I love Kenya. Why wouldn’t I? I was born here. It is my motherland.
But if there something that really pisses me off, it is the rampant tribalism in this country, my country. Let’s face the facts, shall we?
Is the normal mwananchi as tribal as it is commonly seen?
My answer would be a very big no.
I have friends from all over the country back at the university and all these people are all pretty smooth people and interacting with these people will leave you without any doubt knowing that Kenyans aren’t as tribal as they are sometimes displayed to be.
Let’s face the facts.
The middle class and lower-class families all around Kenya are not tribal at all. The thing is, they follow politicians blindly. I will use a case study of how this country have been united since the beginning of the year 2000. I am only interested in the 21st century because kids born in 2000 will be turning 18 next year and it also cool to say a case study of the last 18years would be enough to drive the points I am about to bring to you. Also, the beginning of the 21st century marked the end of the tyranny by the then president under the KANU party.
In the year 2002, an election was held. This was an election that was a history changer after four decades of the Moi regime in Kenya.
The winner of the then election was Mr. Mwai Kibaki who had Mr. Raila Odinga as his wing man. The greatest opposition that was facing the then Narc party was Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta who was being supported by the former president Daniel Moi. Mr. Kenyatta had a running mate who was Musalia Mudavadi.
As Kibaki was headed for victory, here is what Raila Odinga had to say on this:
“We are on eve of a historical event. The people of Kenya have spoken and it is with joy and humility that we accept their trust. Kenya is back in business.”
Mr. Raila Odinga also urged Mr. Moi to ensure a peaceful transition of power.
During that election year, there were isolated incidents of violence as supporters of rival parties clashed but overall the elections were very peaceful.
See: people were already fed up with the Moi dictatorship regime and wanted to oust him out no matter what. This kept the country peaceful.
This brought a very great change to Kenya as a country.
Take note between, the year 2002 and the year 2007, the general economic growth under the leadership of President Kibaki had gone up and achieved a growth of 5.9% to 7% between 2005 and 2007 as compared to the negative growth experienced in 2002.
Flash forward to 2007, the political empire had reorganized itself in the readiness for the on coming elections.
Odinga suddenly out of the blue decided that supporting president Kibaki was not a good decision any more.
He embarked on campaigning against him. He therefore joined hands with William Ruto and together they formed the Orange Democratic Movement in short ODM. Mr. Raila Odinga being a leader from the Luo ethnic group (from the western party of Kenya) managed to get the support from the rift valley through the help of William Ruto whose origin is the rift valley.
Take note, the people supporting Raila Odinga did not want to stop themselves and think:
President Kibaki brought the country’s economic growth from negative growth rate to 7% by the year 2007, what would happen if we give him another five years?
The reason behind their supporting of Raila was because he was either from their own region or someone from their own region was in the government that would be formed by Raila Odinga and his counterparts. They didn’t care about the agenda that Raila had. They didn’t care that they had previously supported Kibaki back in 2002. They did not care to look at the history of Mr. Odinga to know whether he was a fit man to lead the country. No.
It didn’t matter.
Finally, the results were announced by the then commission for election (ECK) which was being headed by the then Samuel Kivuitu.
The results were as follows:
- Kibaki – 4 584 721 votes – 46.42% of the total votes cast.
- Raila – 4 352 993 votes – 44.07% of the total votes cast.
That was when hell broke loose.
All of sudden, Raila and Ruto realized that the elections were not fair. Because they had not won.
All of a sudden it was it was the ethnic groups that supported Raila against the ethnic groups that supported Kibaki.
Around 600, 000, Kenyans were displaced from their homes, the businesses that had taken these people a life time to build from scratch were all reduced to ash. Hundreds of people died.
The international community saw what was happening and came in to address this issue which ended up in the National Accord and Reconciliation Act. With Raila ending up as the Prime minister.
What Kenyans never came to realize, is that they had killed each other, destroyed each other’s businesses, displaced those people who had been their neighbors for a lifetime or two just to get one single person in a position of power.
Looking back at what happened those days, with even people on radio stations seducing their listeners to kill people from a specific tribe, I just feel like crying.
Since when did a normal human being just take a weapon, head over to his neighbor’s homestead, a neighbor with whom they have lived for a decade or two together and decided to kill the neighbor? A neighbor from whom he or she had borrowed firewood from at some point? A neighbor from whom he or she had borrowed salt from at some point?
And what was the reason for all of this?
Because someone wanted to be in a position of power.
And was his being in a position of power going to help the tribes that were out there killing each other for him?
