KENYA SUMAKU

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Moving a toad and a tortoise

Posted by Popular Ombudsman on February 14, 2010

I am always amused at the similarity between the behaviors of certain people and certain animals!

Just consider two animals, the toad and the tortoise. As a child, I grew up on the farm. We could go searching for mushrooms and hunting for birds. Occasionally, we could chance upon a snake and the natural instinct was for the snake to swiftly disappear into the undergrowth and hope that we did not follow it. We respected that because following the snake to its hiding place was inviting certain death. Toads were also common. A toad produces a very portent, milky substance from glands located on its back. Due to that fact, the bloated animal could just sit firmly on the ground and however much you tried to push it, it refused to budge. Instead, it produced copious secretions from its glands and hoped you touched it. One day, my dog noticing my consternation with the toad decided to give it a mighty bite with its powerful canines. We had a medical emergency there and then which forced us to go running all the way to the river and dip his mouth in clean water several times for the dog to survive. We discovered that the most effective way to get the toad moving was to pour some really hot water on it, and that was guaranteed to evoke a response instantly.

Later on, while in high school, the geography students went for a trip and brought back 2 tortoises. We used the opportunity to study the behavior of the tortoises over a long period. The tortoise would always feign death and withdraw its limbs and head whenever someone approached it. Once it was certain there was nobody within sight, it could emerge and happily start munching away at the grass in its enclosure. The really quick way of getting the tortoise limbs out of its shell was to hold the shell and try to tip it over. The limbs could always come out to ensure it remains upright.

The work of disturbing the tortoises was left to the more mischievous and adventurous boys, for no one was too sure of what might or might not happen.

How could the toad then turn round and take credit for leaping away from hot water or the tortoise for displaying the beauty of his scaly legs and beak under duress?

The corruption drama witnessed this week in Kenya casts the PNU’s president (Mwai Kibaki) as a toad which moves only when hot water is poured over its back. On the other hand, it casts ODM’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga as a tortoise which moved only when circumstances were about to tip him over. The truth is, corruption is the glue that binds this coalition together, each party expects the other to maintain absolute silence as they chomp as much as possible.

Kenyans must make up their minds whether corruption is acceptable so long as its done by their tribesmen or its unacceptable from everyone.

For now, let us remember that maize flour was equally expensive to all ethnic groups while collapse of the free primary education will affect all ethnic groups. Kenyans must stop defending corrupt individuals because they belong to their ethnic group. A major barb to anyone trying to take credit for sacking this or the other PS. That is absolute crap!

-Editor

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