Peter Mbae: Furore Over Tax - What hypocrisy; we chose them!

HAVE FOLLOWED WITH amazement as Kenyans continue mob-lynching MPs over their refusal to pay taxes on their allowances. This shows we are either very hypocritical or pitifully ignorant.

Hypocritical because it is we who allowed these people into Parliament, either through acts of omission or commission.

And the majority, learned as they may be, got in there just because they belonged to the right party, were endorsed by ethnic chieftains, or because they greased our palms.

In almost every constituency, there were other more deserving candidates with leadership qualities, a clean past, a development record and strategic plans detailing their vision for the constituencies.

However, they never made it because they belonged to small parties, or didn't have money to outspend the luminaries.

Instead of community leaders identifying true leaders from the grass roots, we waited for recycled, tired, political business merchants to appear during the election year with lots of ill-gotten wealth to give away in exchange for votes.

Professionals who should know better rarely vote in the first place, and when they do, they get to the rural voting centres on the voting day and simply follow the wind.

That is why this entire hullabaloo is unnecessary. After all, a nation gets the leaders it deserves. We can't invest in a thorn tree and expect it to produce grapes. The august House is simply a reflection of what we are as a people, and as a nation.

We are ignorant because all what the MPs are confirming is that they don't care about servant leadership, passion for, or commitment to the people. They are real capitalists who must not only recoup the money they spent during campaigns, but make more to finance the next election.

AS A RESULT, THEY AREN'T WORRIED about mob lynching or mass action which is scheduled for December 12.

Actually, they laugh among them-selves when they see us becoming so desperate.

Politicians know that Kenyans have very short memories. They know we will shout and lobby for a while, and then for¬get the whole issue, and come 2012, they will create another euphoria around a party or individual, manipulate us, and get back into power.

That is why the recent gesture that they are willing to change the law that allegedly prohibits them from paying tax may be just another tactic to buy time.

We have eyes and we don't see. We have ears and we don't hear. We have minds and we don't perceive. That is why even after what the MPs did in 2003, almost tripling their salaries and voting themselves a massive send-off at the end of their term, we still have in Parliament people who literally milked this country dry over the last two decades using their business and Government positions. Others have criminal cases pending.

This is why we will remain oppressed by MPs year after the other, swallowing all their excesses until we understand how important these positions are, and thus are able to elect the right candidates.

Yes, we shall be oppressed by the political elite until we, the peasants, realise that our fellow peasants from different ethnic communities are not the enemies, that indeed these are people we share common challenges, hopes and aspirations. Then shall we refuse to be divided by our ethnic political chieftains.

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