Imagine for a minute that the story of creation took place in Kenya. Just let your imagination run away with you for a little while.
In Kenya, we love many things. We love lawsuits. We also love petitions and injunctions of all sorts. We also purport to love Jesus very much while also simultaneously loving free things, quid pro quos and all manner of corrupt activities. We also never, ever turn the other cheek.
If the story of creation took place in modern-day Kenya, it would read something like this.
In the beginning, God was looking for a creative outlet. To fulfill this creative urge, he tried to create something he called ‘heaven and earth’. He was immediately faced with closure by NEMA for failure to file an environmental impact assessment report. After hiring an EIA expert who plagiarized a report from a previous project by simply changing a few names on it and greasing a few palms at NEMA he was granted a temporary permit for the project.
He then obtained permits for the heavenly part from the department of development control at city hall but was impeded with a cease and desist order for the earthly part.
Officials at the planning department who had very strong feelings for money felt that his ‘envelope’ was not sufficiently fat to cover bribes for both the heavenly part and the earthly part. When corrupt government officials demanded a lot more money to push the earthly part through Nairobi’s sketchy approval process, God decided to seek redress in the hallways of Kenya’s judicial system, the custodians of justice and the embodiment of good conduct.
Appearing at a hearing at the high court, where he elected to represent himself, God was asked why he took on the project in the first place. He replied that he was an artsy guy that just liked being creative. After buying the judge some premium ‘tea’ after hours to oil the wheels of justice, he was granted temporary orders to proceed.
Then God said, ‘let there be light’. A collection of environmental activists led by a prominent activist, Okiyi Omtatu, sought an injunction against this ‘light’. Government officials demanded to know how the light would be made. Would there be strip mining? Would there be bulbs, and would they be made by the Chinese? Who would get the exclusive tender to import the components? How about carbon emissions? Would the project be carbon neutral? How about thermal pollution?
God replied that the light would come from a huge ball of fire that he intended to make .
The ambitious and pretty creative ‘huge ball of fire’ project was stopped by the Energy Regulatory Commission for not fulfilling a raft of unnamed conditions. He sent funded emissaries to meet the principal secretary for energy. He was immediately granted a provisional license to make light, assuming that no smoke would result from the ball and that he would obtain a building permit from the NCA. There were additional requirements that the cousin of the Cabinet secretary would ‘win’ the inflated tender to supply the components through a ‘competitive’ open tender. He was also required to submit schematics on how he intended to dissipate excess heat from this so-called ball of fire. After copy-pasting untested schematics from the internet into a report, the project sailed through the ERC like the wind across the Sahara.
God updated his Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with photos of this approved huge ball of fire and captioned it as ‘the sun’. He was roundly vilified by keyboard warriors and a certain adversarial group called KOT, who are experts on all manner of things, for a lack of creativity with the name.
On the issue of conservation, God replied that light would be out for half of the time. He said that he would call the darkness ‘night’ and the light ‘day’. He said that he felt the names were trendy and chic. Government Officials replied that they were not interested in ‘semantics’. KOT was quick to point out that the names had no flair for the dramatic.
Then God said, ‘let the earth bring forth green herbs and as many seed’. Government officials from the ministry of Agriculture immediately paid a visit to the factory where these seeds would be made and issued him with an order to close immediately. After late-night phone calls and brown envelopes, he was allowed to proceed as long as no GMO’s were used because the Kenyan public would be outraged by the term ‘GMO’ despite not knowing what exactly it meant.
Then God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth creeping animals and may fowl fly over the earth.’ A parliamentary select committee summoned him. A hawk-eyed official of the committee pointed out that he would need a special permit from the Kenya wildlife service in co-ordination with heavenly wildlife federation. A member of the general public quipped out loud that the rivers in and around Nairobi would bring forth nothing because there were rumoured to be composed of raw sewage and industrial discharge. After handshakes below the table, the KWS was bypassed altogether.
All was fine until God said he wanted to create a ‘man’. He was informed that ‘cloning’ was unethical and that the necessary legislation was lacking. He was advised by experts that knew many things that the entire issue was a little controversial and was best left untouched. The various associations of churches and all manner of clerics held a joint press conference to roundly condemn this.
When asked how sustainable his ‘man’ project was in another parliamentary hearing, he replied that he intended to create something he would call, a ‘woman’, who together with ‘man’ would produce additional people in perpetuity. When asked where this ‘woman’ would come from, he replied that he would fashion him out of the rib of the man. The chair of the commission pointed out that this plan sounded dubious and ridiculous at best. It was also noted that it was premised on pretty sketchy science. The Daily Newspaper labeled him as the ‘mad scientist’ and KOT had a field day.
God then said that he wanted to complete the project in 6 working days and rest on the 7th day. Officials informed him that it would take at least 200 days to review his application and environmental impact report, after that there would be a public hearing, then 10 to 12 months of waiting.
Officers from the DCI demanded to know the source of funding, was it a money-laundering front? After reports that claimed that he was a front for a certain purportedly corrupt Deputy of a big government official, an order was made by the DCI to raid his home at dawn.
The KRA came out and claimed that he was not tax-compliant and said that while he claimed to have existed forever, his tax returns only went back for 12 years. He was slapped with a backdated tax bill of 15 billion for non- declared income.
After reports that the relative of a big government official from a place called the statehouse had bought a substantial stake in God’s creation company PLC, the project received unilateral approval from all quarters of Government. He received an unconditional tax waiver from the KRA.
And that is the brief story of the creation of heaven and earth in Kenya.