“When you rattle a snake, you should prepare to be bitten.” I love this quote. It properly illustrates the character of the most ruthless and efficient minister that this country has seen of late. He rattled cages and moved mountains in every docket he served in. John Michuki is one of my role models. He did not care very much about what people thought about him. He just did his job. This is probably the main reason why the whole country genuinely mourned when it emerged that the bulwark of the Kibaki cabinet had bitten the dust. Several questions arise when looking at the tenure of the best performing minister in Kibaki’s government. What happened to service delivery and effectiveness in government offices? Are we a people doomed to live in squalid conditions just because we do not want to uphold the rule of law? Can we emulate the work ethic of this great man?
These are very interesting questions indeed. Michuki was not a special person. He just did his job to the best of his ability. The fact that we view the man as a demigod due to his work ethic should raise serious doubts on our output levels. If an eighty year old man can move mountains and impact the lives of millions of people, why shouldn’t the rest of us move planets? We are young and we have strength and youthful vitality on our side. If we were to do our part to the best of our God given abilities, there would be no need of vision 2030.
Kenyans do not like following the rule of law. You do not need to go far to see illustrations that support this point. You only need to board a matatu or any suitable vehicle to experience the mayhem that is on our roads. The madness and chaos was reduced somewhat by the so called ‘Michuki rules’. These rules have not been followed to the latter ever since the late minister was moved to another docket. Traffic police are only there for show. They are only interested in their daily handouts gotten from the drivers of dilapidated vehicles that breakdown every two days.
What’s surprising is the fact that ordinary citizens have not shown any interest in the matter. “As long as the bribe does not come from my pocket, then everything is okay.” It is only when a loved one is snatched by a tragic road accident in one of the run down matatus that common sense finally kicks in. Do we have to wait until someone dies for us to act? Definitely not!
Michuki’s work ethic is the way to go. Let us forget any feelings of brotherhood and ethnicity when conducting government business. The government should be result oriented. This means that government officials that fail to deliver consistently should be shown the door. We should not tolerate lazy and inefficient civil servants or even ministers for that matter simply because they come from the same ethnic base or political party.
It is only when we adopt a strong work ethic and respect for the rule of law that we will be able to move mountains like John Michuki. This is his legacy. He has proven to us in words and in actions that we can streamline our country. We can move ourselves from the ranks of poor African countries. We do not have to rely on foreign aid and grants to feed our people. If we work hard, we can improve our lives for the better.
I believe that this is Michuki’s most influential message to the youth of Kenya. The ball is now in our court. What are we going to do with it?