Hassan Omar Hassan has touched a raw nerve with his claim that President Kibaki has ethnicized Kenya like never before with key appointments to Finance, Security, Energy and Transport dockets populated exclusively by his tribesmen. Not that what he said was new if anything the same material had gone viral in the cyber world many years before. But why all the fuss for this otherwise mundane claim from the former student leader?
Omar is no stranger to controversy as Moi University authorities would attest when he took them head on as a student leader and they ended up expelling him. True, the constitution does not discriminate against any tribe occupying any position. Also the President may have appointed these people because they are qualified. Omar has chosen to bell the cat by taking this emotive subject out of the web into the mainstream media and now many cannot stand the heat.
So is Omar just a roublerouser or simple standing facts on their feet? It may be either one or both or even neither of these two propositions depending on what language you dream in. But one thing is true, Kenyan kings hate to be reminded that they are nude. And in cue the tribal activists have found a handy (mis)use of Mzalendo Kibunja's commission by referring Omar to it as a perpetrator of hate speech.
Which leaves the question whether acknowledging and broadcasting a problem is a crime. We have seen many nominees of various commissions created in the new constitution not picked simply on the basis their ethnicity. The so-called face of Kenya is a gimmick pulled and played when convenient to mask the real tribal undertones.
If its is true all the above four ministries can have their boardroom meeting conducted in their mother tongue, which it is, are Kenyans like Omar right to bring the same for public notice and debate? Again the answer will mostly depend on your ethnic origins.
But one thing is clear about this toxic tribal debate. The hollipolloi fans it when they suffer most as their tribal lords ride on their back when caught with the principal intention of only serving their selfish interests. Moi did it and Kibaki has not made any pretense to change it but the ordinary Kalenjin and Kikuyu will militantly defend them to the hilt.
Well, two wrongs never made a right and the joke is squarely perched on the ordinary Kenyan who is used as a poodle to advance this poisonous state of affairs at our collective expense.
Omar Hassan's brave exposition is just the tip of the iceberg and as 2012 polls draw near the heat is destined to intensify only in one direction, up. How many can stand the temperatures in the kitchen? Brace yourself, tic toc.