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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Honest Reflection + Reconciliation = Price of Reconstruction

With the political deal signed on paper, Kenya enters a defining week that will lay the first foundation for a firm rediscovery or mere patching of the rot underneath. It has taken enormous bloodshed to make us reason and unless we learn our lessons correctly and fast enough, we are prone to repeat the same mistakes with devastating consequences.

Kenya has never known any true leadership in her 45 years existence as an independent nation. All we have had so far are rulers weaned on imperial ideologies of the colonialists who scheme to ascend to power to entrench the same divisive and oppressive practices. Since independence we have wasted the opportunity to define ourselves as a country. We have been mere passengers in the grave train Kenya as a geographical accident.

Kenyan needs an urgent reality check NOW. We have the best chance to build a sustainable foundation that appreciates each Kenyan outside ethnic parameters. We can deny it all the much we wish but the brutal truth is that negative ethnicity is the malignant cancer gnawing at the Kenyan fabric. Bandying lofty slogans to gloss over this malady only succeeds in painting us for what we are: PRACTITIONERS of DECEPTION per excellence.

Costly false pride
The paper signed by both Raila and Kibaki wont make neighbours in the Rift Valley hug after going for each others throat and burning homes. We must start from the basics and banish the evil ideology of berating others derogatorily simply because we don’t share mother tongue. We must shun utterances that inflame emotions which our politicians will readily exploit to advance their selfish interests.

There is no pride in having so many enemies. One more foe is just one too many. We need each Kenyan in this endeavour to reclaim and develop our country. Nothing short of honest engagement will do here. Cooperation premised on deception is to live an expensive lie that will consume all of us sooner rather than later.

Humility is only a weakness to the short-sighted who shoot epithets from both lips oblivious of the consequences. Kenyans must humble themselves and with utmost HONESTY collectively and constructively involve themselves in whatever little way they can towards realizing a truly united and prosperous country. It is too costly to wait.

False pride couched in any shade of superiority complex or bravado has no place in this overdue exercise. Start doing your part NOW. So let the willing souls soil their hand and let the healing process begin.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

The top politicians, if they care, could seize the moment and actively campaign for reconciliation. Raila already missed one such chance when he selectively called for a "cease fire" against Kisii people.
I doubt any genuine reconciliation is going to take place unless those who perpetrated the killings are brought to the books. The whole Nandi tribe was not at war with the whole Kikuyu tribe, it was some rotten apples doing all the stinking and those need to be brought to the book. So should the Mungiki like elements that carried out retaliatory attacks in Naivasha.

Anonymous said...

Good post and exactly many Kenyans sentiment and I'm sure most Kenyans are ready to join in to rebuild-one example as a reminder is when Kenyans from all tribes went to donate food and essentials to the displaced people at Uhuru park- they didn't look at tribe they looked at what their fellow Kenyans needed!!

Kenyans are ready to move on and embrace each other!

Anonymous said...

Yes we are all proud to be Kenyans and this is the point at which most of us are shunning ethnicity.

But if those symbols of ethnic marginalisation remain such as inequalityin the distribution of resources and land then tribalism will remain.The fact that we have shunned ethnicity does not mean that historical injustices should not be addresses.

In addition I think businesses in urban centres like Nairobi which have more than 50% of employees from one community should receive an extremely high tax.If they want to entrench tribalism in the civil sector they should pay for it. Nobody can claim in Kenya today that only one community are qualified for any job.

Wanjiku - Mombasa said...

Kenya has never known true leadership in her 45 years as an independent nation. And yet we still have public holidays to remember dead and retired presidents who have presided over the rape of the nation over all these years.

But Taabu this time they will not rape us. The result of the education they so encouraged over the years is a brilliant and educated population. We can also count on the recent mess the country has witnessed to further sharpen our resolve to keep our leaders on their toes.

Surprise surprise - Karua can smile. She can actually laugh!! True story - she laughed on TV. And she has chosen to reduce her stress in this heaven that is Kenya instead of going to Switzeland. After all it's winter there. Who wants to go anywhere in winter?

