Saturday, February 02, 2008
The Curse of Military Rule
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda made a startling suggestion in prescribing military rule for Kenya. Even journalists covering him were left with their jaws agape wondering what a heap of poison the ‘youthful’ Kagame was prescribing to Kenyans.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The era of military rule midwifing democracy from a political fallout or dictatorship belongs to the last Century. True, desperate moments calls for desperate measures but tasking the Kenya army with leadership is to unwittingly invite full blown anarchy on our shores.
Our military is a product of political manipulations. The Kenyan men (and women) in the barracks simply lack the intellectual capacity to govern. They have no minds of their own and woe unto you in the army if any trace of independence betrays your thinking. Our military officers owe their positions to their political masters. They are nothing better than political sycophants albeit in uniform.
Kenya is no Rwanda. While Rwanda has only two tribes (Hutus and Tutsis), Kenya a kaleidoscope of ethnic competition that only requires the faintest spark to explode. Both Kenyatta and Moi packed the forces with their military cheerleaders. In the last five years Kibaki has no disappointed by promptly but systematically replacing the military top brass by his henchmen and compliant soldiers.
Competing ethnic interest makes our military a very risky business to premise our country’s salvation. The barracks are not spared Kenya’s tribal tensions. Paranoia is the stock in trade in the barracks where any intellectual challenge is promptly nipped in the bud.
Kibaki’s trip to Ethiopia was singularly purposed to pass a latent message of no vulnerability to military putsch. Even if the Kalenjins and Kambas still constitute a significant proportion of foot soldiers, Kibaki is safe and at peace in the knowledge that military top guns owes him their positions.
Kagame may have meant well for Kenya and her people. But his suggestions is a POISONED CHALICE particularly for Kenya. His idea can be contrasted to our old generation suffering about of nostalgia in which they uncritically and shamelessly claim to miss colonialism. Granted, the colonialists were 'humane' and intellectual in their brutality compared to our present day indigenous colonialists.
Allowing the military to take over Kenya will set a very costly and deadly precedent. In addition to disenfranchising Kenyan voters forever, it will trash all our democratic credentials and history. And worst or it will be a perpetuation of the present day slavery to HELL-FOR-LEATHER rulership and absolutely no leadership. Two wrongs never made a right.
The lives of those Kenyans lost in the present war against ELECTORAL THEFT and DECEPTION must not be trivialized neither abused by succumbing to rule by the barrel of the gun. If in doubt just cast your eyes up north and the scenes from the streets of Djamena in Chad are not pleasant, or are they? The bottom line is power not only corrupts but it is also intoxicating.
Kenya is crying for politico-economic justice which the military CANNOT deliver. It is therefore not only suicidal but also reckless and STUPID to entrust such an audacious quest to gun wielders while still smarting from fractures and amputations from machetes. We cannot afford to engage is such an expensive and FATAL gamble.