When the handshake was unveiled on March 9th 2018, a wave of peace spread across the country. Businesses that were staring at losses suddenly received life, fear, tension and political hatred was shelved. Nemesis can now do business together but a group of people, the future of this country who were at the fore ground of protests seeking political justice were dumped like used tissue paper. Never mind for whom they fought, they bought into the rhetoric of bias, hate, mistrust, and eventually defiance.
Just like the wind with varying intensity, the 77 per cent of the voters in the voter register, and others who never even registered as voters let alone cast a vote had shifting emotions. While some were paid to do it, others fronted the country and at the doors of Harambee Annex, they watched the truce that took them from a high cloud and buried them into the surface in a flash. The mood was lighter for those who are apolitical; the emotions of betrayal clouded those who fought so passionately.
The divide brought by politicians did more harm to BBI than good. Speaking in gatherings where the 74 per cent are, on Twitter the reckless, selfish and pure imaginative talk was the trend. The mainstream media carried the ever juicy sound bites and fronted them ahead of stories of heroism, poor economy, gender based violence and name it. It made great radio and drama glued individuals to the screen, Senator Murkomen received more air time, Jeff’s bench had the usual suspects for two hours.
Ann Mvurya, the chair person University of Nairobi’s Student Council was clear yesterday, the report is not showing inclusion of the 74 per cent. “The youth are tired of being used by politicians for their individual gains,” Ann stated. She spoke on behalf the comrades who are now turning apolitical. The political class watched as she spoke so firmly of the feeling of exclusion of the youth. While Ann made it known to the president and the country, the report has more questions for the youth than answers.
The youth are on the grills of unemployment, in the chains of debt from HELB and others, under siege from drugs sold by those expected to protect them, some survive with one meal a day and majority are trapped in depression.
While the BBI Report is to address the issues of inclusion, among the youth substance comes first, and it is crystal we are from Tribe Kenya. Some quarters have argued the BBI Report is a political tool by the political elite who want to perpetuate political dynasties.
“It is a bad report, ” says one of the youthful leaders in Senate, Ledama Ole Kina. He insists there is nothing new stated in the report and it looks like 10 billion shillings that could solve HELB’s current crisis went down the drain.
Well, the youth look through the report and they watch as the nation tries to rearrange power and they wonder, is this going to provide a job, better health care, and better security. How will BBI solve my depression, how will it solve the targeting of the youth without empowering them enough to say No to the charms of 500bob given by politicians for protests or better how soon will the BBI stream line the second name hiring bases?
A few weeks ago, Kenya University Student’s Organization president, Anthony Manyara spoke in a press conference and stated that the youth will support BBI report. The statement stated, “We urge Kenyans to place country First as the comrades have done post-handshake.” I clear message from the youth who say they are neither leaning on Tanga Tanga nor Kieleweke outfits.
In an interview with The Campus Magazine on phone, Ann Mvurya says, “The report did not prioritize the youth. We seemed as a by the way, sidelined”. The BBI task force invited university student leaders to share their concerns and thoughts which are not mirrored much in the report. Her view is shared by many on Twitter.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said, “Read the report all of you, and then let us have a candid discussion after.” It is only fair to say that this is the same plea echoed by student leaders who urge comrades to read, read and offer their diligent, autonomous and futuristic suggestions to the BBI Report.
“We have to plan for 20 years not just 5 years, ” says the President, then in the same spirit let the BBI report portray a plan to solve the youth’s needs and push their agenda.