Anonymous said...

MY CONTRIBUTION to make Kenya a united and a politically clean country.

1)Stop corruption at all levels: The Police on the road should not ask for bribes. Watch them. Anti-Corruption Boss Ringera to be sacked immediately.

2)Tribalism to be abolished. All ministries to include ALL Kenyans.

3)Police boss has to go, Attorney-General has to quit, Chief-Justice has to resign immediately.

4) Kenyan society has to change. Example: The School heads should allow the students to elect their prefects and students by their own. Democracy has to start early enough.

5)Tribal elders have to be given a chance to exchange ideas. There has to be exchange programmes for people(young and old) from different regions in Kenya.

Kenyans must feel that Kenya is theirs and never accept Moi's theory: Kenya has its owners.

Anonymous said...

I am eagerly waiting for the Truth and Reconciliation Committee to be formed and go round the country. I have many things in my chest which I need to speak out. I need to say how I feel on matters of land, devolution, politics, police, ethnic differences, education, health etc etc.I need to feel that I matter in this country of my birth. I want to feel part and parcel of the Kenyan society to which I am a member by right. I need to know that my children and my children's children will get every chance available to exploit their full potential. I want Kenya to be a great country, the envy of others on the continent. I want a system of governance to evolve in which disagreement and misunderstandings will not be solved thro' fighting and destruction, but thro' civilised mechanisms. Will I get the Kenya I'm craving for?

FunnyWiseGuy said...

ONLY ONE WAY TO RECONCILE. (In Lay terms)

The only way true reconciliation and rebuilding can be said to start is when we all face facts and bite the slug.

For instance Taabu, when you call for Kenyans to shun …”False pride couched in any shade of superiority complex or bravado”…I dare wonder, do you ,and many others calling for end to negative ethnicity, realize that many tribes are only reacting to negative ethnicity targeted at them by one group of tribes?

Let’s call a spade a spade… we only risk POSTPONING OUR TROUBLES should we not take this opportunity to address one important aspect. The root cause for our disaster;
THE GEMA BRAVADO.

Kenyans all over have really never had a problem with these people, or rather this tribe. Every town in Kenya from Marsabit to Namanga, from Busia to Malindi, all have Kikuyu businessmen and residents. We have all accommodated them without a problem since independence.

We need not issue blanket calls for reconciliation without addressing these hard facts. These are what Truth and Reconciliation Commissions are made of. GEMA have for long disrespected the rest of Kenyans and have continually insisted that they are the true owners of this country.

We need to re-educate them that independence wasn’t achieved through the struggles of their forefathers alone, who apparently were just fighting for their land, but by the forefathers of Kenyans from every corner. We need to emphasize to them that;

• It is ok for a Kalenjin to operate a shop in Karatina, and a Luo to run a Hotel in Nyeri, as Kikuyus have for years operated businesses within other people’s areas. (Their displacement from other towns should serve as examples of how well woven their settlement within other communities have been.)

• We need to remind them that, when their sons kill, maim and rob banks (let’s face it, all 90 % of Kenyan thugs are kyuks), they are continually negating perception towards them; since money and property looted belong to all Kenyans of all tribes.

• That when they operate pyramid schemes that target the poor man at the bottom of the food chain, they make many other Kenyans resent them.

• That when they unleash Mungiki in slums and villages, abusing women and beheading others, they continue injuring the relationships their tribesmen try to foster with other Kenyans.

• That even commercial churches are all ran by these people. You all know which ones, and save for the deranged Deya, all are GEMA. Stealing from the down trodden, promising miracles where common sense have failed, only to grow richer while their flock get poorer.

• That Kenyans overwhelmingly voted in Kibaki in 2002 and it didn’t matter what tribe he came from, but whenever you hear a Kikuyu belittling and swearing never to vote in a Luo, seemingly because of his penis, you wonder, aren’t we all Kenyans who deserve to foster coexistence without prejudice?

• That Reconciliation can only begin, if we see that this GEMA government, will replace their kinsmen with other able Kenyans.ODM represent other tribes, where as, Kikuyu only marshaled the support of their GEMA folk.

