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Jun 13, 2018 5 Min Read

The Simple Act of a Handshake

Two things that can be said to be ailing Kenya as a nation, it wouldn’t be wrong to point to the political dissention in the country caused by deep rooted tribalism and the mass plague of corruption clawing away at the spine of Kenya’s stability.

Elections in Kenya have always provided a backdrop to display the ugly face of tribalism that exists. The recent elections on the 8th of August, 2017 was no different in saving the political face of this nation. This was an election marred with conspiracy from the moment the gears were set in motion.

The nation’s citizens were dancing to the tune of high confidence and expecting a shift from the negative norm to a brighter, democratic, free and fair election. This proved not to be the case, as the electoral body charged with safeguarding this mandate, suffered many challenges cascading to the murder of its ICT custodian leading to a compromise of the electronic system that would tally the results, in house divisions among the IEBC officials and threats from the political elites that shook the country’s justice system.

This saw the unwavering stance taken by the political divide both in government and in opposition. In the nation, there existed an eerie calm among its citizens with life on the outside seemingly back to normal. It wasn’t known if this would change any time soon until the unexpected happened on the 9th of March, 2018; President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga met at Harambee house, emerged to give a press address that was sealed with “The Simple Act of a Handshake”. And just like that, the political stalemate was broken, the eerie calm replaced by genuine calm and the nation rescued from implosion.

Corruption though, seems to have played a blind eye to this gesture by the President and the Opposition leader. The recent spade of scandals to the tune of billions of shillings exposed in the media and public outcry at an all time high have now seen the government take a tougher stance in the fight against corruption. To applaud this effort we must, but we still must ask, where was this same zeal in the consecutive years past when other instances were reported?

The country seems to be moving once again in the right direction. With the current wheels of motion set to drive out corruption, Kenya is at a crossroads of sorts wherein movement in the right direction will guarantee a better and brighter future ahead. The hope is that this fight will extend into all avenues not leaving behind the forestry sector, to restore the country’s environmental pride and place tougher regulations that will once and for all secure and restore the country’s forestry landscape.

“The Simple Act of a Handshake” that has set the tone in the country, has no option but to keep moving this nation forward into non-discriminatory and progressive development in all counties. This momentum can be channeled towards ensuring good practices in the conservation set up and in institutions such as the Kenya Forestry Service, the Ministry of Environment which would develop great work tempo ensuring good political will for conservation efforts in Kenya.

As Kijani, we take our place and applaud this effort trending in the country zealously looking forward to better days ahead.


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