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Lessons from Kenya. - Comments (1)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Behind the Lines,Venture in Africa
Author: John Malone
Date: 10th February, 2008 @ 05:49:06 AM

When a sentence against evil-doing is {delayed|ecc 8:11}, the Bible tells us, men embolden their hearts for evil.

If you have read this blog much, you realize that in 2003, the corrupt new government of Kenya expropriated our assets there in a feeding frenzy akin to the Israelites under Saul when they ate the Philistine cattle, {blood and all |1Sam 14:32}. This corrupt seizure was neither clever nor subtle. It didn’t need to be. When Kibaki assumed the presidency in Kenya, he brought with him a gaggle of he Mount Kenya mafia, who simply believed “it is our turn to eat.”

Once such fellow was Nick Wanjohi, Kibaki’s “James Carville,” who as a reward for his political service, was appointed to head up the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) – Kenya’s leading technical and science school – despite holding his advanced degree in political science. His appointment created short-lived protests at the school. Once in power, he looked around, and found that our joint venture program generated a handsome turnover, and a tidy profit.

He simply grabbed that program, and the evidence of profligate mishandling of the funds at JKUAT since that time has been a widely publicized subject in Kenya. During the first year of the Kibaki government, those who were paying attention (not US State Department personnel, for sure) knew that the Kenyan government was in chaos. Kibaki was incapable of ruling, whether because he spent years in drunken dissipation, or because of his recent automobile accident, or because of a recalcitrant and stubborn wife {who was like a steady dripping|prov 27:15}, I do not know. Whatever the cause, Kibaki ran a disorderly State House in that year.

It’s an especially sad tale, too, because our program was geared to “school leavers,” those students who qualified by testing to be admitted into university, but for whom there were not sufficient seats. Our program was enrolling 2,500+ students, and growing, until the Kibaki regime came in. Now, the enrollment of students is below 600, and the program is failed.

Today, there is tribal violence in Kenya – at least in part orchestrated – as a result of bid-rigging in the elections that took place December 27th of last year. In many cases, the current violence is executed by such “school leavers” – albeit not likely ours who are 97% employed. Some of this “spontaneous” rioting is no doubt incited by politicians who have something to gain from it, and who have often hired such {“lewd fellows of the baser sort”|Acts 17:5} to achieve their purposes. One serious wonders how bad the reprisals against the Kikuyus would have been if Odinga was in power today.

But it’s hard to feel sorry for the Kikuyus, who at this juncture probably believe their own propaganda that their improved conditions over other tribes has to do with character and hard work, rather than 45 years of privilege. Corrupt political patronage is nothing new in Kenya. Neither is depriving the Luo’s of a place at the table.

The political process in Kenya is different than some may consider. Democracy has never been a moral good in and of itself. “Vox populi, vox Dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God),” is a pagan cry, and not a prudent one. Interestingly, this phrase in its oldest quoted use is part of a larger statement, and reads, “Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit.” Well translated, that reads, “Don’t listen to those who say, ‘The people’s voice is God’s voice,’ for the raging of the rabble is always near insanity.” This is not Scripture, but makes sense, because the people have never spoken Scripture!

US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger told me in September “democracy” was the only principle to be followed in Kenya. Of course, this was simply rehearsed eyewash. He also said the USA did not consider Kenya’s government legitimate under Moi, but those are more words he would have to eat in public. In its early years of development, the USA never had the unmitigated democracy that Kenya now has. Neither did it have enormous powers vested in the Presidency and a large central government. Neither did the USA have Parliamentarians who earned as much as 10,000 times as much as a day-laborer.

If Kenyans will follow the example of DeTocqueville’s America, rather than that presented to them by a corrupt US State Department, then they will realize what the French write did, that America’s secret to enduring free dom is not the current “war on terror,” but was could be found in its churches, where he found people liberated on the inside, regardless of the conditions without. Indeed, he found the secret to America was its spiritual liberty. America today is a post-modern culture that is factoring the Christian Scriptures not only out of everyday life, but out of the churches.

