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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This Is Our Last Chance To Get It Right

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!

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

We should mention names where criminals are concerned. Also, with politicians, names should be mentioned since good elevates them and bad should work against them as well.
Covering up for them will not help kenya. I have heard people claiming that the Ocampo six suspects are innocent and should not be sacked pending their official indictment. Remember that Traffic police officer whom Kiraithe was defending for being beaten by a lorry driver. He wabted to handcuff a driver for whatever purpoted crime. But he was still innocent until proven guilty, but why handcuff?
Why send to prison and yet not guilty? Why force a confession to indict a suspect and yet that is exactly that our police officers do when one goes to police stations. They fear going to Hague or facing a judge because they will incriminate theirbosses or themselves.
All those provincial officers who were surmoned to write statements should be arrested without furtherdelay for disobeying lawful orders and incacerated in prison.

Anonymous said...

I can only respond to your god talk by quoting the best definition of prayer i have ever seen:

"prayer is a useless exercise undertaken by those who, in a fit of childish delusion, believe they can effect changes in the real world by falling to their knees and murmuring to themselves" - Dan Ferris

Mwarang'ethe said...

Okello wrote:

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.

xxxx

During the constitution debates, we gave a stern warning on kk and to the COE. However, as usual, no one cared to listen.

It was this:

"Let the reader bear in mind the following Kenyan prayer/anthem:


O God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity
Peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our border

..the FIRST PRINCIPLE in our constitution that must be adhered to in constituting a just and peaceful society.

This first principle flows from the command of the Creator whom we call upon in the above prayer. It is this.

In the Genesis 3:19, the Almighty and Eternal God, declare that, "In the SWEAT of your face you shall eat bread."

In this, God the Almighty has declared the Natural Law that, industry, intelligence and thrift shall be rewarded with wealth and idleness, indolence, ignorance and imprudence by destitution...

Flowing from the above, it follows and must follow that the MAIN question in drafting a constitution is not the executive or the so called representation, but, this.

Does the Constitution as drafted ensure that, the government to be constituted shall be for no other purpose, but, to guarantee the enjoyment of natural right to property?

In other words, is it the sole objective of the government to be constituted to recognise, guarantee and protect the NATURAL relationship between LABOUR and its PRODUCE?

If not, haven’t such a law violated the corollary principle and Divine law that, thou shall not steal?

And, if we have enshrined ROBBERY in our supreme law, haven’t we done violence to justice that we invoke as our shield and defender?

And, if justice which should be our shield and defender is dispensed with violently, haven’t we then, relinquished that which must come first before we can dwell in unity, peace and liberty?

Finally, having casually relinquished the right to live in unity, peace and liberty, on what basis can we pray to the Creator for plenty within our borders?"

Right now, all we can say is this: "Trust in God and keep your powder dry."

Mwarang'ethe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M. Pesa said...

Okello is back? Then Raila must be in deep horse manure! Let's see, he's being fired at by hired goons in Ivory Coast where he's staring failure in his mission. Kalenjins have walked out on him after being used like a toilet paper. Kambas did that ages ago. ODM- the party of "change" with dinosaurs like Ntimama and Henry Kosgey is drowning in corruption. Let's face the bitter truth, Raila and his twin brother Mwai wa Kibaki have failed Kenya kabisa. There's deep corruption in their Govt, tribalism and nepotism is worse than before, they are shielding their lieutenants from The Hague and their key political allies are flooding Kenya with Cocaine and heroin killing a whole generation of youth. Raila and Kibaki as I keep saying are Kenya's biggest and worst nightmare! Time is up for these two clueless and old wazee who are out of touch with reality to get on their horses and ride out of town!The church was damn right when it said we have a moribund president and ineffective Prime Minister. Now, who can argue with that? What Kenya needs in 2012 is fresh and young blood in state house who will sweep the country clean. Time is up for thieves, crooks, liars, cheats and drug dealers. Yep, this is indeed our last chance to get it right.

Anonymous said...

Okello,

I wish it was easy to practice what you are trying to preach. Don't you remember in 2007 a major presidential candidate repeatedly refering to a whole community as "kabila adui" simply because the community was refusing to vote for him? Kenyans will never know peace and true democracy as long as such delusional "leaders" are allowed to remain part of our body politic. But again, do you blame them or do you blame their worshippers???????

Anonymous said...

The problem as Philip Ochieng has said is that a huge segment of the Kenyan population has lost a sence of heroism. Their reason for existece is tied to the whims of their tribal hero.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what the big deal is about the KKK. Did Raila not organize tribes to gang up against the Kikuyus in 2007. Where was Okello and other preachermen to condemn it? Personally, I am happy the Kikuyus and the Kalenjins are trying to make-up and stop their perenial blood feuds. What that translates into them supporting a particular presidential candidate, that is their business what they do with their votes. That is what democracy is all about.

