The Problem With Handshakes/Hugshakes


By Albert Nyakundi Amenya aka Banana Peddler

The handshake stunt pulled by President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA supremo Raila Odinga on March 9 represents a new phase of desperation by the Jubilee administration. The handshake was cosmetic and Uhuru had to do it because the going was getting tougher. Only the fools were agog with festivities to celebrate. I agree that the handshake might have brought some calmness. Nonetheless, it has done Kenyans from every nook and cranny more harm than good.

Since the two leaders shook hands, the President has without a doubt, sidestepped his responsibilities of protecting Kenyans and their resources. Now, his cronies in government have the temerity to loot public funds without compunction. Here, is everyman for himself because government is for the rich thieves.

The game of looting is ongoing without a referee to regulate it and even issue red cards.
At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I can claim to be among the voices that have been crying out aloud. In a “fantastically corrupt” country, however, leaders steal with impunity – they don’t worry about what people say or write because the country is lawless. I wrote that the handshake between Uhuru and Raila drove the last nail on the coffin of the fight against corruption.

Instead of approaching my opinion with an open mind, with an understanding of the context of its construction, readers and the so called political analysts harshly took exception to it and senselessly traduced my person. Now I can confidently say I am vindicated. My premonition has proved prophetic. The handshake was premature and ill timed.

In 2017, the Jubilee campaign train was so hypnotic that most desperate Kenyan voters blindly jumped onto it. Less than ten months later, the same persons are struggling to jump off the train. Out of the 2 million persons who voted for Uhuru, a third of them have lost their jobs. The persons who were shouting “Tano tena” are the same people who are traducing their ‘own’ government. Others are so embarrassed that they have chosen to keep quiet.

A senior politician who asked the Mungiki to grab machetes and dismember Luos has not been heard from for a while. The situation in the country is so interesting that Kenyans from all walks of life are wielding oral stones and hurling them at will. The tomorrow that Kenyans looked forward to yesterday is now laughable if not saddening. Our country is in an awkward shape than it was when the Jubilee administration came to happen.

The same economy that used to be the largest and most stable in East and Central Africa is now in tatters. Insecurity has worsened. Our neighbours have taken over our position. Yesterday’s hope has turned into despair. Yesterday’s supporters of the Jubilee administration have become today’s fiercest critics of the regime: How Kenyan intelligentsia gathered dust in their faces, and how the poor people betrayed themselves.

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(The writer sells Bananas in the streets of Kisii Town)

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