Reflections

From a guest writer, an epilogue
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Thank you for your cogent posts. I admit, I admire your commitment to ensure that Kenya holds strong in spite of the contemptible actions of those who keep the entire country under the thumb of the ruling Kikuyu elite. I was often told that the term Kenya, came from an English man’s mispronunciation of the name “Kirinyaga.” As such, perhaps from it’s inception and naming as a republic, there was a sense of ownership over this country for those from Central Kenya. I remember, as a child, who had the experience of growing up deep in Kalenjin land, as an outsider, feeling the deep stigma of tribalism. To this date, this continues. You can ask the minority communities who work within the tea industry exactly how Kalenjin hegemony in demonstrated in their daily lives. Later, having moved into the city, for the later half of my primary school education I and several other non-Kikuyus got to experience an even deeper of tribalism at the hands of Kikuyu classmates who had clearly learned from their parents that they were superior to the rest of us. I particularly, pitied the poor Luos who were teased mercilessly and often isolated. “Don’t drink his juice, he is a Luo” is a phrase whose cutting pain to the six year old I saw experience it still rings true today. Of course, the true pain of the hegemony of the Kikuyu and Kalenjin elite cuts much deeper than social isolation at age six. It involved limited social advancement and developmental opportunities for those from the “wrong tribes.” Of course, if you dared raise a sound – the condescending refrain would be the same one that is expressed by dominant elites over those they exploit the world over: “We are so hardworking, we enjoy all these rewards because of merit. if only you worked as hard as we did … ”
As some jukwaaist, once said, there is a reason some of us elect to live with the potential stigma of racism in foreign countries over being subjected to the ravages of tribalism at the hands of ‘your own people.’
Why are these bitter memories from my Kenyan upbringing resurfacing today? It is because little has changed. If anything, things are worse than ever before and the elite are able to continue to manufacture consent among their ethnic masses.

I concur with you that it is probably too late for reconciliation. To be completely honest, I sometimes wonder whether it would be best if this country were divided such that counties of Central Province and Rift Valley retained “Kenya” – tea and coffee industry and all, and the rest of the country formed its own union. If Central and Rift Valley province residents want to be led by an indicted war criminal, perhaps we should let them. However, do the rest of us deserve this ? Do we deserve the ensuing consequences? It is the height of impunity and ludicrousness that the very people who stand accused of the massacre of each others’ communities, now manage to manufacture consent among their blinded ethnic masses to support their presidential ambitions. How deeply tribal do you have to be to vote for a vice president who is accused of coordinating the burning of your relatives in church where they were seeking refuge, just so that one of your tribesmen can be president?

The new system of county government presents the opportunity for self-governance and perhaps a necessary platform for seceding from the counties in Central Kenya and Rift Valley. Let’s face it, the prospect of continuing to be live under GEMA domination indefinitely is not an appealing one for most people outside the communities that have wielded power since 1963. I genuinely believe that the other counties could map out a power sharing agreement that could see a 2-4 year presidential term that rotates from county to county. In such a case, a county that had once presented a candidate for president could not do so again until other counties had the chance to hold the role.

Please note, that I am not advocating that this be done violently, but it is food for thought. I increasingly struggle with the fact that I may no longer have a strong “Kenyan” identity, Kenya doesn’t seem to be for all of us. Perhaps it’s time we think about creating a country for those of us who don’t belong. We have already heard, “Pwani si Kenya” . . . At this rater, perhaps other parts of Kenya will chime in.

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13 comments on “Reflections

  1. I don’t think Kenya is under Kikuyu domination although the Kikuyus have now hoarded power for 10 years but that power is not invincible. It just requires a more disciplined and focused opponent. Raila, in spite of his many strengths, was not very disciplined, he was bound to lose in the face of formidable opposition from Uhuru and Ruto. The very same feelings portrayed by the author of this article were expressed by Kalenjins as recently as 5 years ago who bitterly complained how Kikuyu had robbed them, and were dominating them in their land. Today 5 years later, the same Kalenjins have joined Kikuyus in attacking Luos and other communities. It is a musical chairs thing.

    The biggest losers in this election are the Kikuyus, they have lost friends across the country; the precarious alliance with Kalenjins might last 10 years but it will win them zero friends outside those ethnic blocs. As long as we have clear and transparent electoral process, the tyranny of numbers or tyranny of tribalism will fall with a thud. As soon as 2017.

    • Someone advised me not to employ any of them in my org…I almost smiled at that. Till I remembered how God’s will works differently from ours. My customers,majority are Kyuk…Those strangers I brainstorm with and strangers who I get help from are mostly Kyuk..Fact! What if they walked out? I’d shrink!!! I dont believe in Friendship but moments of Friendship so my mum is Nyala,Hubby Luo,Kathambi is Meru,Powon a Pokot and Partoip a Maasai..Only 5 Friends in life but many think they are my friends…What am I saying? We need to achieve Justice well without Victimisation. We only can hope for a just Ruling and God’s hand.. We need each other hata kama hatupendani….Pray,honest Prayer God will not reject,even in 200years!! One Love,God save Us….

