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The East African : Aug 22nd 2015
The EastAfrican OPINION AUGUST 22-28,2015 In the world we live in, one can never be too careful. Politicians, businessmen, traders... all out to take advantage.” Jene≥ali Ulimwengu W e are all aware of the ill effects that cheating can cause us and the pain that is felt when people we trust turn out to be fake or bogus. But it has often been revealed that some of the most “successful” individuals are actually nothing more than sweet-talking shysters or grandstanding braggarts. These characters often “succeed” in their deceitful enterprises because, apart from their well-practised ability to present themselves as people they really are not, those they choose to victimise are themselves gullible. Gullibility is that quality among humans that makes us ready to believe what we see or hear without too much scrutiny, especially if it is well recounted or presented in full colour. We are all guilty of gullibility, ex- cept for the confirmed cynic who, according to one sage, believes that all people are as bad as he or she is. That is the kind of person who will look first left, then right and then left again before he or she crosses a one- When we allow cheats into ou≥ lives, we c≥eate monste≥s who p≥ey on us and ou≥s way street. You never know. In the world where we live, one can never be too careful. Politicians, businessmen, traders, craftsmen, clergymen, healers, sportsmen and others are all out to take advantage of your naiveté and get something from you. Of course, some of them may be do- ing this as a form of amusement, and we willingly go to them to be “cheated,” like when we go pay to see magicians and conjurers. At other times, when it is not a laughing matter, the damage done maybe dismissible because its ill effects are seen as being light and of no real consequence. This may even include the usual cajoling of most politicians. In other cases, however, the dam- age becomes grave and its effects devastating for individuals and communities. Think of the sporting world and the scourge of doping, for instance. The public simply adores people whose sporting exploits turn them into demigods, capable of defying the principles of gravity and kinetic energy. When it transpires that these su- permen and superwomen have been cheating, using performance-enhancing substances to gain advantage over their rivals, we feel badly cheated, we are bitter, and lose more than a little faith in whatever sport it is. We got that feeling with Ben Johnson and Marion Jones some time ago, and, more recently, with Lance Armstrong. This last was even hailed as the man who wrestled cancer to the ground and came back to win the Tour de France, only to be disgraced as a cheat and a bully. But there exists a certain hierarchy of villainy at the top of which sit those sick, absolutely reprehensible people who exploit the positions of trust they find themselves in in relation to vulnerable people to hurt the same people they profess to be taking care of. Such is the Roman Catholic priest Ivan Payne of Ireland, who sexually abused children under his care for a long time because his colleagues and superiors looked the other way simply because those who suspected his behaviour were more worried about the reputation of the Church than about the children whose lives he destroyed completely. He eventually was jailed. Such is the maverick BBC television and radio entertainer Jimmy Savile, who, pretending to be a do-gooder and a charity fundraiser for vulnerable children and mental patients, sexually abused the very people he was supposed to help. This despicable lowlife — though he lived in vivid and loud colours that should have made him visible — was not exposed till one year after his death at the age of 84. One shudders to think of the damage such longevity did to those unfortunate enough to come into contact with that evil man. Now we are told that the former British prime minister, the late Edward Heath, is being investigated for paedophilia. We cannot know what At the top ofthe hierarchy of villainy those sick, absolutely reprehensible people who exploit the positions of trust they enjoy with vulnerable people to hurt those same people the outcome will be, but one thing is certain: If people were less credulous, if they had taken care to examine these individuals, if they had not been willing to look the other way, these monsters would have been discovered long before they actually were. Jene≥ali Ulimwengu is chai≥man of the boa≥d of the Raia Mwema newspape≥ and an advocate of the High Cou≥t in Da≥ es Salaam. E-mail: ulimwengu@jene≥ali.com 17 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Electronic correspondence should be sent to: email@example.com. Send attached text or Word documents African leaders must obey the law and let term limits reign POWER IS good, but it can corrupt minds. It makes you develop a liking for praise and an intolerance for criticisms. Those were sentiments from my late grandfather. May his soul rest in peace. His sentiments are true of African leaders who seek their self interest at the expense of their people. This explains why a number of them have refused to relinquish power and even gone to the extent of changing the law to justify an extension of their tenure. Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza for example, has been sworn in for a controversial third term, following last month’s disputed elections that the opposition boycotted. Since April when Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term, at least 100 people have been killed in the country. In Uganda, recent sentiments expressed by President Yoweri Museveni on term limits left a bad taste in the mouths of the people. Museveni, who is seeking re-election to serve another term said that what Africa needs is infrastructure not term limits. By May next year when Uganda goes to the polls, he will have been in power for 30 years, and 35, at the end of his tenure, should he win in the coming election. Intimidation of the opposition has been rampant in Uganda, and this has always instilled fear among the patriots who wish to see their country liberated and democracy restored. And it is largely the reason Museveni has managed to stay in power. The people are intelligent and can judge the performance and popularity of their leaders. This is why leaders manipulate their way to leadership, knowing too well that had free and fair elections been held, they would lose their seats. Why do we want to cling to power and slum development on our continent? This has fanned autocracy in some countries in Africa. Selfish ambitions drive most people to fiddle with the truth that people need change, and they continue to bear false witness that everything is perfect while the common man continues to suffer. Our leaders cannot afford to continue basking in false popularity; the people’s will must be done. Let people have freedom of choice regarding the leader they want; leaders who will serve their interests, rather than im- posing themselves to them. This is why term limits are im- portant. They make leaders more accountable to their citizens and cause them to perform more effectively. Felix Pilipili, Nairobi More to Uganda, Kenya trade deal Last week, The EastAfrican ran a comprehensive package on the trade talks between Kenya and Uganda, that have stoked controversy in the past week. While there was more to the Uhuru-Museveni talks than sugar, the latter has taken the centre stage in the debate in Kenya and Uganda. On Wednesday, Kenya’s For- eign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said: “We had meetings in Uganda and, apart from sugar, we discussed so many issues. If you look at The EastAfrican, you will see.” In Nairobi, the opposition sees the move as a ploy by influential business people to bring sugar into Kenya outside the import window, saying it will kill local millers, who are struggling to stay afloat. But President Uhuru Kenyatta defended the deal saying it’s more logical for Kenya to get sugar from neighbouring countries to address shortfalls instead of bringing it from overseas. Here are some of your views on the matter: This is the way to go East Af- rica if we are to create a Common Market. We are brothers and sisters who should be lifting each other up. Uganda deserves a big chunk of our Kenyan market, and this will spur more exports to their market. “Shared prosper- ity” never had a better definition. Duncan Muchina ∆∆∆ Only time will tell who the real beneficiaries of this transac- tion is. My take is that Uganda is. Sly, Nairobi ∆∆∆ This is a good deal, but leg- islation must be put in place to protect farmers. The government must also ensure there are safeguards to protect the country from sugar dumping. Jason Mwangi The government should seek ways of reviving the ailing sector, and imports is not one of them. Mary Hamisi Kenya’s leading Auditor Says that we’ve…overspent. Will it all come falling down, My Fair Lady? Stephen Partington firstname.lastname@example.org www.theeastafrican.co.ke Kenya Airways made a loss, KQ slumped, KQ slumped. Thirty billion down the drain. We’re not airborne! POLITICS AND VERSE ‘To the Tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down”’ The Stock Exchange is falling down, Falling down, falling down. Shares are on the slide again, We’re all bankrupt. The Kenyan Shilling’s slumped again, Slumped again, slumped again, And the Dollar’s on the rise. We’re all paupers. Kenya’s Credit Rating’s dropped, That’s not good, that’s not good. Have we lost the fiscal plot? Are we sinking?
Aug 16th 2015
Aug 29th 2015