Anonymous said...

most sane and balanced article ever.my criticism though is continued use of theology as divine right.
my stand is that the bible is one of the greatest philosophical book and should be viewed as such.
Moral law should trounce all religious dogma.
I admire the new virtue of godlessness introduced in this article and service to fellow men.I agree without any hesitation that our worst enemy is poverty disease and ignorance.
our entire life should be consecrated to fighting ignorance and by so doing more informed decisions can be made.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Raila followers is that they think you can only fail to vote for Raila if you are tribalistic. These are the people who need a lecture on democracy from Okello.

Anonymous said...

Okello,
Everything will be alright in the elections of 2012 so long as ODMorons don't rape and kill people for allegedly "voting the wrong way."

Anonymous said...

Yeah the kkk thing is only bad because it does not revolve around the "hero". Mind you am not kkk, but i have been around. Narc was a tribal alliance and so was odm. But the hero was inside and there was no problem. who in fact coined the term "western alliance"? Whether it is kkk or whatever, there will definitely be tribal alliances in 2012. It will happen as surely as night follows day. I think what annoys some people is the knowledge that ruto can make whoever he chooses president by delivering his kalenjin people 101%. I know it scares.

Chris said...

Hello Sam,

Delighted to note that you have kept your promise to be making ocassional visits here. Don't mind the hostile comments, kk has hardly changed since you stopped being regular contributor. It is still the wild wild west. We even now seem to have people who don't believe in prayer and by extension in God the Almighty and creator of all things. HE who the earth is a mere foot stool.

At least some of us have appreciated your post and taken in the important message. Many more than what the comments may suggest.

Happy New Year brother.

Chris Kumekucha

Anonymous said...

My call today is for us to break from inclinations of the past. I have seen arguments here to the effect that Raila coined 'Western Alliance' so let us coin KKK. Very well. Then tell me when this cycle will stop. At the very best those behind KKK will only be around for two terms, assuming one of them becomes President. After that another tribal grouping?

No, guys, it does not matter who becomes President of this great nation. What matters is that he or she is a man or woman with a clear vision for Kenya that is inclusive and achievable.

And one more thing. We are moving into a season when those who have a forum of any kind to reach Kenyans at home and in the Diaspora must act with moderation. The things we say have a profound impact on those who listen to us. Let us reject shouting and name-calling.

Am I asking us to be dull? By no means. Am just saying if you must make fun at me or a position I've taken, make it in a way that is neither demeaning to me nor to you.

God bless Kenya!

Sam

Philip said...

It's good to notice a dangerous trend. I wish we better go back to old politics or staart a new kind of politics, which seems ended in 2002 when Narc took power.

I remember before 2002 politics was dirty but most presidential aspirants were campaigning by telling people lies of development that will come to their region. I remember promises of bridge from Lamu island to mainland, I remember promises of new port in Mombasa, I remember promises of free secondary education e.t.c. These were mostly tactics presidential aspirants used. We all know they were lies but people fell for them.

In 2007 this kind of politics changed. Politics of lies by presidential aspirants changed to politics of tribal hatred, masquarade behind fighting an individual of a certain tribe.

Tribalism has been in Kenya for a long time. To most of us it was planted to us by our parents, and politicians have only capitalised in it. Some of our parents inherited it from Kenyatta vs Oginga face-off, but for most of them I don't know where it started. Fortunately, if compared to current tribalism, the old tribalism was so much to do with passing favour to someone of the same tribe, and nothing to do with harming someone of another tribe. Luos would pass favour to another Luo, Kikuyus would pass favour to another Kikuyu, same to Kalenjins, but rarely will they think of harming the other person because of his tribe. In our current politics we have tribalism which isn't about passing favour to a fellow tribesman, but about hatred for a person of another tribe. This is the tribal hatres we now have in our politics.

It is the reason you would rarely hear presidential aspirants in our current politics talking about promises of developments, which long ago were lies, but they will always talk against an individual or group of individuals. These generally fuels animosity as people don't see the individual but the tribe. In the end we vote not based on which presidential aspirant lied most but based on hatred for another tribe.

If you think it's only KKK who are playing these politics then you need to hear what was said during the opening of Butali Factory. The politics of "us vs them" was being played in a subtle way, though Raila avoided it.

Those who can see it's time we educate those who can't see.

I see the following people need to apologise to Kenyans:

Mzee Jomo Kenyatta - for starting tribalism in politics.

Our parents - for encouraging us openly to join the bandwagon of tribalism since our young ages.

Mzee Moi - for adding fuel to tribalism in politics.

Kibaki - for adding fuel to tribalism.

Raila - for capitalising in this tribalism and starting the politics of "us vs them".

KKK politicians - for capitalising in tribalism and politics of "us vs them" only that in their case they want "them" to have three major tribes in Kenya.

Generally this kind of politics makes people to make unwise decision when electing leaders. It makes people to elect leaders not based on what they intend to do to the country.

As long as these politics go on we'll rarely elect good leaders and even good plans and theories that are brought forward will never see the light as they will be ignored.

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