My guess is no, because to date, those people that killed each other for this someone to gain power and strength are still living a life of poverty just as they were before they did what they did. Worse, if they are people with just a little conscience, they have regrets added on top of their poverty.
Okay, finally the 2007 post-election violence ended.
The 2007 post-election violence caused a lot of losses. Families lost their bread winners. The country was left with a lot of rebuilding to do. But all in all, the high class had managed to use poor and middle-class families to get what they wanted. Position of the prime minister in the Kibaki government.
Flash forward once again to 2013.
Uhuru who had lost his presidential bid back in 2002 under KANU teamed up with Ruto who back in 2007 had been a supporter of Raila to form TNA.
Note: now Ruto who had supported Raila back in 2007 was teaming up with the man who had opposed their team back in 2007.
Raila teamed up with Kalonzo Musyoka and formed Reforms and Democracy/ ODM.
This time round, just because Ruto had joined Uhuru, all Kalenjins voted for Uhuru.
They didn’t want to know that they had supported Raila back in 2007. As long as Ruto was not with Raila anymore, Raila was a bad man. What a shame Kenyans?
A quick question: Do you ever think for yourselves?
Okay, moving on, Uhuru won the 2013 elections.
Raila did the most respectable thing ever in the history of all elections in which he had been involved and accepted defeat and hence saving Kenya from the possible eruption of violence as seen in the 2007 general elections.
Flash forward in 2016, Raila started using lower class and middle-class families again to get what he wanted. He started using these people to demonstrate against IEBC because according to him, they had manipulated the 2013 presidential election results.
His usage of the lower class and middle-class families became successful as this made sure the then existing commission was replaced with a new one ahead of the August 8th 2017 general elections.
The august 8th 2017 elections were conducted by the new commission that Raila wanted.
Despite this, Raila rejected the outcomes yet again because he had lost.
This triggered demonstration carried out by people living in the Kibera slums who started burning tires and being violent that Raila had not been declared the president.
The supreme also called for fresh elections to be arranged. Raila pulled out of the 26th October 2017 elections once again claiming that the election officials in the IEBC were not fit to be supervising the repeat elections.
Remember, these were the officials that he had used his diehard followers in Kibera and western Kenya back in 2016 to get them in office. Now he did not want them and he wanted to use the low class and middle-class families once more to get these same officials out of office.
The elections were held on 26th October and yet again Uhuru and his running mate Ruto won by over 90% of the votes that were cast.
The IEBC chairman Mr. Wafula Chebukati announced the results and once again violence erupted in Western Kenya, Kibera and Kawangware.
The funny thing is, those demonstrating in these areas burned their own businesses and attacked their neighbors while the person they were demonstrating for was seated in front of a flat screen TV watching them from the comfort of his house.
Somehow, these people realized that they were being immature and stopped killing each other in order to get someone else what he wanted.
Finally, Raila Odinga made his last move through announcing his plan of resistance which involves the boycotting of some company’s commodities.
This became really overhyped on social media by all those middle families and lower-class families claiming that they would just follow Raila’s order and boycott everything.
Once again, Raila trying to use Kenyans to get what he wants and not caring about what happens to Kenyans or Kenya itself as a whole.
WHAT KENYANS REALLY NEED TO KNOW
1. You need to start thinking for yourselves
What Kenyans do is that they follow Politicians blindly.
Does this person have a name from our tribal group? If yes, they will follow that person wherever he goes even without stopping to think that he might be leading them to the sea where they will all drown.
2. You need to abandon tribalism completely.
No matter what your tribe is, we all are a bunch of carbon based materials.
The only difference is that we speak different languages.
The fact that we speak different languages is not a reason enough to warrant hating your neighbor.
3. Politicians don’t care about you
Politicians don’t care about you as an individual, they only care about themselves.
They are not asking for your vote so that they can help you when they get in office. They are asking for it as a boost to their egos (feeling powerful) and as a chance to upgrade their lives.
So, don’t go and demonstrate for a person you have never even met. Instead, work hard and make life better for you and your kids.
4. Boycotting your own economy will ruin your own country
Boycotting a company’s products does not help in any way.
As a matter of fact, it is ruining your life in ways that you can’t see right now but which becomes evident as time moves by.
5. Focus on building not destroying.
Don’t burn your neighbors store because some politician said that you do so. No.
Take that time to build your own next to that of your neighbor.
That is how Kenya grows.
Kenya is already a great country. But focusing on what politicians that don’t care about us say and then doing just that without thinking about the consequences will make us loose this country.
It’s time to wake up people!