The rambling thoughts of an mp

I fought the good fight. I finished the race. I kept the faith. I became a Member of the Kenyan Parliament as a result. It has been a rollercoaster ride in the last eight months. We have passed so many bills that have affected the lives of Kenyans. Fine, some might argue that none of the bills have positively affected the ordinary mwananchi, but people must understand that it’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. (I read that somewhere, while I was studying for my English competency test, and it sounded good) Wananchi must realize that they have to contribute to the country’s bottom line through VAT and through 6% of their input at their employer’s organization.

I mean let’s face it. The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is a wonderful way of setting aside one’s savings for the future. It may not have a CEO right now, (or any CEO who can stay beyond a year of service) and it may not necessarily send members annual individual statements showing how their individual portfolio has grown, but that doesn’t matter. It is a national institution that needs the mwananchi’s support. The money raised by the NSSF is a great source of funds when the government needs to borrow money on the domestic market to fund government expenditure which includes my very good salary. The board of the NSSF makes sure that member contributions are invested well which will ensure that the mwananchi lives a very prosperous life once he retires. My fellow parliamentarians and I know what’s best for Kenyans and people should just let us do our job. The performance of the NSSF should not worry people. Ever. It is here to stay, just like the Ngong Hills and the Masai Mara, right?

Talking about staying power, these media folks need to understand that things don’t always stay the same. They are shouting from the rooftops about how the Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill will gag media freedom. What do they know about freedom? Was the media fighting in the bush for Kenya’s independence? No! All they know is how to publish scandals that never were and trash the performance of our sacred serikali. They must be stopped at all costs and made to report good things that lift the spirits of Kenyans. Kenyans want to read the proper truth of what a good job the executive and parliament are doing to uplift their lives. The performance of the executive and parliament should not worry people. These institutions are here to stay just like the Ngong Hills and Masai Mara, right?

But you know what? I really love my job. I spend a lot of time in parliament debating matters of national importance and I am constantly reminded how much I am personally contributing to the economic growth of this great country. Last week, I personally contributed to the debate about the renaming of Moi Sports Stadium Kasarani. I mean, how in the name of all that is heavenly, can anyone think of changing that veritable landmark’s name? Ati the new sponsor will improve the facilities? That stadium is in tiptop condition and doesn’t need anyone’s money. If they insist on getting an outsider to put their name on the stadium then they should be made to pay er……ummmm….Kshs 1 billion for it! Yes 1 billion sounds about right, since some of those funds can be used to pay for the supply of catering services which my wife provides and computer equipment which my brother does very well. The debate about the naming of the stadium was definitely meant to improve the economic growth of individuals in Kenya and was a worthwhile use of parliamentary time. That stadium and all the contracts that go with improving it are here to stay like the Ngong Hills and the Masai Mara, right?

I also spent a long time with the party whip being convinced on how to vote for the NGO Bill. To be honest, I never get to read all these confounded bills; we are usually spoon fed what position to take on a bill, as it is quite tedious breaking down the impact assessment of these bills on the ordinary mwananchi. You see, many of us have hardly passed mathematics let alone English, so trying to understand clause by clause of all these numerous bills is positively exhausting. So we just ask our whip to tell us what to do because he is quite an educated and bright fellow. If he really wants us to do something urgently, he motivates us in ways that are, well, quite imaginative I must say. Which is why I totally love my job, as the more controversial the proposed bill, the more imaginative the motivation.

It has been a great last eight months in the eleventh parliament of Kenya. During my induction I was informed that the role of a member of the august house during parliamentary sessions was to talk very loudly and then sleep very soundly. We were reminded the basic tenets of arithmetic that 1+1=11 and 9+9=99. We were advised to always take a narrow view of anything the media said as the whole world was out to get us. It was an excellent session that prepared me for what I have experienced. I am the guardian of the mwananchi’s intellect and the protector of the mwananchi’s wallet. I am here to stay like the Ngong Hills and the Masai Mara, right?

Carol.musyoka@gmail.com
Twitter: @carolmusyoka

>