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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wher do we go from here?

Where do we go from here?

A letter to members of Lake Fund Foundation

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I must say at the very beginning that this is indeed a worthy cause.

This is a defining junction in our history. Our country is deeply divided. Inter ethnic suspicion is palpable. Our relatives and friends are dead, maimed and dispossessed. Many children are orphaned. Millions old, sick and infirm have been uprooted from the comfort of their homes and scattered in the squalor of field that have been turned into camps for the displaced. Hundreds across the country now returning to their “ancestral land” have no place to call home, nobody to call neighbour and no community to provide them with a sense of belonging. Thousands of children now have no friends, no school and no neighbourhood. Men and women who were once proud to provide for their families are now condemned to the demeaning plight of helpless beggars; lining up for food, shelter and clothing.

The wanton plunder of our cities has left hundreds of zealous and budding entrepreneurs without a business and staring at eternal debt and bankruptcy. Hundreds of thousands of young people have been tossed into the deep blue sea of unemployment as factories and businesses close in our towns and cities. Investors are running for cover. Towns and cities, once bright and vibrant are now like a candle in the wind. The lower and the middle-middle class are facing imminent retrenchment.

Most of all the politics is broken, political leadership is unravelling, and the nation is in deep despair. We now think Kofi Annan is our last and only hope.

But this group, this cause, and this great convergence of generosity is the greatest beacon light of hope at this dark midnight in our country’s history. You are all we’ve got to turn this nation around. Only you can do it!

Your intentions are angelic, your resolve is industrial strength and our mission is sublime. And most of all, God is on your side.

But you must do the heavy lifting. The enthusiasm and the resolve must morph into concrete action. You must bring leadership, resources and action to bear on the crux of the unprecedented socio-economic and political challenges we face today.

Here is the complexion of the problem you have to deal with

  1. Moving displaced people to safety of their homeland
  2. Dispossessed people who need to get a sense of their dignity back

a. Basic necessities –clothes, household items

b. A place to live

c. A job and an income

  1. Children who must get back to school
  2. People who lost their businesses

a. Need the wherewithal to rebuild their business and pay their debts

  1. Orphans and widows who need to assisted to get back on their feet
  2. A strategy for getting new investors into our city
  3. A strategy for getting back the lost jobs in the shortest time possible
  4. A strategy to keep this group plugged in and influential in the running of the city of Kisumu.

I would like to appeal to the group to devote sometime to think about moving this effort and the focus of the Foundation along these lines. If you break this problem down this way, then you will have a sense of just how much needs to be done and how best we can coordinate the response in ways that would yield the most gain for the people and the greatest bang for your buck.

I move that you keep the needless ethnic nationalism out of this. Everything that needs to be said has been said. The Luo people have vented. The world has heard your cry. You must not harp on the victim cord forever. Look at you all. You are immensely successful by any standards. You can your change our community. You can transcend the politics of hate, bitterness and revenge. You have come this far in spite of the politics. And you can turn a new page and move your community in a new and hopefully more progressive direction.

If you do not pull through this and get Kisumu back and buzzing, you will be a laughing stock and the butt of every joke.

The times are grave, the moment is now and you are the people to make a change. And YES YOU CAN!

Are you fired up? Are you ready to go!

Thank you.

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