Twitter

Saturday, January 16, 2010

So Raila went to the Mau to plant trees...so what?

Okay. That was one conservation Friday with Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga carrying his buddies and diplomats to the Kiptunga forest of the Mau Forest Complex to plant trees.
They loved the publicity I am sure. What with the media so sold to the idea that the forest had to be conserved at all costs. They ended up painting those who did not attend the rally as bigots, politicians not keen on conservation of the environment and all those other names that people get for going against the grain.
Now, what's wrong with President Kibaki skipping the treeplanting in favour of swearing in of judges to the Interim Independent Constitutional Dispute Resolution Court? What's the big deal? Well, I know one thing, Kibaki the President, saved Kenya hundreds of shillings by keeping his chopper and hundreds of security men in Nairobi.
He saved the citizens who attended the treeplanting from the hustle and bustle of dealing with the security, often abrasive and uncompromising, where the President is involved. He also saved time, in having the speeches end early so the fellas could embark on tree planting.
When sometime last year he accompanied Raila Odinga to Corner Baridi in Ngong' to plant trees, all those present had to wait for the three hours of speeches including a confused utterance from the Head of State ---it must be the strong winds at Corner Baridi--- only to spend less than 30 minutes planting less than two acres of land. I guess that experience taught my dear President something about tree planting ceremonies that he now favours just planting trees whenever he visits parastatals.
However, before I start the celebrations, let me point out that I feel extremely humbled by the way the PM handled the whole exercise. The barrage against the absentees by those who spoke was unwarranted, it is only advisable to push on with things that make sense to you, things that you believe in.
Yes, the PM might have breached protocol in saying that the President would be there to plant trees hoping that by making such a declaration, people would flock right there. He was absolutely wrong. The thing backfired on him, perhaps the reason why he insisted on the vague line of "the government will be there."
The politicians allied to the President followed their man and skipped the event to play golf (Kimunya), distribute food (Ruto), attend Presidential swearing in in Mozambique (Kalonzo the VP), be with the President (Mutula) and others. They just kept off, which is fine anyway.
If they didn't feel like planting trees we cant force them. Those who want can plant and have them grow.
But I am apprehensive that even as the trees were planted, had someone cared to quantify the budget, we'd know how much was used in the process. If it was justified and if the publicity the exercise attracted will pay off. And just to think aloud, who will nurture the tres in the 10,000 acres (is this really correct?) of forest planted yesterday? How many seedlings were they again?
Okay, let's watch and see how it goes.
So Raila led people to plant trees, what's the hullabaloo about those who missed? And what's the big deal about the dignified VIP seedlings planted yesterday? Will it make the water tower any more VIP? I doubt!

PS: I planted 50 seedlings on my piece of land, I haven't checked how the are doing.




No comments:

Post a Comment

Great minds think alike!