Let us all live the words and spirit of our national anthem

Saturday December 15 2018

The Kenyan flag

An athlete displays the Kenyan flag. We have to Build this our nation together, And the glory of Kenya, The fruit of our labour Fill every heart with thanksgiving. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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After the symbolic handshake, the gentlemen’s agreement of which we are not fully privy to, came as a great relief to the country. The months of political limbo were at an end and we would now be fully served without distraction by those we elected, opposition or otherwise.

Well, that hope of servanthood was short-lived as the pinnacle of this year and disappointment has taken centre stage; 2022. The irony is 2022 is a long way away and it is worrying we will be subjected to this unnecessary rhetoric for the next four years at the expense of our development needs.

Sure, we sing, Oh God of all creation/ Bless this our land and nation confident that we will indeed come to behold 2022, but what happened to Justice be our shield and defender? To the utter loss of millions of youth, we witnessed another case of corruption in the National Youth Service naming it a sequel, NYS2.


Even worse, millions of us were at great risk of ingesting sugar laced with mercury, with health consequences of which we dare not imagine. Where is the justice in these just to mention a few? Families lost their loved ones painfully and tragically after the bursting of the Patel Dam. Justice could have been a shield and defender before the tragedy, what good is it now working in hindsight of lost lives?

How then, May we dwell in unity surrounded by tragedy or at the brink of it, yet those we look to as our voice of call to action and justice, seem so far removed to our plight?

Very vocal public disagreements were had over the eviction or lack thereof of the Mau forest to the confusion of many. Putting it into perspective, who is the greatest loser, the forest, the environment, the evictees or the politicians?

Even with the Mau water tower at the rim of having to save itself, we learnt there was still, Plenty be found within our borders. We had the great privilege of being home to Sudan the last white rhino until his sad demise on 20 March 2018. In the face of this tragedy, we still have a little celebration, And our homeland of Kenya is host to Sudan’s daughters Najin and Fatu, the last two white female rhinos.


But one thing that never crossed our minds as the year went on as impossibility was Eliud Kipchoge winning the London Marathon in April. Kipchoge then proceeded to win and smash the world record in the Berlin Marathon in September, shaving off 85 seconds, crossing the finishing line in 2:01:39. Kipchoge is the true embodiment of Let one and all arise, With hearts both strong and true, a deserving winner of the IAAF male athlete of the year.

That was not the only achievement for sports this year, the Kenya Rugby Sevens teams finished the season with an incredible 104 points and Harambee Stars qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations final 2019. The disappointment, that the only Kenyan participant in this year’s World Cup, Aden Marwa was dropped as a referee by FIFA on bribery allegations is now an afterthought.


Alas, his was not the most bewildering bribery allegation. In an effort to water down or even lessen the risk and severity of the inquest into the sugar probe, it was reported members of parliament took bribes in the toilet. What happened to Service be our earnest endeavour? Is this our defender? If corruption is in the confines of our parliament, can members of the public expect to be held to the constitutional and legal standard?

True to the anthem, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, has exemplified that we should. There have been more arrests and charges of public officials in relation to graft that we would have anticipated.

Though very precipitate, it gives a sense of hope. This is normative justice in the exclusion of impunity. As we continue to observe the panoply of cases brought forth into the main, we discern Our Heritage of splendour, Firm may we stand to defend is regaining its true, intended meaning.


This recent nod of approval from the populace on the corruption cases has not all been, Let all with one accord, In common bond united. Arguably the most disconcerting issue of 2018 is the level of debt. This year we had a second Eurobond, fuel tax was imposed at eight percent from an initial and hefty 16 percent. While taking up austerity measures, there is increased borrowing with public concerns of uncertainty on public spending. There is no unity in our expectations of the economy and that of the government.

What then can we say of 2018, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Even in these times, we have to Build this our nation together, And the glory of Kenya, The fruit of our labour Fill every heart with thanksgiving.

I sure hope this comes to pass in 2019!

Ms Burini works with an international airline on dispute resolution. [email protected]