If I Was the President of Kenya
If I was elected the President of Kenya, I would not promise you better roads or better infrastructure. I would not promise you a good economy. I would not tell you of how I will build you stadiums nor give laptops to pupils who cannot afford food. I would not promise an end to corruption and I would not promise you better healthcare. Sounds weird right?
If you elected me the President of the nation, I would not come up with a new constitution. I would not come up with laws and by-laws to better the poor economy. I will not even mention mama mboga in my statements. I will not talk of how I will glorify the life of the poor Kenyan mashinani. You wonder, what will be my manifesto?
If I was the President of Kenya, I will not promise how I will revamp the dead old industries that died due to corruption. I will not talk of how I will build dams or roads to ease traffic to and from the airport. I will not talk of projects and projects and projects. I will not fancy you with words like, ‘the culprits will me made accountable’ and ‘the police are still investigating.’
If I was the head of the nation, I would not tell young people that I will create millions of jobs for them. I will not help Kenyans pay for their healthcare nor their pension plans. I will not reduce taxes, I will actually raise them. I will not promise equity. Wow, it sounds so barbaric didn’t it?
If I was the Kenyan President, I would not promise that my regime will be the best. I would not want to be remembered. I would not want to appear on any monument. I would not want my photo on the local currency and I wouldn’t expect the people of my nation to give me a company as a sendoff package. I also wouldn’t lead for two terms. One will be enough.
A New Culture
I will promise nothing but I assure you you will love everything. Since every African leader in power thinks that the constitution is bad and they want to change theirs, since every African leader has incredible dreams to change the nation but once he gets on the seat he realizes that his hands are tied, I will untie mine.
Sometimes I think, why do these so-called leaders or politicians or professional thieves have immense plans, manifestos, and innovations but when they get to power nothing gets done? The state of the mama mboga who has always struggled becomes worse, I can imagine a mama mboga who has now been ambushed by the government that schools are reopening and little Kevin who is always been with her in the grocery store has eaten so many mangoes, bananas, and avocadoes that he has added 8 kilos in just two weeks and he needs a new pair of school shoes and uniform.
I will only promise one thing; a new culture. You may be asking yourself, ‘But how?’ Well, you see most African leaders work from the outside in. It is always about the people’s needs, what they want, and what you will need to do for them so that they can vote for you. Most African leaders end up doing very crazy and dubious projects for the ‘people’ and 99.99% of them end up failing. Do we start counting the tons of them in our nation? Maybe not.
Maybe the common mwananchi wants a wheelbarrow to ferry his goods but he knows not of a newer technology better than a wheelbarrow that will help him carry more goods therefore improving speed and efficiency. Sometimes, actually, most people do not know what they want. I tend to think that the nation is like a child, if you gave a child everything they ask for, it will end up to be their ruin. A President should be the brainchild of the nation. He is in an elevated position to know what other nations are doing, how sectors have been improved etc. He is more exposed than Jontez on the streets, but our presidents, so long as their photos hang in butcheries and they have supplied 10,000 helmets to motorcyclists, they are good to go. The people will even shout ‘Ishirini Tena‘.
If I was the President of Kenya, the nation people will be my kids and I will not work from the outside in, I will work from the inside out. I will clean my house first. I will promise nothing to my people but I will work. Just in the same way a kid asks the parent, ‘Baba, siku moja utanunua Tv kubwa kama ya kina Brayo?’ I will answer, ‘Nitakusomesha ununue Tv kubwa zaidi kushinda ya kina Brayo.’ But the kid wouldn’t understand and they would continuously nag. Just in the same way that I would not promise heaven to my kid is the same way I would not promise my people that I will take them to bliss.
If you were the father to that kid, you had the option of taking a loan and buying a bigger Tv but you knew that there were many more important things that this kid would not understand. Though he will think that ‘baba anakuwaga na pesa hataki tu kununua Tv kubwa‘ he will later understand that you were right when he is not the one paying the loan you took for your instant gratification. But our nation fathers go for major loans to instantly gratify majorly their desires and very minimally, their kids’ gratification. I will teach my kids delayed gratification.
