By Muthoni Thang'wa
A Kenyan cityscape. Credit: Sam Nuttmann
Many Kenyans have a voracious appetite for all things grand, extravagant and opulent. This is a very good thing, by all means. It however better be matched by an equal amount of enthusiasm for hard work, smart thought processes or great innovation.
They are some of the ways to make money. Maybe running to be an ‘Mpig’ will equally have high returns, but that opportunity will not be available for the next four years or so.
Our heels have not even cooled from pyramid scams in which millions of shillings were collected and literary stolen from many gullible, but also very greedy Kenyans. But it seems that the nation has learned little.
The burden of trying to unearth the schemers behind the pyramids was left to the government – which constituted a committee – which earned hefty allowances from law abiding hard working, tax paying Kenyans. The committee wrote a report that was passed around and some cases brought before the courts. The bottom line is the greedy, gullible Kenyans still don’t have their money back and let me break this news gently – they will not get their money back.
Now the same Kenyans, there may be other nationals in the mix – are paying pastors to have their money doubled, have their sick healed and have their business balance sheets made healthy. There seems to be no use of force or coercion to make them do this. Rather, a sane Kenyan walks to their bank account, withdraws money and takes it to a pastor to have it doubled and many times lost.
It is also apparently called planting a seed, unless you give money, you shall not make money.
Talks about a new rethink of economics in Kenya – the good old factors of production are no longer at play here. How about you make a deposit to the pastor to pray that your account number is revealed to him and the money is doubled while still in your account.
It gets better, there is a ‘new’ scheme where one pays money to belong to some ‘club’ that organizes holidays. They even have a cash return policy if you subscribe now. This is the same work that tour companies and travel agencies do for a living on a need to basis – no subscription fees, no monthly payments. And one either pays a monthly subscription or recruits four members into the club. Yes, Kenyans are still falling for it – these are greedy not needy people.
But the needy are also a worrisome lot in this country. We have a never ending number of IDPs from the Post-Election Violence (PEV) of six years ago.
Numerous genuinely displaced people have been resettled, but the number does not seem to get any less. It has been six years and still counting. No matter how many are settled by the government, churches and NGOs, there is always an equal number that still needs to be settled. Just because this is a delicate national matter does not mean that it does not need scrutiny.
Isn’t there enough peace in this country for the remaining IDPs to show the county governments or the provincial administration – since despite public debate it still exists, the land from which they were displaced and the same can be sold in the open market and the proceeds given to their rightful owners?
Kenyans will not listen to reason, it is only after millions have been sunk willingly and knowingly into prayers, resettling people who may not have had any permanent abode in the first place and into phantom holidays – will hard working, innovative and enterprising Kenyans have to pay for a commission to investigate these scams. Is it fair for the government to spend taxpayer’s money to trace the money lost by the greedy?