IMMIGRATION, SECURITY, HEALTH, EDUCATION….:LETS FIX THE SYSTEM!

When the West gate terror attack happened in September 2013, it was a nightmare being an immigration officer, like I was then,because wherever you turned to, Kenyans saw you as the one that allowed the terrorists into the country! I even remember officers fearing to wear their uniforms for fear of attacks and ridicule: reason? the media and many other agencies blamed the attack on loopholes at Immigration! I was not convinced that the total blame was correctly apportioned to Immigration…and I still believe that it was just a scapegoat! someone had to take it any way. Then came the poisonous alcoholic drinks that killed many Kenyans: some chiefs, Dos and police officers had to go…another blame game. I never quite understood how can you take the blame off a full grown man or woman,  who out of his/her volitions goes out and take some poison in the name of beer and once it has killed that person you blame it on another one that was nowhere when it all happened! I could be wrong but we saw in Tana River some people chasing away a chief who went to stop them from taking illicit alcohol…they said ‘ achana na pombe yetu bwana’ ( leave our liquor alone sir) Thirdly the numerous terror attacks, with the most recent ones being in Mandera where over 50 innocent persons lost their lives: people were baying for Ole Lenku’s and Kimaiyo’s blood! reasons? They had failed to tame he runaway insecurity! well, granted, someone had to rake the hammer for it! That is why both had to be edged out…. There are numerous  such examples in every sector of our economy, where we are always looking for people to blame. It was not a surprise to me at all when the lynch mob on social media went for H.E Uhuru Kenyatta for telling us that security begins with us! All manner of insults were hurled at him for daring to tell us such a thing: They were in their usual Kenyan style of apportioning blames! My contention is that, yes,  Lenku and Kimaiyo are gone but can anyone prove to me that we are now safer than we were two weeks ago? I can bet my nose that the answer is NO.  This could be just a lull….My view from the onset, were and still are that for as long as we continue to put our trust in persons heading institutions instead of building stronger institutions that can with stand change of guard as they do in developed countries, we will keep coming back to square one: blame game. Citizenry needs to invest in creating and operationalizing strong institutions that are run properly and over time such institutions will be so strong to an extent that it will not matter who heads them….they will have a life of their own. I don’t believe that the USA or UK or Germany has superior people than Kenya or Nigeria! The truth is that they have stronger institutions that can withstand vagaries of change of guard while in Kenya or Nigeria we put too much trust in individuals. In my nine years of Immigration service, I saw at least three Directors come and go and each one of them came up with their own style of administration…with varying levels of success of course! I believe whatever they did, they did in good faith but unfortunately, the same problems that have affected services delivery seems to persist and the current Director is trying so hard to sanitize and stream line operations at Immigration. I admire his zeal and wish him well. I believe in order to consolidate all these gains that have been accumulated in reforming institutions over time, we need to put enough resources and focus on strengthening all our institutions, be they Immigration, Police,Education, health or Military, to mention just but a few. If we do not do this, then my view is that we will keep looking for people to blame every time things do not work…as they say, it is madness to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. My dream is that one day, Kenya will have systems that run seamlessly without baby sitting them….I long to see that day when green at traffic lights means go and red means stop without a policeman standing there to mid wife the process…..but above all that day when Kenyans will fall in love with the order brought about by good systems and respect for simple rules and regulations without looking over their shoulders to see if there is a policeman checking on them because only then shall we have become a civilized society of men and women!

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