Suggestions for doctors, drivers, job-seekers and voters in 2017

Thursday December 29 2016

By MUTHONI THANG'WA
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2017 is knocking on our doors. If you can read this, you are alive and that is the number one reason to be grateful.

It is also that time of the year that we make resolutions, and I have some suggestions for the nation.

Doctors, we empathise with your lack of money, yes we do. But please do not get into the habit of going on strike; your choice of career is rather special as it involves life and death.

As the Catholic bishops reminded you in many words, take pity on the pain, misery and suffering that strikes cause on helpless citizens, children, the elderly and accident victims, who you abandon to die in inhuman conditions all for the pursuit of money.

You swore to protect life and that can only be compromised at the risk of death.

Kenya has only 47 governors who can afford to go to South Africa to have a scratch on their faces treated. The rest of us will die, including women trying to give life, if you abandon us.

If the public had a say in this matter, the budgets of Mpigs, MCAs and all those dubious suppliers of medical equipment would be slashed to pay medical caregivers.

QUEST TO DRINK

But we only have our vote and at election time we all suffer from amnesia, you included, so we are likely to make the same mistakes we made at the ballot. Please don’t let us pay with our lives for that mistake.

Find a way to pressurise the government to pay you better without killing thousands of Kenyans.

Kenyan drivers, why would you consume alcohol, find out where the NTSA (National Transport and Safety Authority) are and then drive in the opposite direction?

There is an issue of IQ here, because it is not just about you. You may be suicidal, yes, but the roads that you drive on belong to all Kenyans. Have you ever heard of collective responsibility?

You are likely to get innocent Kenyans killed in your quest to drink, post your nonsense on social media and then drive. Shame on you!

Let us cut those who post the locations of NTSA some slack. We assume they are letting all sober drivers know that they can safely go home using that route.

DINGY OFFICE

On the pursuit of money, and sometimes happiness, we need to be very careful.

Please, young or maybe not-so-young Kenyans, do not climb to some dingy office on the fifth floor of some building that does not even have a lift and sign up as an ‘expatriate’, to live and work in Ethiopia, the Middle East or wherever.

Before you leave, you do not notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Embassy of that country that you will be in their territory.

Nor do you notify the Kenyan Embassy when you get to your destination. You end up in jail, hospitalised, enslaved or dead, and then all the people who know you want to blame the government on social media.

It is very painful that lives have been lost, and many Kenyans out there still need help that is not forthcoming. But before you sign on that dotted line, remember that no amount of money, prestige or blame is worth your life.

Do not sign up to work for a faceless, nameless, shameless company that will not fight for you should something go wrong.

The government may fight for you eventually, but it will count for little if you have lost your life or been maimed. And remember, bad as this may sound, that there is no desk in government just waiting to receive the distress call from your family.

HATE-SPEWING LUNATICS

I have given up on imploring the police to speak a language that Kenyans understand, and I do not mean asking for bribes. They should not do that either, just for the record. But English words have to be put together in a certain structure and format for them to mean something.

Swahili, based on Bantu languages and Arabic, is easier to reorganise into sense for a good part of the population, after a police officer throws word around. As perpetual optimists, how about we establish a police linguistic unit?

2017 is an election year. Every voter usually has a reason for their candidate of choice. Some as varied as beauty or even pity, but for heaven’s sake, let ethnic consideration not blind your judgment.

Yes, politicians are a problem in this country, in many countries as well, but you and I who vote them in create the problem in the first place.

Who votes for all these hate-spewing lunatics in Parliament anyway? By all means vote, and in all instances, vote wisely – where is wisdom when we need it most?

There are many things that we can resolve individually or collectively. The trick is to take the first step today!

Twitter: @muthonithangwa