Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odoyo

It became so obvious that when the issues of traffic police extortion came out in the public domain, there were silent hue and cry from the white uniformed men and women of the laws. These are people charged with maintaining law and order on our roads, but some of them have gone too far and forgot the duties they are supposed to do and instead fill their pockets on daily basis with what in their “duty calling” is termed illegal and what is illegal is wrong and punishable by the police laws. It was at this juncture that my usual colleague Charles Lotara drew my attention to a topic related to the coming women’s day. His argument and concern was what it was that white women that made them consider black women inferior. I did not intend at that juncture to get involved in the matter he was advancing at this stage because there was something which had just attracted my attention. I left this topic for another day, but at hand was the issue of people representatives, the honorable members of parliament who were baying for the blood of the media houses for being non-factual in reporting. While justifying why and how they were recently paid USD 25,000 for health insurance they gave comparison to their fellow colleagues in the region whom they claimed were getting more than what they were paid. This is just fine but if the press was not available to nose around and find out that the honorable had been paid and were out of sight from their duty stations, the whole story should not have come to light. Not doing the work they are required to do. I am one man who is very forthright and up and candid. It is pointless to drum beat the wrong tune and force it to sound good into dancing sound. We have heard so many excuses and the media houses end up being the wrong-doers. The legislators had their token which they did not want the public to know for one reason or another. But why if the payment was genuine as they are now claiming? How long did it take them to come out to the public to explain their token payment? It is not what their fellow colleagues from other countries in the region get that should set up the standards of payment. They are the law-makers and they are well aware of the economic situation facing the country to come out justifying what is unjustifiable. Respect for the august house is mandatory but it should not be mandatory for shortfalls. The people and the country have come of being and cannot be taken for granted. The MPs themselves must live above reproach without any sign of dirt; they should be real representatives of the people. Above all they must remain transparent and accountable. This is how they would earn honour of the public if and when they are in need. The country and the citizens deserve the honour.

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