By Viscount Francis K’Owuor,
November 18th, 2017,
Inspiration; ” Democracy concerns itself not with the annihilation of opponents but the peaceful resolution of conflicts. It rejoices not at the supplanting of an enemy, but at the triumph of ideals” – Anonymous
Unity is a good thing when it is about the mobilization of human and material resources towards a socioeconomic program or project. But it can turn out to be harmful and dangerous when it is driven by social stereotypes, prejudice, and vendettas against others, which unfortunately is the case of tribal unity in Kenya.
Currently, the Kikuyu community seems to be united around corruption, hate mongering and exclusion, by being steadfast behind the Jubilee administration. Any politician that does not play according to the rules by paying homage to Uhuru Kenyatta is seen as a traitor. That is why during the August 8 General Election, the likes of Peter Kenneth, Isaac Mwaura, and Martha Karua had to troop back to Jubilee to be acceptable to their people. Additionally, Human Rights activists from the Kikuyu community such as Maina Kiai, John Githongo and Ndungu Wainaina who speak about government excesses are seen as sellouts.
On the other hand, the Luo community seems to be united around hooliganism, violence, hate mongering and national disintegration ( as is depicted in the secession debate ). That is why the likes of Babu Owino have become heroes overnight. Accordingly, you are seen as a staunch supporter of Raila Odinga if you praise gangs who come out during demonstrations to cause mayhem. NASA has found an informal lobby outfit called the National Resistance Movement whose activities have been characterized by looting, violence and other acts of hooliganism. The outfit so far seems to have drawn its membership only from the Luo community. Speaking against it is tantamount to disloyalty.
If other tribes were to follow the examples of the Kikuyu and the Luo and get to unite along any vice then that would be the end of Kenya. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin have been brought together by a marriage of convenience. This has frozen tensions that traditionally existed between the two communities. The marriage was conceived out of mutual insecurity. The problem will arise when one partner will begin to feel more politically secure owing to entrenchment in power.
The Luhya is currently divided as to which side between the Luo and the Kikuyu to fully align. They have the numbers and could have forged a third force, but they are too divided and ideologically impoverished to cobble together a Synthesis between the dialectically opposed Kikuyu and Luo political orientation.
The striking difference between Kikuyu and Luo leadership lies in their orientation.
The Kikuyu leadership is orientated towards economics. Politics is accordingly fashioned to pursue and fulfill economic goals. Any political program, brand or strategy that fails to comply or fit into the economic pattern is immediately discarded. That is why the Kikuyu have no problems with looters, so long as it is part of the design to promote entrepreneurship and ‘community owned’ investments.
Kikuyu politicians including Uhuru are puppets of Kikuyu tycoons.
Luo leadership, on the other hand, is orientated purely on politics for politics’ sake. It pursues no other goal apart from heroism. So long as you are politically correct you will be a source of authority and power. The ultimate power and authority in the Luo community are Raila. Accordingly, all social structures have been broken down, including the church, and the Luo listen to no one outside the political class.
All these two orientations are extreme models which if allowed to continue will catalyze Kenya’s apocalypse. Balance is a virtue, both in individual and collective life. A different crop of leaders is therefore critically needed to restore relations between communities and to jumpstart nation building.
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