that is the emotional part of me.

Irena said...

Cute Angel: There much more on Orange and Banana than meet the eye. A small bird told me something that was shocking on why some leaders were doing what they did.

Poi: Yes Washindwe

Joseph Walking said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joseph Walking said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joseph Walking said...

Kenyans have developed this bad habit of cheap propaganda yes I said it. Can someone please explain to me how what a minister drives affects the starving people in garisa? I honestly fail to see the correlation .and while we are it why don’t we just abolish parliament and use that money to feed hungry Kenyans. came on like I said we need to think critically about the issues that we are faced with as Africans .someone mentioned the issue of aid .who said we need that aid ,if we can properly manage the resources we have we don’t need aid .

As for the ministers in Europe we do not live in Europe. So I could care less what European ministers drive or eat, Europeans are not the standard unit for how we live our lives. After all when African leaders were wearing leopard skins centuries ago it was not because European leaders were doing the same.

Let us address issues why are people starving is it because ministers are driving nice cars and being paid well or is it because we cant manage resources .

Maybe an easier example will help

should the ceo of coca cola international walk to work because the guy at embakasi bottlers is walking to work. And if the guy in embakasi should not be walking lets find a solution to improve his standards. In other words it doesn’t mean that the ceo should loose his car so that our embakasi man can drive.

Let ministers drive what they want but let Kenyans eat when they want the two are two mutually exclusive issues. With no relation to each other

Irena said...

Joe: I don't understand how you cannot see the correlation between the extravagant living of our ministers and the starvation in Kenya, then you go and say " like I said we need to think critically about the issues that we are faced with as Africans .someone mentioned the issue of aid .who said we need that aid ,if we can properly manage the resources we have we don’t need aid "

Exactly our point , why do we ask for aid if do not manage the resources wisely, resources are not just natural resources, resources are also human and in this case the minister's high pay and fringe benefits is mismanagement of resources period!

No one said we are in Europe( some of us in Europe are Kenyans despite different skin color) or anywhere else for that matter but it does not take a genious wherever part of the world they are to know that you cannot live beyond your means and then go begging when you run out due to your recklessness!!!

Your analogy does not make sense to me and no one is saying that the ministers should not drive good cars or live lavish lives if they wish to do so but to what or whose expense, is the question? and you only improve someone life i fyo share the resources equitably...

I'm sorry Joe but I totally disagree with your critical thinking on this matter and know there is no cheap propaganda when it comes to our leaders paying themselves handsomely while the Policeman and the teacher is starving or when we are pretending to end corruption from police when we cannot pay them well. Sorry the Kenyan ministers in my opinion do not deserve to be paid the way they are paid !!!!AND I'M TOTALLY EMOTIONAL ON THIS ISSUE AND WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR IT!

Irena said...

P.S The Europe was analogy too and did not mean that we should live by someone else's standards but maybe we inherited the extravagant living from Colonialism and in that case whose standards are we living on for thought:-)!

Joseph Walking said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Whispering Inn said...

@JOE - You've GOT to be kidding my friend. I want you to read every comment here especially Irena's, JKE's and your own. IF you still cannot get it, then I am afraid my friend there's no other way to explain it.

Joseph Walking said...

whispering inn u said it best on my blog "This is another reason why Kenyans need to elect a progressive, policy-driven parliament and government. Only then can we seek long-lasting solutions to issues such as hunger and the up-coming floods."

i like that ! that is what i call critical thinking. now with solutions like that i have no problem .

irena this is not directed at you because i saw the article in standard you my dear are just a victim of that propaganda.

It always amazes me the way we as Kenyans cannot understand the intricate nature of conceptual frameworks and the dire need for policy. We look at issues in such a polar manner that we do not see the big picture only the picture we want to see. (Read ministers are wasting money)

If the solution to all of Kenya’s problems is lean spending then I do not know what the world is coming to. Kenya is faced with very complicated problems and complicated problems have complicated solutions. If there is anything that history has taught us it is that, there are no easy solutions to difficult problems. Articles like the one in yesterday’s standards and the editorial are not only obscene but an insult to the intellectual capacity of Kenyans

Having said that don’t let it cross your mind that I do not care for starving Kenyans unlike some I have shed tears at some of the pictures I have seen .but I hold fast to the thought that if we elect able progressive thinkers we can begin to solve our problems. Nevertheless, if we continue to fall for cheap propaganda we will continue electing useless politicians be they LDP ODM or Narc

jke said...

