Every June the 1st in Kenya is Madaraka Day!

That’s when we celebrate attainment of internal self-rule from the British colonial government, back in 1963. This was only the first step in the process, and is seemingly the step at which countries such as Jamaica got stuck at. Hence why the head of state in Jamaica is still the Queen. It is only a year later, on December 12, 1964, when Kenya attained true independence and became a republic.

Madraka means power/responsibility in Kiswahili. Does the average Kenyan have power? Hardly, especially noting the state capture that has occurred since independence. Lately, it has been more brazen and overt. The military has increasingly been involved in the management of various state organs, parastatals and government mega projects. The reasons offered revolve around the discipline of the forces and their fidelity to purpose. The military get things done it is said. They do, but they’re not the only ones; and that’s hardly the reason they were called upon. Using the military to run entities and projects is simply introducing opacity to the entire process. Who gets to questions how the army uses funds? Who do they procure from at how much?

Nada. It’s classified. Or if not, it’ll take quite the bit of effort to get answers to those questions. Judging by how its already hard getting answers from our state and national governments, I can only imagine trying to probe into military issues.

Additionally, numerous public service posts have been filled by staff of the NIS, National Intelligence Service. Some of the most high-profile jobs to be given to people from this domain include the current Director of Public Prosecutions and the chairperson of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. Qualified personnel at the Nis deserve to get jobs just like any other Kenyan. However, there’s no shortage of qualified people from the ordinary Kenyan populace to warrant such focused recruitment from this security agency. NIS is to Kenya what the SIS (MI6) is to Britain, or what CIA is to the U.S.

The question therefore is, in this here Kenya, where does madraka truly lie? With the people?

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