• Should we allow the likes of Kimunya of the “fish market fame” to continue underestimating the ability and intelligence of other Kenyans, and issuing derogatory remarks, then reconciliation will fall flat faced.

• The corridors of justice are the muse of the poor. What we have is the reverse; we have a justice system that only serves the powers that be.

• That true journalism and freedom of access to non-biased media is a fundamental right and is hampered by Tribal installations and in some instances, Tribal propaganda instigated by these media houses.KBC need to cease being a GEMA Mouthpiece.

What purpose do GEMA serve other than disrespect the independence and existence of other Kenyan people. Not unless you are Gema, or Gema relatives like the Kamba, you would really understand how deep the roots of negative ethnicity brought about by GEMA stereotypes have scarred this nation.

The Ameru and The Aembu need to understand that they can gun for presidency (maybe one day) without having to bootlick the Kikuyus all their lives.

The Agikuyu need to know that they need to raise their kids to be go getters, not by hook or crook, (especially by crook) but by honesty and diligence.

Reconciliation and rebuilding this country will begin, once we all acknowledge that some amongst us do not believe in equity and justice.

Anonymous said...

Kenyans are in fact determined to change how they are governed.

You can see it in the way they are maintaining their vigilance as the negotiators move to Point 4 - "historical injustices."

HAKUNA MAPUMZIKO MPAKA TUWE NA KATIBA MPYA NA SWALA YA ARDHI IJIBIWE.

Daniel Waweru said...

5)Tribal elders have to be given a chance to exchange ideas. There has to be exchange programmes for people(young and old) from different regions in Kenya.

A constructive idea on Kumekucha - wonders will never cease. It might be a good idea to have seats in a second house of Parliament for these guys - call them community representative seats.

Anonymous said...

KENYA MUST CHANGE; constitution, land - the works.

SIASA MBAYA, MAISHA MBAYA.

40+ years of misrule have led to skewed development and widespread poverty.

Anonymous said...

Karua should be given a media blackout...that's all I am going to say about that.

If you know anyone influential in media, please float this idea to them.

We need this venomous lady removed from our eyes and ears.

Atis Nyakenya said...

I totally agree. But while we are at it, we must never forget the good lady Karua who did it all for us in one fell swoop! We all know had she not touched the last straw... While we are on that subject, a few weeks ago our beloved KTN promised us during the headline news at 6.30pm, an intriguing scoop on the mystery of Koffi's disappearing cellphones to be elaborated on the 7pm bulletin. It appeared that so far, he had lost the 5th one that day from the Mediation Room! Unfortunately someone must have ordered an immediate lid on the story because we are still waiting to date. Could a KTN insider please volunteer lift the gag please please...As part of reconciliation and spirit reconstruction efforts, we really could do with the welcome break of humor from the inevitable mediation side-shows, dont you think? And while you are at it dear insider, please also tell us which MP from Western was supposedly being warned by some prophet from Mombasa to repent or he would not finish his term. Standard published an interview with this man and indicated that they had withheld the name. The next day Were was reported dead from a sniper's bullet. Was it him? C'mon Kumekucha is where you give us what you dare not publish in 'Mainstream'. Do tell....

Anonymous said...

Chris.please allow us to express freely.

tnk said...

anon 10:24

i'm no respector of tribes and have deep respect for nationalism and pragmatism.

you have the right frame of mind

this is not to criticize your piece but to raise some further observations

first sentences of point no 2 and point no 5 are in direct contradiction/conflict

points under no. 1 and 3, i agree whole heartedly but they are just one step of a gigantic puzzle, if we leave the rest unresolved then we have an even more humongous problem.

last statement may unfortunately leave a lot of holes/questions and not solutions

but however u are one in a million.

god bless you as you continue to work through the hurdles

Anonymous said...

anon @10:24AM good point

"4) Kenyan society has to change. Example: The School heads should allow the students to elect their prefects and students by their own. Democracy has to start early enough."

to expand on this, democracy, in fact, needs to start from home. The African mentality of not allowing children to freely express themselves even at home extends to the general public, thereby breeding a timid society that can be manipulated by calculating & mean politicians whose words they take for gospel. Kids that often express themselves at school or in public are mistaken to be rude and lack respect to the elders. Please do not confuse this with genuine disciplinary action necessary to guide the young ones.

