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Using Security To Play Deadly Political Chess Games
The year 2006 was an year that saw the conspicuous emergence of hate words being bandied about between Kenyans and Tanzanians especially online. Blogs were the ever ready wind that fanned the flame into a roaring fire.
Both these peoples haughtily flaunted their strong points. They also levelled scathing criticism against each other. Strings of expletives were added to the whole mix, to add colour!
Kenyans paraded their ‘mastery’ of the Queen’s language as their first strong point against their Tanzanian counterparts.
“Tanzanians don’t know English!” was the snap retort of many a Kenyan.
Tanzanians responded by explaining how Kenyans didn’t have any idea what was meant by ‘good’ Kiswahili.
“Nyie wala Kiswahili hamkijui. Mnajifanya na Kiingereza chenu hicho. Lugha ya kikoloni, haifai chochote!” was the snap rejoinder from many a Tanzanian
Kenyans relished every detail of how Tanzanians were deemed lazy. This was not taken kindly. Tempers flared; ‘war cries’ were uttered; disdain and condescension took centre stage in the whole shebang.
But that’s besides my point today.
There’s a time, in the same year, when the President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete was caught in the crossfire. This was after his reported discussion of the ‘political instability’ of Kenya with President George Bush.
Tempers flared within and without the Kenyan borders. To many, this seemed to be the height of contempt. The government of Kenya was not left out in the rhetoric that ensued.
I remember that around the same time Jakaya Kikwete was quizzed by a Tanzanian journalist about the Bush – Kikwete discussion that had opened the floodgates of mistrust. He brushed it aside by saying: “Tusifike huko, Tuyaache hayo mambo yalivyo.”
Many questions were asked by all and sundry. I also asked a question that received an answer from New York trying to explain what had happened.
Kumekucha asked his own questions in the form of an amusing tongue-in-cheek post .
What I found ironic about the whole thing, recently, was when Jakaya Kikwete was called upon to help in the mediation process after Kenya had suffered a nasty political and socio-economic blow.
He was very instrumental in the signing of the peace accord that would see the end to the then prevailing “political instability”. Did the “political instability” discussion that he had had with George Bush two years ago come to his mind?
Have a smashing day, dear brethren