Of Kenya and Tribal Foot-soldiers

ktbKenya is a nation of more than 42 tribes; yet it is the nation that the late J.M Kariuki lamented as one with 10 millionaires and 10 million paupers. Today at almost 51,the millionaires have graduated into billionaires and continue to amass even more wealth. The common mwananchi? Well,I bet this is none of the million/billionaires’ business. To them, is all about picking and dropping cronies who fit their selfish desires. Hunger for wealth and power.Yet even those with power opt to make it everlasting!They live in constant fear of that power ever leaving their grip or that of their immediate circles to fall further away from their influence.

Away from the philosophizing.Enter the real world. Kenya in the 21st century and we are still grappling with the menace that is tribalism. When our immediate neighbor Tanzania with more than 260 ethnic communities live in absolute peace Kenya with its around 42 tribes are always on the brink of war! Both verbally and at times even physically as is envisaged in the 2007/08 post election violence. Where did we go wrong? And are we that far from rising above the petty tribal politics to a more objective and issue based brand of politics? Our leaders plant the seeds of discord and ethnicity among us and yet we dutifully water them every calendar day of the year to our own undoing! And are they bent towards stamping out this vice that is tribalism? Hardly not! Believe me you if they had such objectives in mind then even the debate we are having today would have been of no relevance. We are here today because of the failure in leadership.

We are here today because of the masses having diligently taken the cue from the very same politicians and clung on their very words; boiling inside with every bit of inciting comment they make. The law is also either designed to give them a soft landing; or the implementing wing of the political brigade familiar with them see it best to brush it off as just another slip of the tongue by he political ‘bigwigs’ and or their lieutenants. We are where we are today because of cheering on this class of politicians and regarding the as our ethnic henchmen; yet have we really gained from their clamor to power ever since the blood of relentless Kenyans gave u the very freedoms we enjoy today?

The social media once the platform of goodwill and networking is awash with hateful messages which unfortunately continue to be re-tweeted and shared to even wider audiences! Facebook and Twitter platforms contain not messages of well wishes and common interests of a social nature but hateful articles and political content from morning till dusk!An attack on social media at a perceived political friend draws counter accusations about the opposing camp. This is a recipe for chaos in an already chaotic political space. Bad politics breeds war. Its time for our leaders to adopt a reconcilliatory attitude towards each other albeit to ease the political temperatures that are threatening to tear the nation apart.

It is time for Kenyans who have Kenya at heart to provide an alternative political discourse. One that does not center on either CORD and JUBILEE sycophancy but aims at uniting Kenyans across the ethnic divide. Above all, it is time for the most important stake holders in the country; the citizens to refuse being used at tribal foot-soldiers and hatemongers all for the sake of a united and stable Kenya.

Ooko Victor.

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