  2. I can no longer identify with this country any more, What is a “Kenyan”? It’s on my documents, but NOT in my heart. I am looking for a country that has a place for minorities, like my tribe.

    • @LKay. A wise person once said:”I am not anti-Kikuyu, I am anti-Kikuyu hegemony.” Indeed, the many Kikuyu are in a similar impoverished socio-economic position to their fellow Kenyans, However, we need to speak the truth about the common perception that the Kikuyu are in some way superior to the rest of the populace. I do not begrudge any member of the community. In fact, I pity them. They have been indoctrinated to buy this line of thinking since independence from their conservative, elitist leaders so much so that they will vote against their own socio-economic interest just to keep their own tribal elite in power. Similar political strategies are employed around the globe to get poor populations to vote against their own interests by getting them fixated on some issue that is tangential to the socio-economic challenges they face (e.g.,, abortion, immigration etc.).
      The Kalenjin elite also gained certain socio-economic advantages from the 24 years of the Moi regime and this is indisputable.

      My reflections are based on my own experiences living among members of both communities. I faced awful tribal discrimination that I have only understood in my adulthood. As a young child facing discrimination, I did not understand the social and cultural complexities of the situation. As an adult, I know better. I want to work toward advocating for social change so we can stop dealing with petty tribalism and strive to defeat our real enemies (e.g., corporatism and corrupt banking systems).

  3. Tom said

    “Why are these bitter memories from my Kenyan upbringing resurfacing today? It is because little has changed. If anything, things are worse than ever before and the elite are able to continue to manufacture consent among their ethnic masses.
    How deeply tribal do you have to be to vote for a vice president who is accused of coordinating the burning of your relatives in church where they were seeking refuge, just so that one of your tribesmen can be president”

    Today I find myself asking the same questions. Despite the fact that things are worse than ever before, Kenyans have decided to elect leaders from the status quo that are hell-bent on keeping things the way they are. These are the same people who, time and time again, have shown that they do not care about the common man. Consistently they have put selfish narrow interest before anybody. And yet today, Kenyans have chosen these same people.

    What can I say, “We made our bed, lets lay in it.” I am very disappointed at the way this election has turned out. But I am consoled by the fact that we have managed to conduct a peaceful election, however flawed, quite to the contrary of foreign pundits who had predicted doom. I never again want to hear of any land grievances in the RV or the large coastal area because even after knowing well that majority of their land is in the hands of the Kenyatta, Moi and Ruto family, and that these people are not interested in land reforms, which has been a major cause of bloodshed in this country, they have still decided on electing him to lead.

    I am not a big advocate for secessation, but I am hoping the new system of government if not tampered with by the oncoming government will give the areas that have so far been neglected a chance to raise the living standards of the common man. The oil rich Turkana region for example……… and majority of the north eastern area have a dire need of basic infrastructure. My hope is that we can finally be able to utilize resources efficiently to feed the whole country. I cannot even begin to talk about major stuff when majority can barely afford the basic necessities.

    • Folks,

      A few things.

      1. It is quite strange that the much awaited election has come and gone and it is like nothing happened. Even the Uhuruto congregation really don’t know where things go from here. There are those who were misled to believe that once Uhuru takes office the ICC stranglehold will somehow go away. That will not happen and that will be the first shocker for the congregation. Ironically even as the results were being announced the ICC dates were coming down. Just shows you that the ICC folks don’t even seem to be aware that they are about to try a so-called president and his deputy.

      To them they are simply indicted suspects charged with crimes against humanity. This will be the first time the ICC will have on the dock a sitting president and his deputy. Talk about making history however dubious. Kenya is on the verge of a major historical achievement.

      Anyhow the first issue at stake here is whether Uhuru and Ruto will go to The Hague or not. That really is the heart of the matter. In my view Ruto will definitely go to The Hague. His case comes up on May 28, 2013. It will be too early for Uhuru to save him. Ruto will talk with Uhuru to see if they should pull out then. Scared Kikuyu business interests will not allow Uhuru to pull the plug for Ruto. So Ruto will be gone and once he lands at The Hague he may never come back to Kenya for another 50 years. Unfortunately for Ruto whom the Kikuyu chauvinists used to call Kabuga before he became a muthamaki follower, the evidence against him may be quite extensive and most of it was provided by the same shatanis he has been working for the last three years. It is going to be devastating for Ruto supporters when they see their hero reduced to a prisoner in a foreign country. They will have to live with that.

      The big one is when Uhuru’s time comes in July. As of now Uhuru’s friends who don’t give a shit about Ruto will tell him his case has a chance of being taken back to the Pre-Trial Chamber and there may be a chance to escape altogether. If Uhuru’s case goes back to the PTC he will have a little more time. If the Trial Court rules that Uhuru’s case goes on then it will be decision time in July. It is anybody’s guess what Uhuru will do. Essentially Uhuru will have to choose his poison. They are both deadly. Go to The Hague and say bye to State House. Pull the pariah state gig and you are at war with Kenyans including your tribal worshippers. Even worse still by that time Ruto will already be sweating it out at The Hague. Uhuru will be in a very tough spot.

