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President’s effort to reach out to other players laudable

Thursday October 10 2019

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The pyramids are one of Africa’s greatest achievements. They have enchanted travellers for centuries without losing, their magic.

The pyramids still hold secrets in their midst which scientists with the most modern technology still cannot unravel. The Egyptian engineers and architects planned secret tunnels and burial halls to hide the splendour, given to the dead for their afterlife in such a cunning fashion that they still wait to be discovered.

The pyramids are over 3000 years old. I often wonder: How were they built? This question runs through my mind especially when I stand in a traffic jam caused by construction which seems to be everywhere right now. Just look at the amount of time it takes to build a bridge today, with all the modern equipment, material and the super-human power of the internal combustion engine.

Now, some tasks that are set before our nation might seem unfeasible, too. It is easy to see all the imperfections surrounding us, instead of seeing the bigger picture of a young country, a mere 50 odd years after independence.

For example, I remember when President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the Big Four Agenda: his ambitious, mammoth programme for his second and final term in office which aims to reform, improve and strengthen four vital areas of our daily lives. But how could it be possible to tackle them all simultaneously, and in such a short time period?

The answer is simple: We all need to work together and act in tandem, just like the Egyptians did when building the pyramids. Of course, a group of people can only move a huge stone when all are pulling in the same direction and at the same time and the President understands this.

The first and maybe most visible action was the now-famous handshake with his “eternal” rival and leader of the opposition, Raila Odinga.

One might not hear a handshake – it’s not a clap, after all – but its message was heard loud and clear all across Kenya: We are putting past differences aside, are all working together to create a better Kenya.

But the President’s vision doesn’t end at the national borders. In order to fight corruption and repatriate stolen funds, he entered agreements with countries like the United Kingdom and Switzerland. In an impressive example of diplomatic negotiations, he received their commitment to return from the private accounts of convicted criminals to the Kenyan state, the money looted and smuggled abroad.

And now another important actor has agreed to coordinate efforts of its members to work more efficiently, and that their actions will have a greater and more meaningful impact on the lives of Kenyan citizens around the country. As was recently reported, the Non-Governmental Organisations Coordination Board will align their activities with the government’s goals of achieving the Big Four by 2022.

NGOs are financially and ideologically independent. They only care about the impact and can be trusted to only have the benefit of the downtrodden citizen at heart. Their approval of the Big Four, and their willingness to join the efforts to achieve it, should be noted.

The writer comments on topical issues.