I have had US State Department personnel ask me to NOT speak about my faith and the Bible. It is illegal for them, as government employees, to even make such a request. When the bombing of the US embassy resulted in such tragic loss of life, the US Ambassador held a memorial service in Nairobi, and made invocation to a “great spirit.” So the example of America today is not safe to follow. But America’s example in the equivalent stage of political and economic development is one with many lessons, the key of which is to look to faith in Jesus Christ as the sole supply of earth well-being in a wicked and corrupt age.

One major distinction between Kenya in it’s early development, compared to the USA, has much to do with the political and economic structures. The US was very skeptical of a large central power in its inception, and a republic was formed rather than a democracy. Furthermore, due to the insulation provided in that day by two oceans, America was left alone to develop more than an internationalized Kenya is. The internationalization of Kenya is a very harmful and potentially destructive force.

Foundationally, the nation-state was created by God. In America, this principle was once formally articulated. The facts haven’t changed, only the articulation of them has. In fact, God created the nation-state to protect humanity from the destruction that devolved upon it prior to the great deluge, which marked God’s judgment. he promised he would not so judge the world, but because the nature of man didn’t change, the order imposed upon him needed to. This imposed order – sanctions dictated by God to Noah and his sons, at the time 100% of everyone – involved human responsibility to execute murderers, a command to reproduce and fill the earth, the forbidden of the drinking of blood and things strangled, and the command to eat meat.

How does this apply in the modern world? In brief, the same as it always has. Fundamentally, Kenya is failing while in its underdeveloped stage in the same way that many developed nations around the world are failing. One would be prudent to take into consideration the example of America in ascent instead of America in decline. America in its ascent took heed to the principles of the nation-state as laid down by God.

When God said to execute the murderer, this was news. Prior to the deluge, the murderer Cain was marked by God, but was not executed. This was an attempt to let man see if his conscience could function to change him. Not only did this fail, but man’s mind in his fallen conscience came to the place where every imagination of the thought of his heart “was only evil continually.” This condition of man led to extreme violence, unabated murder. It led to such deeply perverse sexual behavior as to damage the race genetically. The diet for man at that time was grains, herbs and vegetables. These are lessons all societies on earth are obliged to know.

After the deluge, God altered the order. So, how is Kenya doing? Unhappily, not well at all. Capital punishment is only administered by mobs, often with its attendant tyre and bottle of parafin. Murderers are routinely set free by the Kenyan courts, or held in prison, but rarely executed. Although I do not have the statistics, I was informed that perhaps there has been one execution for murder in Kenya in the past 30 years. A nation cannot survive long under such failures of basic human justice. The society will become violent. This can certainly be seen today as areas of Western Kenya and the Rift Valley are yielding reports of nearly unspeakable human depravity and darkness.

When it comes to the command to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth,” one may consider that, with its consistently high – yet dropping – birth rate, that Kenya is doing well. But this is a mirage. Increasingly, Kenya is becoming a fatherless society. Only part of this is due to the cultural norms of polygamy present in some subcultures. Kenya is substantially a Christian nation. Wherever Christ is preached, lifetime one-partner monogamy follows. This builds strong social structures, based, as they are, on strong homes, extended families, and then churches, where these families operate on consensus.

Why is it that, even where Christ has been preached for generations, it is commonplace in various subcultures for men to acquire to themselves multiple wives, even Christian men? Certainly this is abundant moral failure. It is not in accordance with God’s plan for man to be fruitful and multiply!

And what has been the response of Kenyan churches?? Why, to implement programs of “family planning!” Of course, “family planning” is simply a misnomer to disguise “population control,” which is simply a slap in the face of God! I have heard plenty, while in Kenya, about the need to “plan families” and how expensive it is to have children. And in nearly every case, i have heard this from the wives of preachers who actually head up such teaching programs inside their churches! What a shame!

Three of my children have provided us with 27 grandchildren.In their turns, each of these children are enjoying faith in Jesus Christ. almost unbelievably, I am regularly criticised by Christians for encouraging these large families to grow even more. nevertheless, our family, as large as it is, is a pathway to economic freedom.

