If only Kenyan farmers went on strike

Next time you threaten to strike, ask yourself how it would be if farmers downed their tools

There are lots of strikes pending in the air. Nurses have just issued a 21 day notice for yet another strike. Not too long ago, doctors were at it. So did teachers. I am also reliably informed, another strike is on the cards, although it’s quite difficult to recall what they have beef with this time.

And you know Cotu. Hardly a week goes by without the giant umbrella workers’ body issuing a call to arms. The beauty about Cotu, however, is that they never strike.

After a lot of fire and brimstone at the podium, the matter often rests. And what can we say of matatus? Hardly a month goes without the transport consultants downing their tools.

What is hilarious about matatus is that when they have beef with police, they refuse to carry the passengers who feed them, forgetting that they are not teachers who get paid even when they are on strike. The electricity people did threaten to strike, too, but their threat quickly fizzled out.

The thing is human beings have a fat ego and everyone likes to believe that they are indispensable. But I learnt long time ago that no one is. No one, that is, apart from a cadre of people who, curiously, never even dream of going on strike. And I am not talking about the police or the oil people.

A while back when we had petrol crisis, you would have imagined the country was going bonkers, all because people in Nairobi couldn’t fuel their cars.

It was a taste of what would ensue if petrol station attendants downed their tools. But if you think that would have been the mother of all strikes, you are mistaken.

Just imagine what drama would ensue if all those angry nurses, teachers, drivers who hit the streets chanting ‘haki yetu’ hadn’t eaten for three days and those queues were instead winding around open air markets and supermarkets.

To be frank, there would be no queues, just utter anarchy. It will amaze you how food shortages turn even the most sophisticated into cave men.

Next time you threaten to strike, ask yourself how it would be if farmers downed their tools.


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