Monday, February 05, 2007

This Tribal Monster!

This is in response to .

As political campaigns heat up, the tribal chiefs and increasing the tempo of their drums as they try to awake the tribal monster. Anything and everything that happens is given a tribal twist. The in-thing is attributing crime and government control to the Kikuyu and to a certain extent to the Meru and Embu communities.

The article published by Public Eye made many allegations without giving any evidence to support them. For example, Public Eye alleged that promotions at the Kenya Police and international scholarships distributed based ones tribe. For one to make such allegations, he must also give us his source of information lest we dismiss his allegations as wild imagination.

The allegations that law enforcement is dominated by kikuyus may have no merit considering that the Police Commissioner Maj-Gen Hussein Ali is not a Kikuyu. Other senior police officers at Vigilance House including Senior Deputy Commissioners Lawrence Mwadime and David Kimaiyo, have never publicly identified themselves as Kikuyu. Other officers in the rank of Deputy Police Commissioner like Joel Biomdo, Gideon Mutua, Alice Kagunda, Christine Mutua, Edward Muchori, Mary Mwangangi, etc owe their ancestry to different parts of the country. People selling tribalism will ignore all these Kenyans and only focus on John Michuki as they seek to paint him as the image of the Police.

While I don’t rule out tribalism in the police force, I must remind you that what goes on the in the force is typical of Kenya. We are brought up knowing that you need somebody who knows somebody high-up to hook you with a job or a promotion. We have a police force where applicants bribe to be recruited. Focusing on the tribal aspect of it while ignoring the fact that corruption plays a big role in Kenya’s civil service is setting on the road to Rwanda.

Another wild allegation is that the judiciary is controlled by the Kikuyu. If the author took his time and surveyed all Court Clerks, Magistrates, and Judges; I bet that he would see a shade of all colors. The ethnic composition of our judiciary doesn’t in any way mean that ours is a clean machine. It is riddled with corruption. If you investigated a court in Machakos, you will find out that the clerks and the magistrates who are giving the masses a raw deal are predominantly of Kamba ancestry. That is the same in most parts of Kenya. Martha Karua –devil or angel- is in no way the defector judge or magistrate. Using her Kikuyuness to brand the judiciary a Kikuyu outfit is simply ignoring the real problems as you chase the tribal shadow.

We all have a right to decide what aspect of our ancestry we want to identify with. This right extends to George Saitoti. Napoleon Bonaparte (born Napoleone di Buonaparte) the French Emperor was never born French. Napoleon went on to conquer other countries in the name of France. Your Identity is your choice. We should let Saitoti enjoy his identity as a Maasai moran as much as his half Maasai brothers John Keen and Ole Ntimama.

Once again politicians and the media have pulled the stereotype that Kikuyus are genetically thieves. Public Eye was not left behind. That is why Public Eye said: “We are not surprised how thieves arrange with insiders in bank robbery from the same community to rob the nation.”

I am yet to understand why a Kenyan should make such an outrageous statement. Of what purpose is it to our nation? If the Public Eye team interviewed violent crime victims in the Gusii Higlands, it will be found out that a majority –if not all- were attacked by fluent Ekegusii speakers. These criminals have to date killed dozens of people in cold blood. We have heard of people being killed even after handing over all their money to these murderers. I am 100% sure that the Public Eye team will be red hot if one insinuated that Kisiis are cold killers. When will be start seeing crime as crime and criminals as criminals and not Taita or Ogiek?

Crime is an equal opportunity phenomenon. Perpetuators and victims of crime are as diverse as Kenya is. Attributing crime to one community is irresponsible and prejudicial. Those seeking to milk publicity out of stereotyping others should be condemned with the contempt that they deserve.

ODM is making a big blunder by making this a Kikuyu vs. Kenya campaign. ODM will rather see Mt. Kenya Mafia than see the crime that is corruption. Why? If ODM's campaign platform was to be on corruption in Government, very few of the luminaries will have the credibility to promise us a corruption free administration.

ODM chairman Henry Kosgey will not talk about efficient running of parastatals because we know what he did to Kenya National Assurance and the 4th all African games. His friend Mutula Kilonzo will have no credible words on rule of law because we know a lot about his role in the Goldenberg among many other looting expeditions. For sure Raila Odinga will be the offside if he promised to hold the corrupt individuals accountable after saying in public that he protected Moi from prosecution and handed him the government-owned Kabarnet Gardens. That is why they will rather tell Kenyans to kick the Kikuyu out because the Kikuyu are eating alone.

We need to see beyond the tribal euphoria that our politicians are serving. Mama Mboga in Nyeri is in a no better state than Mama Mboga in Mombasa. Citizens in Funyula and not having 3 meals a day just because their own in a VP. The roads in Nyaribari haven't been transformed into Turnpikes and Autobahns just because their own is minister for roads. On the contrary, the once tarmaked Kisii Kilgoris road that traverses Nyaribari is worse than a cattle track.

The above is reason why Kenyans should be cautious of the they-are-eating-alone and it-is-our-time-to-eat notion. In deed they are eating alone. But the they is no kikuyus or Luhyas. The they is social political and economic class where the Kibakis, Nyachaes, Odingas, Kenyattas etc belong. It is this cabal that is using us as bargaining chips to guarantee them a lifetime of eating. What is in it for you and I? Absolutely nothing!

We need to turn back because we are walking down a dangerous route. Tribalism has no place in modern Kenya. Ask the Baringoans living in abject poverty as the Moi and his sons lord over them.

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