This brings me to a secondary consideration about “filling the earth.” God never intended to rack, pack, and stack people in burgeoning cities. Great cities in the Scripture are ordinarily and primarily associated with great wickedness. Ancient Babylon, Nineveh, Jericho, later Babylon, Damascus, Sodom, Gomorrah, Tyre, Sidon, and a future Babylon and Jerusalem all referentially typify wicked developments in the history of man. We could add other cities from secular history, and point to some today that fit this very mold.

One of the great, but underpublicized events in the development of America was the Jeffersonian Survey, whereby all of America was mapped out into Townships and Sections, allowing for allocation of land titles and a system of regulating security and transfer of those titles. It is a most orderly and trouble-free system of land registration, and is unmatched in the modern world. Because it is so orderly and trouble-free, one might overlook the fact that in older societies without such a grid system – like Kenya – the securing of land titles can be an awful ordeal.

Just as the Jeffersonian Survey allowed for the mapping of an unsettled west, and accommodated its orderly development, and the spread of American civilization to the west, which in turn protected the freedom of America, the lack of such a vehicle in Kenya bunches people together in crowded cities, and small agricultural areas, and leaves a vast territory unsettled. This is the conditions of Kenya, where 90% of the population lives in perhaps 15% of a land that is approximately the size of Texas. The USA had a land settlement policy that spread settlers out into the barely explored west. Certainly there were those that said, during American expansion, much like the unfaithful spies of Israel, that the land was too dangerous and the conditions to inclement to settle it|Num 13:32). But he land of Kenya is vast enough, and likely minerally rich enough, that there is no cause for tiny little plots in the Rift Valley to be the source of so much dissension. In short, Kenya needs a land policy, and it needs it now, to accommodate the fruitful multiplication of Kenyans, and to encourage the spreading of the population to areas lying fallow and considered desolate.

Forty-plus years of corruption in the Rift Valley cannot make everybody happy. The fact is that Jomo Kenyatta, the first and unelected President of Kenya, began the modern version of corrupt government and land grabbing, and President Moi established his policy of “Nyayo” (footsteps) which brought the corruption art to perfection. Kenyatta’s henchman and their relatives still plunder Kenya. Kibaki and his band of hooligans had no subtlety whatsoever, “vomiting on our shoes” as the colorful, blunt, and sometimes principled British High Commissioner Sir Edward Clay proclaimed, when describing that not only did the present government “eat,” but to an extent that became disgustingly obvious. For his candor, Clay has been declared “persona non grata” by the Kenyan government. Clay should wear this declaration as a badge of honor. His US equivalent, the “colorless ambassador” William “Mark” Bellamy – a little girl among men – received no such accolade, even though he occasionally “gravy-trained” on Clay’s insights. Today Bellamy parades as if a champion of government reform. In fact, he sat back and watched while saying nothing.

Kenyatta-Moi-Kibaki are all of the same school: the post colonial corruption school. The fact is, Kenya has suffered more from its tribal lords than it did from British colonization. Kenyans never had a chance. They transitioned from colonial rule directly into a neo-colonial rule where the top men enrich themselves and take the money out of the country. Kibaki’s men are exactly this. Does anyone think Odinga’s men would be different? If so, they kid themselves.

So, what is the way forward in Kenya? It seems pretty obvious: the power of the Presidency must devolve. Indeed, the power of the entire central government must devolve. This is not a novel idea, It’s acknowledged by almost everyone. The Parliamentary system has not served Kenya well, and it would be better to embrace a more federal structure. That won’t solve the core problem of corruption, but it might make corruption more difficult to execute. A federation of more autonomous provinces might certainly go some distance to limiting the corrupting influence of a President.

On the other hand, federalist organization cannot solve a problem of widespread corruption inside the heart of the average Kenyan. That transofrmation comes from within, based on faith in Christ.

Comment by Brother » 26th February, 2008 @ 03:55:54 PM

I am more than surprised by this story! I knew JKUAT and MMS at the good times you described as “African Harvard in the making” but never could imagine what i have read here could actually happen to an American-Kenyan joint business venture!! I don’t get it how anyone can get away with this, i thought only in Kenya, but the fact that the American authorities you’ve engaged have not find a solution leaves me with me amazed by the world we live in, where can one find justice then? Come Jesus and come quickly!

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