I have watched with increasing alarm the unfolding events in Kenya. On just about every front, we seem to be hurtling toward a destination no one can define with clarity right now. If ours was a stable, mature democracy, I wouldn't be too worried. I would look my two boys in the eye and tell them that at the end of this brouhaha, there will emerge a leader who will be sworn in as President in 2012. But can anyone count on such an outcome today? Therein lies my discomfort.
As this new year begins, it is time for those who love this nation and wish to see her prosper to act and say words that will enhance unity rather than act and say words that will foster hate and division. What we must all realize, as thought-leaders in the spheres God has put us in, is that we sit at the apex of a triangle whose base is made of millions of illiterate and poor Kenyans. What they are yearning for from us is hope and a sense that a better tomorrow is within reach. When what they see from us is the kind of schemes that seem to have taken center-stage in the political arena today, who can blame them for fearing that the stage is being set for intrigue and a possible repeat of the mischief in 2007?
One of the most powerful pronouncements of the Lord in the Holy Scriptures is found in the book of Genesis 1:28-31. In that text, the Lord says He gave mankind dominion over this world. You may read the four verses in the quietness of your office or home. The message is clear. God wanted man to take care of what He had created. That included animals, fish, birds and fellow man. It is crucial that those who aspire to lead this nation understand that theology of leadership. There is no way people who seek to lead this nation can want to do so by coming up with something as dreadfully divisive as the KKK Alliance. Where is God's voice in that? And there is no way a man who has failed to take a firm position on crucial national matters can now present himself as a leader; how will he lead? Like a sunflower?
Fellow Kenyans, President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have led this nation thus far. It will be said many years to come that they tried their best...gave us better roads and set this nation on a path to expanding democratic space. It is now our time to move the ball toward the opponent's goal-post. Our opponent remains ignorance, poverty and disease. But now there is a new one. Godlessness. Could it be that our lack of seeking God's wisdom is what may lead this nation to danger again?
The time for Christians to be on our knees to seek intervention for Kenya is now. We have to plead with God to intervene as Ocampo swoops in, as alliances form, as the campaigns begin, and as voting will take place in 2012. It is my opinion that this is our chance to once and for all defeat the forces that want Kenya to permanently remain beholden to a form of politics and leadership fashioned out of tribal arithmetic and selfishness. Ideology and a sense of purpose should be the new forces that shape political discourse in this nation.
So from our airwaves to newspapers, and from our pulpits to political events, and from out funerals to weddings, let each of us tone down our rhetoric. We can discuss Raila in Nyeri without name-calling. We can disagree with Ruto in Kisumu without hurling insults at him. And we can wonder about Uhuru's intentions without seeing him as an evil man. Democracy and civility demand that we respect each other's opinions, and like my good friend Chris would always remind us, be willing to die defending their right to hold such opinions.
Where do I go wrong, my friends?
Blessings is what I wish on each of you this year and let's pray for one another!