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Published:May 2nd, 2007 06:44 EST
Freebie Year Again-- Kenya Election, 2007

Freebie Year Again-- Kenya Election, 2007

By Francis Karugah

In December this year Kenyans will go to the polls for the presidential, parliamentary and civic elections. This year is no different from all the others, politicians heckling themselves hoarse in front of crowds are evident everywhere. Talks of sabotage from those opposing each other are all over the news. And yes, who can forget the freebies being thrown at the general public. The worst culprit being the government in the disguise it is doing its job but why do it after five years in office?

Road constructions are being fast-tracked in almost all the country. For example, where this writer resides talks of repairing the main road that feeds into the capital have been rife for the last two years. A contractor won the contract but it was only after a politician, who wants to run against the current Member of Parliament, came to deliver his vision for our constituency did the road construction really take off. Several days later our current MP came to visit (wish he was seen around this many times) he said he was doing his job because the road was being constructed. After that, he asked to be re-elected. This is what is happening all over the country MPs are now going back to their constituency’s after five years.

They say the easiest job in Kenya is being an MP; the monthly pay is over $10,000 plus so many other benefits. No wonder Kenya is still deep in debt. We have more than 210 MPs with more than 80 of those receiving obscene amounts for being government officials. What makes the job easy is that you cannot pin down your member of parliament to perform. Some are known to not even utter a word in the five years they are in parliament. Worse, some attend parliament during official openings only nobody knows what they do or where they are the rest of the time as they are not in their constituencies. What a job! You attend your work place once a month and still are paid.

However, Kenyans are still to blame for this; a politician disappears soon after the elections and appears during elections with money to bribe the constituents to re-elect them. Bribes in Kenya are not a hush, hush affair-- politicians literally throw money at people. One politician was taped throwing wads of notes at the public from a helicopter. Yes, it is freebie year again here in Kenya.