Joe, I agree with you that Openda's comment in the Standard was a bit too simple on Kenyan intellect - they sure can do better than this.

On the other hand it needs to be mentioned in a direct way - so maybe that's why they've come up with those pictures. Maybe they wanted to provoke this discussion.

The correlation I see between ministers wasting tax payers money and the famine is that exactly those ministers are in charge of carrying for their people and it doesn't take them much to actually do something. But instead they choose to be lectured on good governance and wait for something to happen. That's the irony I see.

It's not them driving big cars but their failing actions, their ignorance to realize that only they themselves need to do something about it. Their underachieving.
How can they go to church, being told about LOVE and during the week they virtually do nothing to show their faith?

Also, it is interesting to see how Kenyans (abroad) are thinking about this whole issue of building their country and that they aren't satisfied with this interim solution of sending money home as recently mentioned on thinkersroom. I think this discussion should go on and hopefully there is a way of how we can really build this wonderful country to become the country of our choice.

s! said...

ai! these politicians kweli!!

Instigator said...

Ok let me give my $0.02 first of all what those ministers do drive co-relates with the situation in garissa.First of all one of those cars costs ksh 10m onwards and some of them have more then one car.Second for that day alone the Standard estimated that the fuel bill is 450,000/=.
Part of good governance is prudent use of government resources.That is why it doesnt make sense to go begging in a suit and bling bling like Kibaki did in New York with his super large crew most of whom had nothing of substance to do there.
If this is how the government manages the people's resources on a day to day basis it is of no great suprise that they cannot set up a long term food policy or set firm economic policies.
Or for Joe let me bring it down to your level.It is like you having a very extravagant wife who shops freely on things that you do not need for your household while not planning on long term investment or making wise decisions so that your kids can eat in the future.
Ministers in Rwanda do not drive SUVS and mercs and if our people must drive up class cars let them be the higher range toyotas.
these are the same people who raised their salaries as soon as they came into power while most Kenyans are living on less then a dollar a day.
If you don't see the connection between those issues then there is not much else that can be said.Good governance and use of taxpayers money should be seen at all levels, yes the article may have been basic but I think that is what the author was pointing to.

Prousette said...

@joe I expect a minister to walk to work leave alone drive. There is no relation between managing a ministry and the cc rating of the car you drive. That said, there is a direct link from -->the car ministers drive to why there are starving people in NEP.
The cars consume a huge part of the yearly budget that could be used elsewhere.
Acolyte has put it so well re-read what he has said.
Unless of course you are one of the members of the current cabinet and we would understand where you are coming from with your comments.
FYI poor people do not steal because the rich ones have, the greedy ones do.

Irena sorry for bloggin on your blog.

Joseph Walking said...

To put it in plain English . what i am saying is that Kenyans are starving because we do not a have a clear food policy that adresses food security .We dont have an emergency management system that enables distribution of food and the government is unable to forcast events.

That my dear Kenyans is the reason people are dying .Our minsters can drive toyotas ride bikes or what ever but as long as we do not address the main issue people will still die.

As long as we have a civil service that is useless and politicians like we have in kenya even if we make them walk mohamed will still be starving next year or three years from now .

jke said...

Still, what I am missing about this discussion is the implementation of us - what can we, the people, do to find a solution?

Joseph Walking said...

vote for new leadership - no more recycling Mps who were in kanu now in narc now in ldp.remember it was not the parties that were problems its the individuals . i hate to mention names but Ntimama in kanu and Ntimama in Ldp is still the same man ,no new ideas no increased IQ,Kibaki of kanu and kibaki of today same man , same applies to kalonzo,odinga. infact let me put it to you any mp who has served more than two term in parliament should be sent parking thats what we can do .

we dont have a shortage of fresh leadership and new ideas... lets stop acting like we do!

irena pole sana for taking over yur blog like this its just my heart cries for kenya and kenyans children

Irena said...

