I've read accounts of a doomsday clock in the Oval Office, Washington D.C. According to those unverified accounts, that clock is actually on the floor and can only been seen by those who are keen to detail. In Dan Brown's political thriller, Deception Point, the clock is supposed to be carefully interwoven in the fabric of the sprawling carpet that gives that office the look and feel of the most important office in the world.
But I'm not here to tell you about the Oval Office clock. What I want to tell you is that there is another doomsday clock ticking in Nairobi as we speak. Everywhere I look, I see storm clouds gathering. The minute hand of our own doomsday clock stands at just two minutes to midnight. And the seconds are ticking incessantly. Is anybody else alarmed by what we see around us?
I can't remember another time when Uganda so bodly challenged Kenya's territorial integrity. And I can't recall a time when our President let that landlocked neighbour behave as if it was the regional superpower. How can it be that our Commander-in-chief will let the pride of Kenya be sullied in the mad this long? Don't we have generals who can stand up and tell the Commander-in-chief enough is enough? I miss Mulinge and Opande, man!
And now suddenly we have Jakaya Kikwete feeling like he can go to the United States and discuss Kenya. What the hell does that Tanzanian know about Kenya? The fact that Bush sent him here with a stern message for our leaders a year ago does not make him some maharishi on matters Kenyan. If he doesen't think it funny for our leader to discuss his nation anywehere at its midnight hour, he should desist from discussing Kenya at our midnight hour. We are and will always be lightyears ahead of TZ.
Then there is Obama. The man is not coming to Kenya. I've heard many people castigate Kibaki and Odinga, folks saying that our nation is in turmoil so Obama couldn't visit. Crap. Here is what I say...if he is the kind of a guy who would only visit us because everything was okay, let him stay the hell away. Like his nation that is grappling with racism, classism and periodically the madness of the Bush type, our nation will have issues it grapples with from time to time. Does it mean when we face those issues we should be shunned?
I feel that Barack Obama, by shunning Kenya, has missed a golden opportunity to stand in the middle of Nairobi and proclaim his wishes for Kenya right in the face of Kibaki and Odinga. It would have been a powerful symbol that this son of Kogelo would come here and make it known that he is solidly for reforms. To send some dude called Johnny Carson...and an ambassador who is partly responsoble for the mess we are in makes me sick to my stomach. And may Obama be told that we will have no use for him should he come here after his presidency is over.
As a nation, I feel the right response to the foreign challenges we face must be to rally around His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki and the Rt Honourable Prime Minister Raila Odinga. As fervently as I disagree with Kibaki on just about everything, when the nation is under siege on multiple fronts, we must rally solidly behind him. We must all stand ready to follow his directives whenever he feels Uganda must be taken head on, and Tanzania must be calmed down, and Obama must be told we can handle our affairs...even when the process looks chaotic sometimes.
Fellow Kenyans, we may have our family fights that sometimes manifest themselves in the form of raw tribalism and other isms, but at the end of the day we will always be Kenyans. One big family. Let's not let our family feuds weaken us to the point where dependent nations like Uganda and Tanzania begin to feel they have a leg on our throat. We must always work hard to remain the regional superpower.
So at just two minutes to midnight, let's give our President and Prime Minister the support they need to confront the nation's foreign issues. It's that kind of a time when we must stand bega kwa bega, as Phil would say, and proclaim to the world that we are Kenya...and we stand ready to move our nation forward.
Those trying to mess with us...be warned.
God bless Kenya!