Further, changing the education system from 7-4-2-3 to '8-4-4' was a grave mistake that robbed us of the opportunity to interact outside of our districts or provinces. Our lack of political will and foresight led us to overhaul an excellent education system that only needed meaningful enhancement. The former education system created more open minded individuals who were confident amongst people from different ethnic backgrounds.

Anonymous said...

SOURCES SAY MARTHA KARUA VISA APPLICATIONS WAS BEFORE THE VISA BAN WAS IMPLEMENTED!!AND SHE DID GET A LETTER DENYING HER ENTRANCE IN SWITZERLAND- SO EVEN IF SHE WENT TO THE AIRPORT WITH THAT VISA!!HER NAME WAS ON THE BLACK LIST - SO SHE CAN SHOW MEDIA HER VISA- BUT PLEASE ASK HER TO SHOW THE LETTER SHE RECEIVED FROM JUNIOR IMMIGRATION OFFICER AT THE SWISS EMBASSY??(remember she does not deal or have no time and she calls all junior foreign officers irrelevant)!!PLEASE ASK HER TO SHOW THE LETTER-

SHE IS TRYING TO CALL BLUFF TO THE SWISS EMBASSY SINCE THEY CAN'T SHOW THE COPY OF THE LETTER THEY SEND TO HER TO THE MEDIA!!LET HER PROOF US WRONG- LET HER TRY GOING TO ANY COUNTRY IN EUROPE-AMERICA-CANADA-AUSTRALIA-SWITZERLAND- FRANCE!!SHE WILL GET NO PERMISSION- AND THAT IS WHY KILONZO WAS BEGINNING FOR THE VISA BAN TO BE LIFTED!!

Anonymous said...

kumekucha!! are you alseep or is your blog closed down!! can you please inform us as your very devoted members of your site- we need to exchange ideas and chat with people on ground in Kenya!!this is the avenue that gives us the truth of the situation at home- without coloring the good or bad!!

Anonymous said...

Wanjiku of Mombasa @ 10.18; I couldn't agree more.

Kenyans have become more politically sophisticated and less willing to excuse misgovernment.

We are teaching our politicians to listen to us and will not relent until they learn to bend to our will.

bongoman said...

