Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The "heavy price" of patriotism

Following press reports last week, I would like to be among the first people to send my message of thanks and congratulations to the family of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta. Negotiations, we are told, are under way for the former First Family to sell a whopping 37,000 acres of the land they own in Taveta for a paltry Sh10,000 each so that the government may settle the landlesss.

Land scarcity is a major problem, especially in Coast Province, and the patriotism of the Kenyatta family in making this offer deserves the nation’s gratitude. Of course, the fact that the minister for Special Programmes, under whose docket this initiative is being pursued, is a member of KANU should iron out any fractious issues that would unduly delay a major reform issue such as the settlement of squatters.

And almost as if by divine intervention, the person who will decide whether or not there is Sh370 million at the Treasury to compensate his family for its patriotic sacrifice is himself a Kenyatta. One small question though, before the cheque leaves the Central Bank of Kenya: How did the Kenyatta family come into so much property, and when?

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