Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wanted: A Brave Man for some Brave Deeds

Kenya is looking for a brave man who can shake up things and do what is needed towards setting our nation on the right track towards a more just society. The problem with our current leaders is that they lack the bravery to take action and upset the current order of things. The reason is that they actually owe their existence to this order and must pay their due by maintaining status quo. Kibaki and Raila have shown their weaknesses when it comes to making these key decisions. Initially there was the dithering in implementing the Waki report. I am sure a whole can of worms might open once some important people are put on trial but we need to be brave enough to face what might happen. In my view, it is better to deal with this, even though it might swallow us, and put an end to that chapter once and for all.

One of the most ridiculous things I read this week was that the PSC on reforms passed over Koki Muli's name for the position of chairperson of the Interim Election body because the predecessor was from the same community as her. I am not saying she should have had the job but surely, can this be the justification to pass over someone for appointment if he/she is the best qualified? We need leaders who can make such brave yet simple choices!

Yesterday the UN guy released his report on extra-judicial police killings. In his report he recommended the sacking of the Police Commissioner and the AG. Again, a decision like that is going to be too much for Kibaki and yet this offers us a perfect chance to reform the police force and the judiciary. The current lot of leaders are too afraid to shake things up, and using the excuse of ethnicity to cover up their cowardice!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Why Are We Sanitizing Moi?

Is it just me or are we on a mission to clean-up Moi? I have noticed that the chap has once more become a feature on our screens, especially KTN and is all over preaching peace and reconcialition, telling us how to get out of the mess that he and his cronies created in the first place. To cap it all, the bugger was a keynote speaker in the "Kenya We Want" forum held recently. He had the powers to help create the Kenya we want for 24 years when he was at the helm. How can Moi of all the people tell us about the future (when he is not going to be there?)!

We talk about a culture of impunity but Kenynas are very quick to rehabilitate our bad men. I know that maybe our current lot are making Moi's stuff look like kids play but we should not forget the fact that the guy was dictator, freedoms that we got during his tenure was bought by blood. This country was looted dry, corruption became a way of life and we were managed by gluttons and murderers. We should not allow ourselves to forget these facts if we want to change this country, or else in the next election we shall be hailing the likes of Kiraitu and Ruto as our saviours. This might look farfetched now but in 2002 did we not cheer the likes of Saitoti, Ntimama and Kalonzo simply because they crossed over from the Moi project?

When you tune into your TV over the weekend, you will see Moi strutting his stuff in some village in the Rift Valley, a battery of journalists in his wake and Kenyans giving him their attention. I will tune in to Channel 5 and watch Tanzanian music.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Need To See Beyond The Chameleons!!!

I have realized that Kenyan politicians have perfected the art of changing like chameleons, and we Kenyans are gullible for it. It is very easy for our politicians to move from hero to zero to hero and back to zero again, with us cheering or jeering them loudly in the process. The same people who were quick to dismiss Musalia in 2002 were quick to cheer him in 2007 simply because he was now on the 'right' side. Likewise, Kenyans who had dismissed Uhuru as Nyayo's project were cheering him loudly when he teamed up with the likes of Raila during the referendum days, cheers that turned to jeers when he later declared support for Kibaki and said Kazi Iendelee. It has not been lost to me that some ODM fans that hated Karua for her guts during the electioneering period are now praising her for having the guts to stand up against PNU.

We know that our politicians will not be consistent but what prevents us from being consistent? The whole political thing is becoming like a wrestling soap opera, where our allegiance changes according to the changes in the script. And it is the media that plays out this sorry state to us, hoping to keep us hooked with political intrigues of changing alliances. This is really the reason the Sunday papers exist for (apart from reporting on weekend sports).

The only way I can get out of this bondage is by realising that the political class is really just the political class. fullstop. Recently I was in a forum where people tried to argue that Moi was a good president, corruption was limited during his tenure, ministers towed the line, Kenyans did not hack each other, tribalism was checked and he handed over power to peaceful, MPs did not increase their salaries obscenely and that there was a tolerated level of democracy and expression (I breathed easy when I realized that most of these contributors only developed political awareness after section 2A was repeled). I tried to imagine how those who had actually had their husbands or wifes or sons detained and killed during the Moi error for subscribing to alternative views would react to that. Or will they see what is happening today and say Moi was good?

That is our curse. We quickly forget our pain and in 2012, we are once again prepared to welcome those who caused us so much pain in the past simply because they have changed their colour. We need to see beyond the chameleon.