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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kibaki Legacy: Ethnic Hegemony, Toxic Tribalism

By Pheroze Nowrojee

Though President Kibaki states that he will not endorse any individual’s candidacy, he is in fact endorsing the candidacy of one ethnic group to the presidency. His endorsement of one ethnic group’s candidacy is an endorsement against other ethnic groups. This is an imminent danger to national cohesion. The newspapers are debating what the Kibaki legacy will be. Some posit an infrastructure of roads, others an increased freedom in society. The facts however give the impression that the only legacy that Kibaki wants now to ensure is a succession by the same ethnic group.

Kibaki’s refusal to order a correction of these matters is not a sign of his lack of leadership. To the contrary, it is a sign of his leadership – of these preferences. He is not sitting on the fence. He is squarely on the side of the preferred ethnic outcome. Events to this end take place under his silence.

In furtherance of this, Kibaki is trying an old and obvious trick : the Statute Miscellaneous Amendments Act. This is an Act of Parliament within which it makes amendments to many other Acts of Parliament. It has such a bland name and has so little publicity, that unless one goes through its contents with a tooth comb, one would not know that within it, quietly, many laws are being amended removing constitutional and hard won checks on Presidential or Ministerial powers.

This latest such bill is the Statute Law Miscellaneous Amendments Bill, 2012, which following the bad tradition has slipped in a bad amendment. It is that once their terms are up, (which will be soon), President Kibaki will be able to reappoint the chiefs of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission unilaterally, without Parliament vetting the reappointments or appointments. Since the Commission will control hate speech during the election campaign and can bring criminal cases against violators of the law, this amendment will obviously assist those who will campaign for the ethnic outcome preferred by the President.

Such a process is exactly what Kibaki used two months before the 2007 elections. That year, he unilaterally appointed and re-appointed all his own choices as Election Commissioners in the Election Commission of Kenya (ECK) under Samuel Kivuitu, and refused to allow the political parties to nominate them as previously done. The result of Kibaki’s insistence on his own choices was the disastrous Election of 2007 and the Post- Election Violence which brought Kenya to its lowest point ever.

Now again in 2012, Kibaki and the new elite around him do not care about the nation’s safety, but only about the result they want again - that the same ethnic group is declared winner of the election. Therefore they want the National Cohesion Commission not to prosecute any hate speech from their preferred ethnic group and its candidate, but instead to curb its opponents by prosecutions. For that they need their own appointments, not Parliament’s. Hence the amendment. The amendment must be opposed. Kenya does not want a repeat of a failed-state election or PEV, 2007-8 style.

This time the elite around Kibaki is divided. This is because his actions continuously assist a candidate from only one part of that one ethnic group. Hence the complaints that he prefers a southern candidate and forgets the fact that, “the Kiambu fighters entered the Aberdares several months after our people from Fort Hall and Nyeri had already established themselves there.”(Mau Mau From Within Karari Njama & Donald L. Barnett (1966, 274)

By this amendment only months before the elections, Kibaki is admitting publicly that there is a group that intends to violate the hate speech prohibitions in the National Cohesion Act, and needs immunity to achieve the preferred outcome. Therefore the independence and impartiality of the Cohesion Commission has to be removed before the elections. It also makes clear such a compliant Commission will be used against the opponents of the preferred outcome.

A legacy is what an ancestor leaves to his descendants. Who does Kibaki consider as his descendants? Just now it appears these descendants are only some of the people of Kenya. If he genuinely believes that his descendants should be all the people of Kenya, then he must move away from this ethnic succession. Such a legacy has the dangerously close potential to break the nation, as in 2008. Kibaki must return to and inhabit the centre of Kenya instead of Central Kenya. He must not ride the matatu we once used to see, that said, “Centralising the nation.”


Anonymous said...

What Kenyans often rush to refer to infrastructual development is nothing but ETHNICIZED corruption. Ask yourselves who benefits from these contracts. Trnscentury was specifically formed to fleece Kenyans using state power. Look at RVR and others. The damage done by Kibaki will outdo Moi's primitive reign by miles. Only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I hate people saying the man is always miadvised. History shows otherwise. From ken ren fertiliser scandal when he was finance minister in early 70s to almost genocide in 2007. The man is a chief in thief.worst tribalism ever and belongstoicc

Anonymous said...

His pointman in megascandals is Amos Kimunya.Talk of grand regency,JKIA upgrade,lamu project.These are megascandals that have been given a blind eye.

Anonymous said...

I saw the title and I knew the pensioner must have posted this tired article from an equally clueless fellow. As elections approach, expect Taabu to sneak in tribal animosity to Kumekucha.
I beseech all Kenyans to beware of these old haggard fellows out to distabilize the nation.