      2. What does CORD do now? My view is that the court case will go nowhere. I will talk with my buddies in there and find out what evidence they have and of course we will see the details tomorrow when the case is filed.

      In the meantime CORD needs to look at its achievements in the election and figure out how best to go to work. CORD is in control of some of the most important counties in the republic. They have a governor in the biggest city in the region with a population of over 3 million which is also the commercial center and engine of the national economy. CORD also controls the biggest port city in the region and the third city in the country. You add all that up and consider key counties like Kitui, Kajiado, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma etc and CORD has its work cut out for it. The citizens in these counties need to see what CORD can deliver and they have to come to work tomorrow and get things moving.

      In my view the first job of the governors should be to develop strategic plans for their counties, take inventory of their economic capacities and start mobilising all resources needed to improve the lives of Kenyans in the counties.

      My fear is that the first six months or so are going to be wasted in phony things like looking for offices and mansions and once the governors are given mansions they will be told to go to sleep as the State House crooks keep doing their usual monkey business.

      The governors will have to be very focused and must work across party lines. They are going to be at war with those who still want the imperial presidency. There is going to be no difference whether you are a Jubilee governor or a CORD governor, the imperial presidency worshippers are going to be a pain in the ass.

      3. We should find out this coming week about the Chapter Six case which in my mind is more important than the petition filed by CORD. That is the case that will give the Supreme Court something to chew on and it has a very high chance of being successful.

      All said and done nothing has really changed for Uhuru and Ruto in the big picture and of course nothing has changed for the country. My sense is that Kenya is headed to another presidential election very soon. Uhuru and Ruto need to have a very vigorous celebration in the next month and a half. It all comes to a grinding halt on May 28, 2013.

      • Folks,

        Looks like the whole Nation has come to a standstll and is stunned by the latest developments. No jubilation or otherwise from any quarters!

        What is really going on?

        Adongo wrote:

        “1. It is quite strange that the much awaited election has come and gone and it is like nothing happened. Even the Uhuruto congregation really don’t know where things go from here.”

      • einstein

        as always people want to ignore the elephant in the room

        we have a severe case of ethnic hegemony and dominance. it has come with many tags

        the last and most famous tag is now the “tyranny of numbers” in laymans language we the most populous shall rule and dominate you to the end

        but thats not the problem

        a while back there was the talk of making a constitution that would resonate with the common “wanjiku “, as it turned out all that “wanjiku” wanted was one of their own at the top. period. trying to include or consider others from other places simply got stonewalled

        so now we are here today, scratching our heads wondering what happened.

        first of no-one is against anyone that voted whichever way. its their democratic right. some voted is bigots, ethnic chauvinists, numeric tyrants etc. others with their conscience, others without a clue. its even possible that a single voter experienced all possible reasons.

        no, we dont care about that. how someone voted is their right, whether out of ignorance or totally informed. whether they form 5%, 30% or even 99% of voter turnout is immaterial. we don’t care. they exercised their civil right and we thank and laud them for that. the question of whether they voted right or wrong is an issue for their compatriots/fellow locals to deal with.

        our problem is with those entrusted to carry out free and fair elections, using, misusing and abusing their positions/office to cheat and defeat the exercise. this extends to those in authority aiding and abetting the same. these are the people we have issues with.

        inflating some numbers while suppressing others. sabotaging machines and processes of efficiency and fairness. its these criminals that we want to confront head-on. no doubt they have supporters or financiers. but they are criminals.

        trying to make sense of the simple arithmetic of adding numbers at the Bomas tally center is a cruel joke.

        our problem is with the criminal agents who falsified documents that were then presented at tally centers for national computation. IEBC failed to provide an authentic and verifiable audit trail from polling center to tally center. we have seen on a youtube clip, a crooked RO fixing results in a cyber-cafe. what gall. and in another some mysterious ballot boxes. its these crooks that we want to be held accountable for their actions.

      • Folks,

        I have learnt that there is a process underway as we speak by civil society groups to file the Chapter Six case against Uhuru and Ruto very soon. Also a few things I was not aware of.

        1. The High court has already ruled that Chapter six applies to both appointed and elected state officers. So that it is no longer necessary to seek that intepretation from the Supreme Court. That was the ruling of the 5 High Court judges.

        2. The same court also ruled that proof of criminality is not necessary in finding someone in breach of Chapter Six. Same as the Matemu ruling. Nothing new there.

        3. Essentially the court ruled in favour of the applicants but said they had no jurisdiction as far as eligibility is concerned. The court also ruled that all matters pertaining to presidential elections should be taken to the SC.

        4. The soon to be filed application will restrict itself to asking the SC to make a ruling as to whether a person indicted to face charges against humanity is in breach of Chapter six and whether any such person is fit to hold the office of the presidency and deputy presideency of the republic.

        I am glad that as opposed to the case against Kiplagat where lack of consultation brought a lot of misundestanding within the civil society groups, this time there is consultation before the case is filed. This in my view is a very important case. It is coming. When we said Uhuru will spend more time in courts than at State House we knew exactly what we were talking about. Well that time has come.

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