My manifesto will simply read, ‘Let’s create a new culture’. I will start with the government and all its agencies. In the first a hundred days in office, I will promise Kenyans nothing but data. I will get data from all ministries and parastatals. I will get and harness all data from every government-affiliated agencies, projects, and even grants. I will get stock of ALL government employees, projects undertaken, tenders awarded, skills mismatch reports, etc. I will also audit ALL those government agencies in terms of their books and especially how their money flows. I will simply start by cleaning my own house.
Of course, that data will shock me and my kids as well. I will find hundreds of thousands of ghost workers. I will find bosses who have never cleared high school let alone campus. I will find one tribe dominant in a certain ministry. I will find tons of unscrupulous bosses. I will find employees who have never stepped to work simply because they have god-fathers in high places. I will find lots of conflict of interest and I will not be shocked to find a cartel that was awarded all the tenders in the ministries and most of all I would DEFINITELY find lots of fraud.
So what would I do with this data? I said earlier that I would rule for one term because I do not expect to be voted again, not after disrupting the famous cartel. The same cartel that owns the media. The same cartel who would even want to impeach me or even to kill me but I will not be working for them. I will be working for God and I know to whom much is given much is expected. So I will start by, not declaring a war on cartels, but on enforcing existing laws in those ministries and agencies. Every ministry and company has a HR Manual, by-laws etc. There is no need to re-invent the wheel just lubricate the squeaky one and make sure it oscillates.
After getting the skill mismatch report, every government employee will be re-aligned to what and how they can perform best. Those who need to be let go will be retrenched according to the laws set in every ministry. The MP’s and Governors who had their people to approve their tenders and decoys to help them garner votes from their village people will now have to work for the people and not just place their people in government jobs.
This government keeps promising the youth millions of jobs and there is currently a lot of jobs in the government itself. We keep blaming government workers while indeed most are understaffed, do not have adequate resources to work and are just holding on because of the loans and family obligations they have back at home. Why would that person not be corrupt should they get an opportunity.
Of course a lot will be retrenched; because who do you explain a class 8 drop out working as an accountant because they learnt Excel through apprenticeship and there are tons of young brilliant minds with MBAs and great innovations that can transform the firm? After retrenching those who need to be retrenching or re-aligning those who need to be realigned, I will work on a new culture. If policy states that people should work from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm then it should be exactly 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Not 8:01 am and 4:00 pm because unahepa jam. or because mdosi hayuko. Employees MUST not steal employers’ time. The NGO world and the private sector really enforce this policy why not the government?
I know you have visited a government office at one point in your life just to be told that the guy in charge is not in or has just left. And they only leave their coat behind. If policy states A then it is A not B. If the Disciplinary Policy says three warnings or get fired it will be that way, not demotion or transfer. If HR Manual says you need to be official, then no jeans and open shoes in the office. Every law and by-law will be enforced and there will be no need to draft another. I will not even feel pain for someone who was fired from work because of lateness, damn there are lots of people out there asking, “If only I could get that chance that this guy is blowing off…”
After everyone is at work, that’s when we work on resources and standardization. Of course there is a reason why I would want to work for Apple, Facebook or Google and not the government of Kenya. There is a reason why people in those places excel. This is majorly because of the work environment. Some government offices are pathetic, they are dungeons and I would not want my kids to work in such ghostly environments. There is no need for a retired employee who has served the nation for 30+ years to develop back problems because they have been sitting on a broken desk. Orthopedic seats will not be reserved for bosses who are always out for meetings and seminars. We are human beings first then titled beings next.
