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Monday, December 17, 2007

Kenyan Tribal Politics Ignores True Heroines


Ms Nazlin Umar must be one bitter Kenyan reeling from the negative effects of our ethnicized politics. Madam Umar is one presidential candidate who made her name in the NGO circles long time ago in championing women rights but have no significant tribal voting block to call her own.

And the Kenyan version of resilient Bhutto is determined to go all the way despite all the odds stack against her. Having been booted out of both ODMs (please spare me the petty whys) she found political accommodation in the fringe Workers party whose flag she is flying and seeking to secure Kamkunji constituency seat. But what can we learn from Nazlin's political tribulations?

Depending on your political leaning she is either one who banked on a facade of importance derived from her feminine course or an astute and principled Kenyan out to prove a point no matter the consequences.

Shame on violent men
But one thing is clear. Kenyan politics has not weaned itself off gender biasness. This year's campaigns has witnessed some ugly scenes of violence perpetrated against women aspirants of political posts. We must turn this ugly primitive page in our infant democracy and empower the women power who may be holding the key to our elusive prosperity.

We must not be tempted to resign to the defeatist adage that women are their own worst enemies because almost all violence on them are meted by men, shame of them all. As they say behind every successful man there is a woman in the shape of a mother or wife or sister or all the three. Our acts must be the epitome of political bad manners, aren't they?

1 comment:

Vikii said...

I have great respect and admiration for Nazlin Umar, not because she is a woman but because of what she stands for. I look forward to a time when we shall have enough Nazlins in the Kenyan society---People ready to speak their minds without giving a damn about how many people are amused, people ready to take positions no matter how unpopular.

True, such people often times don't get rewarded for their uprightness nor do they get any recognition or even a mention. Thank you Taabu for showing you are a different kind of Kenyan. Kenyans worship money, mediocrity and big names. I am sure that a very HUGE percentage of Kenyans think Nazlin Umar is a mad woman. We dont despise her because of what she stands for, her past and present deeds or anythhing tangible. We despise her because she is light skinned and because she has refused to suck up to any of the so called Big Three.

I have seen Prof. Wangari Maathai being called a lesser Nobel peace Laurate right here just because she has flatly refused to buy our political crap. we do not accord her the recognition she deserves and that is why she performed so dismally during the PNU nominations. She will be losing her parliamentary seat not necessarily because she is a bad MP but just because ours is a society that has very little respect for Humility, Integrity and Uprightness. These are the last things you want to associate yourself with if you want to be politically relevant in Kenya. It is all about pure hero worhip. Those who support these two individuals will confess to you that they have been implored to shift allegiance many times because these ladies supposedly "cannot win". Winning is everything huh? It should never be about who can win and who cant. It is about who stands for what.

I think our winner-takes-it-all system has not helped matters here. Nazlin Umar deserves her respect whether she is an MP or not. If we had a few more Kenyans like her, Kenya would be different. Nazlin, I tell you what, Go and dont allow anybody to bring you down.

P.S Taabu, let us not just sing along with our Kenyan press, politicians or even Ambassador Ranneberger. The violence netted on Nazlin in Kisumu, the one on Flora Igoki Tera or on any other female politician is not necessarily violence on women. It is violence by politicians on their political rivals. Surely, when Omingo Magara and Ruto were attacked in Kisii, they were not women, were they? Political violence of all kind is something that should be shunned by all right thinking Kenyans. It doesnt matter if the victim is a lady or a man. I just dont understand these often repeated lines of "violence against women politicians". You cant tell me violence goes by another name when unleashed on male politicians. I also know violent women leaders like Lucy Kibaki and Charity Ngilu.

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