Listen up Kumekucharians!
i. PM: India, Japan, Israel, Britain, Germany, Tanzania, Uganda etc, all have one thing in common; they all have a Premier (PM) in their governing structures. It is said that the one in the PNU/ODM agreement leans more towards the Germany model but even then, it is transitional in nature because of the many grey areas and silence on several issues. All the same until NARA (National Accord & Reconciliation Act)-2008 is enacted, there is very little that anybody can say conclusively at the moment.
ii. Kalonzo: (I’ve read it as Kaloozer elsewhere) If he remains VP, it will be because of the transitional nature of the agreement (otherwise there’s no reason why it shouldn’t go to ODM considering that PNU is getting one of the PM deputies) otherwise this agreement is between the two strongest parties that emerged from the election(Rice was categorical on this). The 2nd reason that might keep him there is PNU’s magnanimity and their appreciation for his keeping them afloat at their moment of desperation. Otherwise all the so called “affiliates” hangers-on should take up their position in the opposition benches and provide the strong opposition they’ve been advocating for, though none has the numbers to take it up officially. He is on record that ODM-K is independent of PNU though yesterday at Serena he hinted to having an M.O.U with PNU so that is between them. However, considering that in the 50/50 sharing of posts, where is he going to get more seats above the 17 that PNU already has? The plea to his troops to be patient “coz more posts are coming soon”, is going to be extremely difficult for him to fulfill as I don’t see him getting the two he already has unless he’s talking about the assistant ministerial ones. Take note that those who campaigned and went to the poll as PNU are not just seating back waiting for Kalonzo to get whatever he asks for.
That said, pay keen attention to this clause in the agreement: “the composition of the coalition govt will at all times take into account the principle of portfolio balance and will reflect their relative parliamentary strength”. From this clause it should be obvious that ODM’s 96 and PNU’s 46 MPS, shared out 50/50 does NOT reflect their relative parliamentary strength or does it? Unless of course, the M.O.U that Kalonzo is alluding to is factored into the mix, in which case, ODM-K renounces their “independence” from PNU. Obviously, the SNA ( speaker) will have to provide guidance on this.
What the ever smiling Kikwete told Kibaki and his govt:
Let me start by pointing out that Dr Anan’s humble looks and his soft voice are supremely deceptive. He’s a seasoned diplomat and a tough negotiator. By suspending the talks he simply bypassed the negotiating teams and cut to the chase. Karua blundered her way into a diplomatic sucker punch by engaging in endless grandstanding and playing to the gallery. PNU failed to appreciate the fact that whenever ODM released a statement, it was towards a specific audience much as it seemed to be for the general public’s consumption! Did they pose to wonder why a party that had built its political career out of “beating domo” suddenly went mute and its PR gladiators seemed uncharacteristically meek? There are times when silence becomes a potent weapon in the PR arsenal.
By unleashing Josephine Ojiambo Peter Munya, Mutua, Kiraithe, Mungatana, Wetangula etc in a cacophony of uncoordinated noise making, PNU engaged themselves in an orgy of “scoring own goals” and did themselves PR damage than the ODM brigade could have ever done to them. Seriously guys, who out there believes these guys are made for the PR battles that have been going on since the referendum? Of course there are those that were retired by the electorate e.g. Kombo. Kalembe may not be as educated but at least he knew what he was doing. In my view, ODM owes Karua and these guys a huge gratitude for their PR goofs that exposed their side in a big way. You simply do not accept the mediation of a retired UNSG then wake up one day and question his credibility. That was a mega goof (ref Mak’anyego’s article in sat Standard). Other goofs were the pasting of Ms Fraser’s picture and that of the US envoy in the press in the pretext of demanding for evidence. From her title, the govt must have thought Ms Fraser is the equivalent of an assistant minister in the Kenyan govt (a Kalembe of some sort!)
Back to Kibaki/Kikwete, does any of you recall what happened to the Islamic Court chaps in Somalia a short while back? Some US general visited Ethiopia one fine day and told them how they wanted to take them out but couldn’t go in as the USMC (marines) coz that would have required the little matter of a UN resolution( ask Dr Annan).The rest is history.
When Martha threw a tantrum, Kofi (by the way, when did he become Dr?) called JK (Jakaya Kikwete) who is the current AU chairman and on whose mandate he was here. He told JK as Mkapa had let out “we are just going in circles and this is not taking us nowhere. If you watched CNN yesterday, I’ve other matters elsewhere (Kampala) on mon. So, get Kibaki to come out of his bunker and state his position so that I too can state mine”
Before Rice flew in, she had been in Tz and this scenario had been envisaged and had been discussed. Remember, the US president travels with his govt. So, when akina Wetangula were busy being rude to leaders and proclaiming that Kenya is not a banana republic that anyone can just stroll into, both JK and Rice before him just strolled into Nairobi and nobody raised a finger. JK simply made it clear that he wasn’t leaving without the conclusion of agenda item #3 because doing so meant the following:
1. Dr Annan would announce his departure too
2. A meltdown would follow
3. The AU would send in a Rapid Reaction Force, only that this would just be US marines embedded in the Tanzania forces (now you know where I was going with the Ethiopians in Somalia story). Kenyan forces would be under instructions to stand down coz any one attacking a mandated (AU) force and would have had their butts hauled to some US-backed kangaroo court. Those who follow international events know what happened to hotheads in the Balkans, Liberia, Iraq, Panama, Nicaragua, Afghanistan etc. Is it coincidental that on the morning of signing of the agreement, Kibaki met with all security chiefs? I bet the on-board radar aboard the US navy’s 6th Fleet battle ship in the Indian Ocean picked up the Tanzanian President’s jet’s signal as it flew in and out of Nbi. That’s how far Big Brother watches your ODM/PNU comedy from. Anyone thinking they are gone would better think again.
Finally my dear Kenyan brethrens, I see a lot of vitriol between your two chosen camps of PNU & ODM (or Kibaki & Raila). The truth is that the tribal battle between kyuks and luos still rages. This is what got your country to where it is today.
Acheni ushamba kwasababu the next time JK ventures into your country’s matters, I doubt he will be smiling. He won’t be bringing you some beautiful bongoflava ballads either.
Haya sasa, anzeni kunitukana sasa coz I have come to learn that is how you Kenyans hide your wimpish, cowardly personalities and fake patriotism; by insulting anyone who unmasks your primitive, medieval habit of tribalism na uzungu wenu wa kishamba!