I will enforce policies like OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series) such that offices that are unfit for human occupancy will have to be renovated. It beats logic to compensate a family who lost their breadwinner at work while you would have fixed a cracking wall long time ago. I will ensure that all government employees have resources, the latest workstations serviced by the IT teams in those offices because it won’t make sense to outsource such services while you have an in-house team. I will also ensure the best internet connectivity offered by the troubled government company; at least I would be assured of my data security. No outside vendor will tap my data. And that’s how I will grow the government company. Well, in our company, you first kill the local company and bring in a private one to supply the same services.
In enforcing standardization measures, I will ensure that all those bodies are on a .go.ke domain and all data is centralized. I will ensure that there is a secure cloud server to ensure all government data is harnessed in one place and is available everywhere anytime. I will also ensure that there are realtime backups and secure Cloud Delivery Networks (CDNs) worldwide so that data is fetched easily and faster (decentralization of data) so that hii kitu ya ‘System iko down’ to feed cartels will be no more. I will also ensure data interoperability such that data can be synced and accessed along other departments e.g. Every ministry do not really need to type in names of Kenyans every time and the same data is in the immigration’s Integrated Population Registration Services (IPRS) system.
I will ensure every data in uploaded onto the government’s cloud server. The issue of ‘we cannot trace your file’ will be no more. A lot of Kenyans have lost their money to these rogue staff who bribe them for access of information or services which is their right. Every government office will have CCTV’s and fingerprint access controls, an end to signing on books with pens lying that you were at work and you weren’t and this data will be synced in real-time with the government cloud servers so cheating the system will be hard because this will record audit trails of everything.
I will digitize everything digitizable. Ooh yes, we now have workstations, employees have amazing desks and orthopedic seats, they even have microwaves, drinking water, tissues etc. (Some of you think that this is luxury – well it is not, we are ensuring productivity). Government employees sometimes have the worst working conditions, some share desks, some offices are stuffy and have crazy ventilation and some even use their phones to work because their colleagues are using their beat up Abacus machines. Why would I stay in such a condition for 8 straight hours?
Everything that can be digitized will be now be done online and Kenyans will only need one dashboard to access ALL government services. As in you will just need one dashboard to pay your taxes and maybe check your arrears, NHIF, NSSF, NTSA, Immigration, Certificate of Good Conduct (I will really piss off the Good Conduct mongers at DCI), your Kenya Police reported cases, business registrations, your salary, digital title deeds, land(s) transferred to you etc. With this in place, the queuing at government offices will be no more especially during these pandemic times. We will not have government service mongers who collide with staff to easen government processes.
Digitizing stuff will reduce a lot of manpower and will also need a lot of support. I will make sure there are stipulated turnaround times for services otherwise the government has to communicate for hitches and apologize to the client (The Kenyan) for services not rendered in due time. I will ensure that ALL government websites are responsive, have incredible UI/UX and are lightweight such that the person in Lodwar can access services just the same way a person in Nairobi will do. I will ensure government agencies have state of the art machine-learning bots that can assist the Kenyan at any time because it keeps improving time after time. I will also ensure that websites convert and have blogs and FAQ sections where Kenyans can just get easy, quick and accessible information anytime, anywhere. They say a website sells you 24/7.
I will make sure that there is a well-trained customer service with every government staff. Damn, there are some staff who talk to you as if you are the re-incarnation of morning shit. They feel like they own the whole nation, the whole continent, the whole world and they sit on the right side of God. I will create a culture where every Kenyan is treated with outmost respect and HONOR by all and any government employee. I will ensure this becomes their norm and should be stamped as a virtue in ALL government offices.
I will ensure that the tendering processes and recruitment processes are free and fair and declare VERY punitive measures on all those who go against them. No government employee will run any sort of activity that conflicts with their work. If you are a doctor and you have a clinic, resign and go work in your clinic. There are tons of people who need that space. If you are a government lawyer and you do private practice, just leave and practice your law elsewhere not in the government. I will ensure ALL employees swear an oath of allegiance not just to their workplaces but also to their nation and Supreme being. And there I would have created a culture. One that will flow to the KENYANS we will be serving. Honesty, love, discipline, care, wisdom is infectious. A person well treated at a government office will treat their clients, kids, and every single person they meet just in the same way.
