• During his inaugural speech, Uhuru spoke of an economic transformation, honest and transparent government, with public services that are open and accountable to the people.
• For the first time in the history of the nation, those in the highest levels of office are no longer immune from prosecution
President Uhuru Kenyatta and and Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI
Jomo Kenyatta once said, “Many people may think now that there is Uhuru, now I can see the sun of freedom shining, richness will pour down like manna from Heaven. I tell you there will be nothing from Heaven. We must all work hard, with our hands, to save ourselves from poverty, ignorance, and disease.”
Last Sunday the country celebrated Mashujaa Day. On this day, we remember our nation’s forefathers such as Kenyatta, other members of the Kapenguria Six and heroes who rebelled against the colonial rule, paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can be free.
Our ancestors bequeathed to us this land, its abundance, blessings and opportunity. We put down our guns and picked up our shovels to work on our land. We turned our lives from warriors into custodians of the land. We became the owners of our own future.
However, for many years and decades, we forgot how to rebel.
Not in the sense of the rebellion that broke the yoke of foreign rule. Violence was necessary then for our freedom and human dignity, but as soon as the republic was proclaimed, force was no longer a legitimate tool.
Nonetheless, we now must begin a new rebellion to poverty, corruption, injustice, impunity and insecurity.
We must reclaim the motivation and enthusiasm for rebellion to ensure we never accept the status quo or decline, which affected our nation for far too long.
Today, we have such a rebel leader in the son of Jomo, President Uhuru Kenyatta.
During his inaugural speech, Uhuru spoke of an economic transformation, honest and transparent government, with public services that are open and accountable to the people, and the extension of basic services like water, electricity, internet and healthcare for all Kenyans.
In his first term, Uhuru laid the foundations for the rebellion, and in his second term, he has amply demonstrated that we have a rebel in State House that is providing some of the solutions to challenges that have plagued our nation since independence.
According to the World Bank, poverty is declining every year and several percentage points since Uhuru took over. Poverty incidence in Kenya is amongst the lowest in East Africa and is lower than the sub-Saharan African regional average.
For the first time in the history of the nation, those in the highest levels of office are no longer immune from prosecution. Corruption is being fought at all levels and dozens of previously ‘untouchable’ governors, government officials and high-level businessmen are having their day in court. Billions of shillings stolen from public coffers are being recovered.
The recent killing of three suspected terrorists and the uncovering of bomb-making material, weapons and grenades that were to be used in terror attacks that could have cost countless lives, demonstrates Uhuru’s war on terror is yielding results.
However, the Big Four agenda and the Building Bridges Initiative are Uhuru’s real rebellion against stasis and inertia.
These are not just big ideas but are also paradigm-changing missions and visions that are reshaping Kenya. The Big Four is a rebellion led by the people.
As he launched the Big Four in December 2017, Uhuru explained its premise to
Kenyans saying, “You told me that a jobless Kenyan is a desperate Kenyan; you told me that a hungry Kenyan is a negative Kenyan; you told me that a sick Kenyan is a weak Kenyan, and you told me that a homeless Kenyan is a Kenyan without hope.”
Uhuru heard the people and decided to lead the people in rebellion against desperation, negativity, weakness and hopelessness.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Uhuru led a rebellion against our nation’s greatest affliction, ethnic, tribal and political division.
By reaching out and shaking hands with Raila Odinga, Uhuru showed that just as his father used his hands when necessary for war, he will use them for peace. He will increase unity where there had been diversity and amity where there was previously animosity.
Uhuru’s rebellion is a fitting symbol as we pay tribute to those who fought and shed blood, sweat and tears for this nation. They didn’t rebel against the foreign rule so we could be a nation of suffering, scarcity and misery.
They saw in their rebellion a time to rule ourselves for a better future for all the people of our beautiful and bountiful land.
Uhuru’s rebellion is the necessary next chapter in our national struggle.
The writer is the MP for Igembe North