Anonymous said...

bongoman

we ni kenyan au la?

mrembowaodm said...

taabu, very nice article....i did not know you wrote positive stuff!! the pessimism is shedding off i see, that is marvelous!!

bongoman my dear, i definitely agree with you on the kalooser issue, he has no right being in the government, in any case we need an opposition and who better than him to lead the team since during the mediation he was so vocal about it? he kept saying we need a 'strong opposition' and i think it is a high time he crossed the floor and showed us how a strong opposition should be run!!

i also agree that there is no such thing as a 50/50 sharing of the positions..of course unless i dont understand that agreement!...i think that 50/50 was a creation of the media, or maybe the media meant the 50/50 is a split of the powers between 'president kabaki'(haha) and raila odinga? i dont know!!

the agreement is so clearly based on parliamentary strength as you have mentioned and if anybody can see how 50/50 comes about in a party with 43+ candidates as opposed to one with a 99+ majority please enlighten me!!

the truth of the matter is...if i understand it correctly......odm gets to have a larger share of the cabinet cake.... i also think it would be in order for us to start at the top..we clearly have 5 top brass positions and i want to see odm's parliamentary strength reflected there...... odm, needs to get three seats and pnu can fill its one deputy position-they already have kabaki! ideally this should be allocated as follows:
1. odm...premier, 1 deputy and the vice president.
2. pnu...president and one deputy
then everything else follows suit!

kalonzo should start cleaning up at jogoo house and move out!!...unless of course pnu wants to appoint him as their deputy pm to work under raila because honestly there is no position for him in the government. pnu listen to free advice today! and do something right for once! do not adopt this position since it will deprive us of a 'strong opposition' hehe!

i know karua helped our case..immensely...but i dont see anybody in odm running to thank her any time soon mr. bongoman!!all we can do now is laugh at her 'smartness' and nothing else

what i can say is that, for all the goofs and tantrums we saw in the pnu camp.....they changed their minds pretty quickly!!it was amazing!! they must have seen the light!! it was a miracle i tell you! a miracle!! maybe the type kalooser was talking about?!

if anybody is deluded enough to think kibaki is a statesman and signed that deal on his own accord...please by all means continue with your delusions!!

much as i dislike mr. bush...i think this time he has to be commended for a job well done!!

Taabu said...

Bongoman NICE PIECE and informative too but you spoil the brooth with the last paragraph full of BRAVADO. Yes yours is very insicive but do you have to vomit eventually to show your inner contents? Not taking anything away from you. You have spoken na wenye maskio waskie. But stop matusi pia.

Anonymous said...

Shiish bongoman for a non-Kenyan you seem to know alot about our situation except you are wrong about some rivalries btn certain communities....
I love the Kenyan wars... matusi and all.. Kumekucha is the perfect way to start one's week.
Even our own Iron lady ( Martha) is releasing her stress right here and goodness is that woman not stressed???Kwani Father ako wapi??

Anonymous said...

Now Bongoman,
for the knowledge's sake, what do you mean uzungu wetu wa Kishamba?
A purely academic question. Otherwise great piece.

Anonymous said...

Bongoman,

Interesting perspective. Can't really argue with the last paragraph either.

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