Sunday, June 12, 2005


I support debt cancellation. But there is a condition to my support. And no, l am not biased. I am only realistic.

I like it that the Prime Minister Tony Blair is all out on this one. I like it that he is championing an African agenda. I like it that he is doing it with a passion. But l know he has thought of this. I just want to make sure that the G8 is thinking straight.

First, l don't like it that some African leaders are already crying foul. It was not a must that debt cancellation take place. It was totally an option.That some leaders are saying there is discrimination, is a cause for speculation. Secondly, l want the G8 to adapt some of the ideas by some of it's members on board. Countries in Africa that will get debt cancellation will be those that display or will display a willingness in eradicating corruption from their societies and they actually do it.

I am a proud African woman and a Kenyan at that. Kenya is working on it's corruption status. We are not doing so well but we are trying. But until we are all in agreement that we are doing something for real, the G8 should hold it's horses as far as debt cancellation and Kenya are concerned. I am worried when l hear someone, one person (please note), has swindled the Kenyan tax payer of millions of shillings. To make it worse, the person cannot be traced. What, are they aliens or do they live in space? Last time l checked no millionare from Kenya had applied to tour the land that few have visited,space. So surely, this person can actually be found.

I back the members of the G8 who say it should be a case by case consideration. Yes, l know this will have implications. But have you given someone a gift and watched as they mishandled it? Yet, if the same person worked for the same thing, they tend to handle it with care? What is the difference? Simple. Someone worked for it and understood it's value through the pain of sacrifice they went through to acquire it.

The G8 is not doing us any favors if they cancel the debts without allowing the African governments to work on eradicating the corruption vice.

But even as they hold the carrot for this hungry rabbit, standards should be monitored by the international community so that we don't have the impossible being asked of us.

To tell you the truth, this is one of the best ways the international community will help the mwananchi keep the government on it's toes.