Give me Change or Give me Death….

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Phewwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aren’t we all glad the elections are over? That our TVs are not bombarding us with numbers that build anxiety and press conferences that make us hold our hearts out in our hands. That my brothers and sisters was the longest week of my life and I know I speak for so many of you.

Congratulations to the President Elect H.E Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and his Deputy the honourable William Ruto. These two gentlemen campaigned hard. They had a fantastic campaign team and a campaign strategy that delivered. And of course they had the numbers too. I congratulate Raila Odinga too. Raila fought long and hard in the campaigns but he has over the years fought longer and harder for the country that he loves and for that he has earned our respect (at least some of us).

So now we put the elections behind us, move on and go back to our normal lives. But what really is our ”normal lives?’ You see I have been reflecting on what lessons we have learnt from the just concluded elections and as we move on I ask myself what is it exactly we are moving on to? I am really convinced that the elections were not really about electing our leaders so much as they were about revealing who we really are as a nation and exposing the foundation upon which our politics are built. I discovered from these elections that based on the tribe there is an inherent hate in every Kenyan that manifests itself during elections. In short I am saying that Kenyan’s hate each other and it takes elections to reveal that hate. Elections provide us with an opportunity to manifest our hate for each other without even a pinch of guilt. Elections provide us with an excuse to arm ourselves against each other, hull insults, anger and bitterness at each other with the belief that we will get away with it.

I have watched with consternation over the last 3 or 4 months as the social media became the platform upon which Kenyans rose up against each other to spread tribal animosity and hate. I have watched on YouTube as criminals hide behind gospel music to compose songs that pit communities against each other. I have seen members of some communities swear that Kenya can never and will never be led by members of certain communities. Facebook has in particular provided the biggest fodder to nurture this animosity with the creation fan pages and groups in which members have the right to use any form of profanities against members of other communities. You cannot convince me that this hatred dies after election and comes back to life when another election is approaching. You cannot tell me for sure that the Luos love the Kikuyu’s and only hate them for some three months once every 5 years or that the Kikuyus think that the Luos can only lead when they get circumcised during an electioneering period only. NO. I think this hatred is in born and we are only masters at hiding it before elections. It is the poison that has been passed down through generations. Our generation only inherited it and have become masters at it.(FYI Kibunjia can pick me up after this blog post, but these are things that need to be said if we really love our country and are genuine about co-existing and moving on).

This tribal hatred sadly is also the foundation upon which our politics are built. Our political parties are founded not on the basis of any principle or ideology but on the need to propagate tribal agenda. Our political parties are not run or managed as the organizations they should be but as tribal outfits which thrive on the fuelling ethnic animosity and sometimes (in fact most times) the worship of a tribal kingpins. As such, the political parties in Kenya are built as the altar of idol worship, soothing ethnic egos and personality cults. It is only in Kenya that a political party formed on an election year can go ahead and win those elections because it happens to be the party Kenya’s majority tribe. Kenyan’s should do some research on party politics in South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania among other African countries. You will learn that the parties that are in power in these countries have been in existence for a long time some even as from independence in the late 50’s early 60’s. Some like the ANC in South Africa have been in existence for more than 100 years. These countries have tribes too. In fact some like Nigeria and Zambia have far many more tribes than Kenya’s 42 tribes but the ideologies and principles upon which their political parties were built far supersedes the myopia of ethnic orientation. It saddens my heart that even our neighbour Tanzania has more discipline when it comes to party principles. They have their CCM which was founded by Nyerere during the clamour for independence in Tanzania.

What informs the founding of a political party in Kenya? It is tribe. PERIOD.

Early last year, William Ruto formed the United Republican Party (URP). This party was formed after fallout within the Orange Democratic Movement Party (ODM) between Raila Odinga and William Ruto. The URP was formed after it became evident that the ODM could no longer sustain the interest of the Kalenjin and so, Ruto, the de facto leader of the Kalenjin Nation walked out of ODM and along with him he took the Kalenjins. The Kikuyus have The National Alliance (TNA) which is under the wings of their leader Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta; the Kambas have their Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM) which is in the closet of Kalonzo Musyoka. The Luos of course belong to the party of Raila Odinga ODM. We like to refer to the other communities as ”SWING VOTES” by which I bet we mean prostitutes who will sleep with the community that pays well for the bed.

 

We cannot continue to build our politics on this dangerous premise. It is time we searched deeply in our souls if this is the inheritance we want to leave behind for the generations that will come after. There is no democracy in the world that thrives on hate, animosity and tribalism. We must change ourselves otherwise all the gains we have made over the years and the chest thumbing about Kenya being a sovereign state will have no meaning to our children and their children. But most of all we must change ourselves first before we kill each other.

 

I rest my Case.

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One comment on “Give me Change or Give me Death….

  1. […] Give me Change or Give me Death…. (otienoolunga.wordpress.com) – Somewhat emotional commentary […]

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