Anonymous said...

Typical Kenyan mindset of living national lies. What Pheroze Nowrejee has written is not new but a catalogue of the TRUTH. So when Taabu publishes it no need to advance petty personal attacks. Instead refute the message with facts than being juvenile going hammer and tongs on the messenger.

The so-called Diaspora as no better than the villagers they left behind. Denying the obvious is utmost shamelessness.

What is is more tribal animosity than a TRIBAL PREZZO. Stop living the tribal lie and see the wart on your backside please.

Anonymous said...

5/18/12 @5:02 AM
My sentiments exactly. I hate to remind some of us that a good percentage of the so-called 'villagers left behind' (VLBs) are well informed, have become smarter in many ways and are more aware than their diasporan cousins with a warped complex would like to give them credit.

The villages are no longer what they used to be in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, or 200s, depending on when or how some of so-called "well informed" diasporans first left them in escape to Europe, North America, Australi and the Middle East in search of better lives.

Ever wonder why so many diasporans always end up scrambling to return back to their self-exiled economic hives in a matter of days or weeks rather than stay over for a little longer and enjoy whatever good Kenya (their one time homeland) has to offer, in the same manner it does offer or works out every year for many wazungu professionals, Indian and Middle Eastern business men and women?

There is a fair number of very intelligent Kenyans who once worked in places like the Silcon Valley (USA) et al and earned huge salaries at one time in their lives, but have now been laid off or discarded in the course of the last decade, yet very few of them have bothered to return home and exploit the virgin markets in Africa in the same way their former counterparts have done in places like India, Rwanda, Tanzania (of all places - go figure it out), Bostwana, South Africa, the Middle East and parts of Europe.

Is our typical midset to blame for all the wasted opportunities, crippling fear and tribal anxiety when it comes to change and venturing into different spheres in life as well as business?

We may never never know as long many remain in their diasporan comfort zones for ther next two or three decades.

Anonymous said...

...I saw the title and I knew the pensioner must have posted this tired article......

So you agree with the facts (TIRED)? Why the bile with Taabu then? Please grow up and show your mentle using the head and not frothing at the mouth at the sight of Taabu.

Manking conclusions from a title is the height of stupidity, are you?

Anonymous said...

Kibaki will end up turning out to be one of those former presidents who will be remembered for nothing else other than the main procurator for Post Election Violence of '08 and the consequent toxic ethnicity that has permeated through the whole country during his ten dark years in office.

Anonymous said...

Legacy! Legacy! What legacy? What legacy will be there to be talked about after Kibaki is gone? All Kibaki can aspire to do once he leaves office is to concentrate the last years of his life on construction of a major university, ultra modern hospital and a sports stadium as well as a well thought environmentally friendly indoor market for the common people of Nyeri. Otherwise, allow history to brutally judge his comestically enhanced tenure, 2002-2012/13*).

Mwarang'ethe said...

National Cohesion and Integration Commission is EQUAL to say National Commission of IDLERS, DUPES, FAKES, FOOLS and PARASITES who rob Wanjiku.

As such then, to have senior lawyers imagining that Commissions of IDLERS, DUPES, FAKES, FOOLS and PARASITES like Kibunja are the solution to the Kenyan mess is to engage in ILLUSIONS, DELUSIONS and CHILDISH FANTASIES.

In simple words, Taabu, tell the author that, it DOES not matter whether these IDLERS are chosen by Kibaki or the Parliament. In other words, this is a non - debate.

Anyway, we are off to enjoy:

Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heros for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

Anonymous said...

A Naja Pallida nor a Naja Nigricollis can never afford to agree on a venomous prosecution (spitting in the face or eyes) of its own kind, regardless of whether it's on the defensive or offensive.

And that's one of the reasons why the National Collusion and Integration of Cartels and Appointment (Employment Fixing), specializes in the old time political tradition that's better known as scratch (appoint) my (person/people) back and I will scratch (appoint) yours (person/people) in return.

And the only way Ali Baba can be guaranteed to function and survive in any institution or country for more than five decades (1963-2012) is by appointing his/her forty-plus trusted comrades in collusion at every level of operation.

The more things change? The more Ali Babas and their Forty trusted comrades remain in the same high profile positions.

LOL! One of my distant cousins has been busy trying so hard to be among the political crop for ambassadorial appointees after the coming general election.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of Kenyans out there who are busy jostling for the same gravy appointment, or trying to make it on the list of who-will-be-who in the next government where the winner will take it all home, unlike the current 'collusion' government where they have to share 50% of all appointments and everything in between.

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