I was having a conversation with @MercyMutemi, and it came to the elected representatives in Kenya who have got into power despite being implicated in grant corruption. “Yaani. We love thieves. Love them. Love them!”, Mercy exclaimed. This led to this social explanation on why we love our looters.

The Tragedy of the Commons.

The tragedy of the commons is an economic problem in which every individual tries to reap the greatest benefit from a given resource. As the demand for the resource overwhelms the supply, every individual who consumes an additional unit directly harms others who can no longer enjoy the benefits. Generally, the resource of interest is easily available to all individuals; the tragedy of the commons occurs when individuals neglect the well-being of society in the pursuit of personal gain. (Source: Investopedia).

Ok, let me now put the Tragedy of Commons into context where the normal villager can understand. This is if you have ever been to a grazing field. In most African societies, we have common grazing fields. All villagers graze on common grazing fields. This is what we call community land. But because the land has no ownership, we overstock livestock, deplete the pasture, until there is no enough for our livestock, and our animals die. On the other hand, if you have your own land, say 10 acres, you will be careful not to overgraze or overstock. So you will partition your land into paddocks, and ensure your animals graze in the paddocks using a pre-determined timetable not to deplete the pasture. That is the perfect example of the tragedy of the commons.

The tragedy of the commons: We only care if our MCA, MP, or Governor stealing from us. But if our Minister or President is stealing, he is our tribal hero. He is increasing the size of our paddocks.

What is the political relevance?

If a politician from our tribe is stealing, we have some untold pride. They are grazing on the community land of other communities thus not affecting us. We are sad if a politician from the other tribe is stealing from the common basket of all communities. We are sad when our governor steals because we are all from the same tribe in a county. The governor is grazing alone in our communal land, and denying us opportunity also to graze. All this translates into the convoluted book by Michela Wrong of 2010 who quoted whistle blower John Githongo philosophy of “it’s our time to eat”.

In a nutshell, the idea is this, if the politicians are stealing from the National coffers, then they are stealing for us, and denying other communities [enlarging our paddocks]. Which is good for us. That is the narrative some politicians use in their campaigns. They tell the electorate they stole from government to bring to them. Perfect psychology that sells to the majority simpletons in our midst. When one of our own steals, we say “wacha ajisaidie na pesa ya serikali”. We never see it as our money. Its on a bigger budget pool that we cannot comprehend. We don’t even know how it is distributed. That is the main reason we love our thieves. We love our thieves, that is in no doubt. Check the results of your last elections, and see how many politicians who looted public resources are back in positions of power and influence.

@lordmwesh


After great pain a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious like Tombs;
The stiff Heart questions –
was it He that bore And Yesterday – or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought,
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone.

This is the Hour of Lead
Remembered if outlived,
As Freezing persons recollect the Snow –
First Chill—then Stupor—then the letting go.


Dante’s sonnet La Vita Nuova as depicted by Hannibal movie.
Joyous love seemed to me
The while he held my heart in his hands
And in his arms my lady lay asleep
Wapped in a veil
He woke her then,
And trembling and obedient
She ate that burning heart out of his hands
Weeping, I saw her then depart from me.
Do you believe a man could become so obsessed with a woman from a single encounter?
Could he daily feel a stab of hunger for her? Find nourishment from the very sight of her? I think so. But would she see through bars of his plight, and ache for him?


If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream

and not make dreams your master;

If you can think

and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew,

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings–nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And…which is more…

you’ll be a Man, my son.

Rudyard Kipling


I met a Kenyan in hell,
Who recited to me,
His experiences,
Before departure …

“We have had problems,
of bad leadership,
since time in memorial.
All our leaders,
betray us.
Kenyatta was a sell-out.
He pretended,
to be a freedom fighter,
went to the UK,
married a white woman,
worked for dog years,
then came back as a hero…
After 9 years in Jail,
we saw him fit to rule.
He dined with the oppressors;
disarmed,
then thanked the mau-mau,
With nothing,
and set a culture
of people worshiping him.
Every public place bared
either his name,
the name of his son,
the name of his wife,
or the name his cronies.
Central province became
the richest place to be.
It still is.
Coffee became the most prized,
black gold.
Kenyatta acquired land
larger than Rwanda.
And gave his cronies,
some more.
Half the cabinet was his tribesmen.
Anybody who opened,
His mouth,
Danced,
Ask JM
Ask Mboya,
Ask Pio,
Ask … more …
Kenyatta happened to join me.
He was the light of Kenya
kenya-taa.
His son is an MP.
The leader of opposition.
..and,
The president in waiting,

Moi came.
He promised,
to follow the footsteps.
And he did.
and set a culture
of people worshiping him.
Every public place,
every school,
every hospital,
every road,
every cemetery,
every ward,
every bridge,
bared his name.
He created an airport,
In the desert,
Tea became,
the most prized,
black gold.
Coffee died,
Still dead,
Moi acquired land
larger than Rwanda.
And gave his cronies,
some more.
Half the cabinet was his tribesmen.
More naming and renaming.
More land.
Anybody who opened,
His mouth,
Danced,
More killings.
Ask Ouko,
Ask Ochuka,
Ask Muge,
Ask .. Clashes.. Clashes..
And more.
And … many more ..
And ..Wagala,….
Prices inflated.
Deflation never,
happens in Kenya.
He auctioned,
The country,
To the highest bidder,
Half the Cabinet,
was his tribesmen.
Moi went.
His son is an MP.
He is an expert polo player.
He imported,
more cars,
than general motors,
duty free.
He is the happiest man,
on earth.

