Thursday, November 19, 2009

Consequences of Corruption in Developing Countries...part 2

It's absolutely mind boggling how reading certain literature on my own country and my own country's men can spark a multitude of insightful thought provoking "ah-ha!" moments at one go! As I read literature on the correlation between poverty and corruption and the consequences it has on developing countries in the book "the poverty of corrupt nations", I can't help but tie most of what I am reading to the content of the now infamous "it's our turn to eat: the story of a Kenyan whistle blower". I find myself being present in this particular moment asking myself an array of questions that range from why is this man referred to as a whistleblower? is it because he chose to go against the grain and firmly do the job he was assigned to do which was to alleviate the Kenyan government of corruption? or is it because he's compelling story and multitudinous hours of evidential tape was first reported by the international media? Questions pertaining to ethnicity and it's link to bribery and corruption also overtake my mind and I can't help but wonder will this ever be over?! Will we ever live in a society where ethnicity, color, religion, political views and all the differences they pose are celebrated rather than used as weapons of hate, injustice and suffering? Here are the reasons why John Githongo's story appeals to me. To me, this man is representative of a new era, an era where judgment is not clouded by tradition, an era where judgment is not clouded by fear of change, an era where judgment is not clouded by a blind longing for power. John Githongo chose to speak out against corruption in the government, never minding that he was going up against big tycoons, some of whom had taken him under their wings, taught him a thing or two about being a man, and some of whom were close friends of his father. The book states that many thought John to be going against tradition by speaking out against his own tribesmen, and many blamed his way of thinking on his liberal education and international upbringing..even labeling it pure and simple deracination but John Githongo's come back quote to these allegations and innuendos has stuck with me since I picked up this book and let me tell you readers, it is humbling, inspiring, and more importantly, an extreme challenge to our generation:
If being a good kikuyu means putting my loyalties before all else, then I am far from that ideal. My employment contract did not read "Gikuyu Inc" at the top. My compassion stretches far beyond what most elders and many of my contemporaries regard as normal. I am a highly driven, highly moral, ethical denatured young man who if forced to choose, though I don't see why I should, I would choose to be an ethical and spiritual being first, a Kenyan second, a Kikuyu third.

That one quote resonates with me and will hopefully strike a nerve or two in someone else. So the question remains the same my fellow revolutionists...will we ever live in a society where being Kikuyu, being Luo, being Kamba, being this and that will yes be a part of our identity but not on a wholistic level? Will we ever just be Jullie, Omondi, Kerubo...Kenyans trying to better our nation for us, for our children and their children whilst celebrating the diversity that is amongst us and not using it as a source of animosity? Are we willing to set aside these so called traditions that advocate hate, injustice and cover-ups for social, economic and political ills that enslave our country, our continent?

Part 3: The link between poverty and corruption, its consequences in developing countries, and how it affects you and me!


Truthspeak- Kenyan Change seeker!

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