Waoh, now this is the dialogue I like seeing Kenyans being engaged in and we can amicably agree to disagree. Joe, Prousette, do not apologize for bloggin on my blog, in any case the more the merrier. This is the kind of dialogue we should be engaged in if at all we want to see change in Kenya. The drought in North Eastern Kenya is inevitable based on the geographical grid of the area and thus this is something that should be expected. This is being so apparent, if the past, present government and the opposition leaders have not been busy trying to scramble for the little wealth that Kenya has, they would have had certain mechanism in place to counter attack the harsh natural climate of those areas.

If they didn’t spend a huge portion of the budget enriching themselves and their families and making unsound fiscal policies, they would have made that area priority in coming up with sustainable development such a irrigation schemes (by the way, there is an Israel based organization that has done so in Isiolo, I forget the name but personally I witnessed it some years back, not sure whether they are still doing it but it is very much doable), encourage farming of drought resistant crops and cattle etc. The maintenance of the cars and hierarchy of personnel that each minister is afforded can finance an irrigation project.

Joe: I understand your analysis now and I know it is a bit too late for us to be pointing fingers because as we speak, people are dying of hunger but it will happen over and over again, this story is not new in North Eastern Province, it is a semi –arid area and drought is inevitable. If we do not do something about the mismanagement of resources from our government and channel these resources to the areas that need it most, use it equitably for everyone not just the chosen few, then the story goes on and wahenga walinena “Usipoziba Ufa utanjenga Ukuta”

JKE: About what we can do to rectify the problem….personally I think our people need Civic Education especially in the rural areas, so that they can know their vote’s worth. People need to be sensitized not to accept things because “that is the way things have always been” .People have to know they own their country not the other way round that the leaders own it and people in it. People need to be involved in the governance of their country, their province, their municipalities etc. We have to hold our leaders accountable. Our Media need to expose all the dirt, we need more whistle blowers in the government , a kind of feed forward mechanism to curb “theft and misappropriation of funds before it happens. Lastly, we need a new generation of leaders!!

Mignon said...

i applaud all the dialogue on this entry. great post irena. you have beutifully capped all the points that have been brought up.

i don't think joe's problem is the fact that our leaders are driving expensive cars etc, rather, the fact that there is misappropriation of resources and the ministers' cars/salaries are a mere example of this. therefore, simply pointing to the cars and saying "hey, if ministers didn't drive these expensive cars, then there wouldn't be famine" is too simple of a logic (joe correct me if i'm wrong).

all the same, this is a deep-rooted issue that will need a comprehensive solution. irena, great summary of what the possible solutions can be; the only thing we can do as citizens is to elect leaders who'll accurately represent us and make policies that benefit the common man. unfortunately for us, greed and selfishness seems to be a cancer sore for majority of our leaders, we're still desperately searching for a cure.

jke said...

Aaah...what about taking up action by ourselves and not waiting until any elected leaders might eventually realize that there's a problem they need to tackle?

The point I am getting at is that a lot of people always wait for others to do something.

I think W.Maathari also just started her initiative because no one else wanted to do so.

jke said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jke said...

Ati, Maathai. Kûhîka nî kuuna :-)

Irena said...

Cute-Angle :Thanks for the input to this tantalizing discussion.
JKE: Now, you have to tell me where you learnt this deep Kyuk:-).I do not even know the meaning of these proverbs but it is all good!

akiey said... cannot live beyond your means and then go begging when you run out due to your recklessness!!!"
Makofi Irena!! Your words explain the other main reason the hunger & starvation crept up on a part of our population.
MPs & the govt have been good at politiking & shut their eyes to meeting the basic needs of Kenyans. They're basically selling us out without a care. Shame on them.
...and, what in the world were the MPs from these areas doing not to raise the alarm!? Heck, if parliament won't hear then talk to the rest of the country on Tv!?
If my constituents are suffering I will shamelessly auction that gov't assigned Merc or SUV, Runda mansion & even office furniture to raise awareness & face charges later.
Huu ni upuzi!!

akiey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
akiey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.