Kibaki came.
Still has,
larger land,
than Burundi.
A professional golfer.
He served,
Both Moi,
And Kenyatta,
Governments.
All his Ministers were,
professional golfers too.
Prices inflated.
Deflation never,
happens in Kenya.
He auctioned,
The country,
To the highest bidder,
Look at,
Anglo-leasing,
Security contracts,
Artur,
And …. More ….
Half the cabinet,
is his tribesmen.
He created,
half a million jobs,
in river road.
And killed the traders,
in riots with the police.
And put patrols,
in river-road.
Asians can afford to trade
without fear.
Kenyans can afford,
to run,
without stopping.
Because when they stops,
a bullet ………….
The vicious cycle,
continues ………….
More killings,
Then, some more
Ask Mbai ..,
Ask Kisumu residents,
Inspired by Tuju,
Ask … more …
Kenyans,
will never learn,
Kenyatta ii,
Is waiting,
Moi ii,
Is waiting,
Mudavadi ii,
Is waiting,
Ngala ii,
Is waiting,
Mirugi ii,
Is waiting,
Nyaga ii,
Is waiting,
Odinga ii,
Is waiting,
A culture,
Of the,
Ruling class,
Waiting to,
Follow the,
Footsteps.
We are not,
In the third stage,
Nor the second,
Part one is nearing,
The end,
Then part ii,
……………
……………
Who will make,
The ruling class,
DANCE?
Who will stop,
The MUSIC?
I dropped down,
in exhaustion,
And passed,
the baton……..”


I met a Kenyan in hell,
Who recited to me,
His experiences,
Before departure —

“We have had problems,
of bad leadership,
since time in memorial.
All our leaders,
betray us.
Kenyatta was a sell-out.
He pretended,
to be a freedom fighter,
went to the UK,
married a white woman,
worked for dog years,
then came back as a hero…
After 9 years in Jail,
we saw him fit to rule.
He dined with the oppressors;
disarmed,
then thanked the mau-mau,
With nothing,
and set a culture
of people worshiping him.
Every public place bared
either his name,
the name of his son,
the name of his wife,
or the name his cronies.
Central province became
the richest place to be.
It still is.
Coffee became the most prized,
black gold.
Kenyatta acquired land
larger than Rwanda.
And gave his cronies,
some more.
Half the cabinet was his tribesmen.
Anybody who opened,
His mouth,
Danced,
Ask JM
Ask Mboya,
Ask Pio,
Ask … more …
Kenyatta happened to die.
He was the light of Kenya
[kenya-taa].
His son is an MP.
The leader of opposition.
..and,
The president in waiting,

Moi came.
He promised,
to follow the footsteps.
And he did.
and set a culture
of people worshiping him.
Every public place,
every school,
every hospital,
every road,
every cemetery,
every ward,
every bridge,
bared his name.
He created an airport,
In the desert,
Tea became,
the most prized,
black gold.
Coffee died,
Still dead,
Moi acquired land
larger than Rwanda.
And gave his cronies,
some more.
Half the cabinet was his tribesmen.
More naming and renaming.
More land.
Anybody who opened,
His mouth,
Danced,
More killings.
Ask Ouko,
Ask Ochuka,
Ask Muge,
Ask .. Clashes.. Clashes..
And more.
And … many more ..
And ..Wagala,….
Prices inflated.
Deflation never,
happens in Kenya.
He auctioned,
The country,
To the highest bidder,
Half the Cabinet,
was his tribesmen.
Moi went.
His son is an MP.
He is an expert polo player.
He imported,
more cars,
than general motors,
duty free.
He is the happiest man,
on earth.

Kibaki came.
Still has,
larger land,
than Burundi.
A professional golfer.
He served,
Both Moi,
And Kenyatta,
Governments.
All his Ministers were,
professional golfers too.
Prices inflated.
Deflation never,
happens in Kenya.
He auctioned,
The country,
To the highest bidder,
Look at,
Anglo-leasing,
Security contracts,
Artur,
And …. More ….
Half the cabinet,
is his tribesmen.
He created,
half a million jobs,
in river road.
And killed the traders,
in riots with the police.
And put patrols,
in river-road.
Asians can afford to trade
without fear.
Kenyans can afford,
to run,
without stopping.
Because when they stops,
a bullet ………….
The vicious cycle,
continues ………….
More killings,
Then, some more
Ask Mbai ..,
Ask Kisumu residents,
Inspired by Tuju,
Ask … more …
Kenyans,
will never learn,
Kenyatta ii,
Is waiting,
Moi ii,
Is waiting,
Mudavadi ii,
Is waiting,
Ngala ii,
Is waiting,
Mirugi ii,
Is waiting,
Nyaga ii,
Is waiting,
Odinga ii,
Is waiting,
A culture,
Of the,
Ruling class,
Waiting to,
Follow the,
Footsteps.
We are not,
In the third stage,
Nor the second,
Part one is nearing,
The end,
Then part ii,
……………
……………
Who will make,
The ruling class,
DANCE?
Who will stop,
The MUSIC?
I dropped down,
in exhaustion,
And passed,
the baton……..”

— poem by lordmwesh