Someone may be thinking, where will all these funds come from? It is sad that in just 10 years our debt percentage ratio to GDP rose from 39.7% in March 2010 to 62.8% in May 2020. Did you know if I implement all these, I will even have a surplus from the trillions I will be saving? Look at this; all the government employees are now coming to work, 100% of them for 8 hours a day which translates to more work done. The rogue ones have been fired, the old ones with no skills have been retrenched, everyone has their skill matched to where they will deliver best and we have young, new and fresh energy – This translates to efficiency. The staff have now everything they need, workstations, software licences, training materials, basics like water, tissue etc. which makes their workplace a new bliss.
Most processes have been digitized, all data is harnessed into a cloud server, with real-time backups and CDNs so there are no issues of slow systems. You no longer need to a government office to ask for services, you do not need to pay someone for government services, you do not need paperwork sijui Copy of ID and stuff because data is synced across ministries etc. This saves a lot of paperwork, resources, printers governments buy, pens, etc and this recurring expenditure is a lot of money.
The government staff becomes happy and the Kenyan is even happier, just because of introducing a new culture. A culture where everyone, the support staff and the director treat each other with dignity. A culture with new Mental Health services in every ministry, innovation hubs, equitable reward schemes and staff bonding activities. The work environment becomes a family which flows to the common mwananchi. The government becomes the best place to work in not because you will have a lot of time and connections to do your own things, but because it is a place of growth and love.
Imagine… Just Imagine
Imagine getting to a police station and the police gives you a blanket and makes you coffee because you seem cold? Imagine you not paying for public places like Arboretum and Karura? Imagine a Kenya where there is peace of mind, where there are food programs as well as training programs. Imagine a government that takes care of the orphans, aged, persons differently-abled and the homeless – all through your tax? Imagine a government with amazing infrastructure, quality Universal Health Care and food security because the Galana Kulalu was a complete success? Imagine these crazy political rallies turning to drives to help the poor build leaking houses, to fund feeding programs and to just collect trash in town. Imagine clean streets not because there were punitive measures for people who litter but because a new culture in Kenyans made them take that initiative?
Imagine you attending the holiday celebrations and loving it. Imagine you loving the country so much that you tear when you hear the national anthem, not because of the Wagalla Massacre or any other sad thing about our country. Imagine sane leaders who ACT then talk instead of the other way round. Imagine a country with no debt and every good is always on the decline. Imagine local industries flourishing. Imagine about the cost of doing business in Kenya, simply amazing. Imagine getting a car at a way cheaper price than any country in Africa. Imagine a Kenya where joblessness is not an issue because every sector is empowered. Imagine a Kenya where it is not always about the common mwananchi and mama mboga but SMEs and the rich who pay crazy taxes as well. Imagine you accounting for your tax.
Imagine you talking of only positive things about your nation, not Goldenberg, not Anglo-Leasing, Not Kimwarer, Not NYS Scandal and definitely not Post Election violence? Imagine your home village being as amazing as Nairobi, with malls, good internet connectivity, amazing roads, with KFC and Pizza Inn – yes I talked about your native village. That is the Kenya we want, or let me rephrase – That is the Kenya you should have. We are tired of manifestos and tano tena and BBI and rallies and matusi and us always complaining about the government. But I am not the president of Kenya so… Just read this post and share and take the first initiative of a new culture.
In the meantime, you can support me in buying my book, “I Longed to Be Their Househelp” you can buy it online at a click of a button. It is only KES 150.
I also do websites you can check my work from this site – https://braitconsulting.com
*My apologies this post is long and I never looked for typos or grammar. It is 12:30 AM and everyone here is dead asleep just my head reminding me of ‘Paranormal Activity’. Adios Muchachos.