If the government paid me today to shower it with praises, should I decline?

Here you are, three days without food. You don’t know where your next meal will come from. Your landlord has kicked you from the house. You and your family, your household items, and anything else you own are stuck beside a street unsure of where you want to go. None of your friends wants to house you. Your next home is probably homelessness – the streets. You don’t want to imagine that life. You don’t want to imagine a life where your kids are called street children. Chokoras. Or any other degrading titles. But here you are, tears in your eyes. Your wife and kids look unto you as their only source of hope. Who do you look to? God? The Government?

As your hope dwindles a glimmer of light walks by. It is your long time work colleague. The very colleague who orchestrated office politics that finally got your ass fired. He is here to rescue you. His only condition – you must shower him with praises. You must tell the world that he is the best man who ever lived. That he is better than you. That you getting fired was all your fault. That the rumours you have spread about him were all false. If you agree to that, he says, he will let you stay in one of his houses for months, until you get your feet back together. Will you accept the offer?

What if your friend is the government? The government that has fucked up the economy forcing your employer to trim down the workforce (Mediamax style), making you lose your only source of income. Then three months down the line your landlord kicks you out of his house, so you have to go back home, but you don’t have a home to go back to. Then this very government gives you a blogging job, with the condition that you praise it. That you tell Kenyans how perfect the economy is. That despite the perception, Kenya’s economy is still one of the fastest growing in sub-saharan Africa – that the average of 6% of economic growth is still way above the global average. That although a few companies are laying off workers, yet a few others closing shop, by and large the economy is blooming. The troubles in tea, coffee, and sugar sectors have no impact on the overall economy, you must say. That the massive loans are helping us expand our infrastructure and in a few years we’ll reap equally massive benefits.

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If this same government that screwed you up came to your rescue on the condition that you will tell Kenyans how the plan to raise the loan limit to shs 9 trillion is what’s best for the economy; that it will have zero negative consequences on the future generations, will you decline the offer? Will you choose to rather live in the streets than praise the person that screwed you up? What if you knew that your choice to live in the streets will catch no one’s attention? That the media will not care to highlight your plight? Will you still choose to snob the government?

This is what Kenyans wanted Robert Alai to have done. That in the height of government’s persecution, being short changed then abandoned by the opposition, Robert Alai ought to have declined the offer by the government to rescue him. After ODM chose Babu Owino to vie for Embakasi East Parliamentary seat over Robert Alai, Alai felt betrayed. Betrayed by the same people he had wholeheartedly campaigned for, championed their cause, took a collision path with the government on their behalf – always spending a night or two in police cells as a result. Then the government came knocking at Alai’s door, promising to end Alai’s troubles. The only condition was for Alai to whitewash all Government sins on social media. Of course this wasn’t long lived. Hardly a year later, Alai was back criticizing the government, but everytime he does that, Kenyans are always quick to remind Alai that the same government he is busy criticizing right now, is the same government he went to bed with hardly two years ago.

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Today Robert Alai posted a tweet describing how a father hired his own divers to rescue his family from the ocean, and called the government thieves in the same tweet. Kenyans have not wasted any moment to tell Alai that he had praised the same government hardly a few years ago.

If you were in Alai’s shoes, what would you rather do? Shut the fuck up?

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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