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Misrule, Corruption and not Tribalism, will Destroy Kenya

We have always been told that Kenya’s problem is tribalism or negative ethnicity. The frequency with which we have heard this chorus makes it sound so true. It is not a truth.  Kenya does not suffer from negative ethnicity – at least ethnicity it is not the biggest plague that has befallen this nation of God – Kenya suffers from other things. Negative ethnicity is just what is manifest. Tribalism or negative ethnicity is what colonialists and subsequent wicked political elites, organized into cartels of criminals, have always used to further their selfish ends. Those ends are the real issues that plague Kenya. The kind of political degeneration we witness in this country has nothing or very little to do with negative ethnicity and tribalism.

Some people point at how Kenyans vote and exclaim behold this is the most tribalistic country on earth! It is a falsity. Go and observe how those from Wales and those from Scotland and those from Ireland vote. Why then is the UK not considered the most or at least one of the most – tribal country? If it is about tribal conflicts and wars; we have seen them all over the world, for instance, in Spain and in Belgium and in Canada and in Eastern Europe and many other parts of the world. These are not unique to Kenya or Africa for that matter. We cannot therefore conclude that Kenya’s only or biggest problem is tribalism and negative ethnicity just because we have had a handful of violent conflicts especially between the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities of this country. The Luo and Kikuyu community may have had a long running political rivalry but we have not seen them kill one another en masse. It is just ideological difference which should be allowed to thrive, after all, is that not what partisan politics is all about? What is wrong with the Luos and Kikuyus belonging to different political persuasions? That difference cannot destroy Kenya; it will only help Kenya grow democratically.

Kenya’s major problem is not tribalism, perhaps if it was; this country should have already disappeared like the former Yugoslavia. Kenya is not as ethnically polarized as many countries of this world. The sheer fact that Kenya is still here and that somehow there is relative peace (at least in the manner of absence of overt violence), even with all the social ills witnessed over the years, point at very high levels of ethnic tolerance in this country. I do not think Kenya is going to succumb to the social differences and ills crafted around tribes and ethnicities but surely this country may collapse under the weight of corruption and misrule.

The trouble with Kenya is corruption. The problem of Kenya is misrule, state capture, mismanagement, lack of or poor leadership, bad or / and lack of governance. These mafia who have taken this country hostage are political elites who are drawn from almost all major ethnic groups; they have run down the economy, looted public resources, mismanaged national resources, criminalized the state and continue to engage in state banditsm that has not only derailed formation of the nation but also one that threatens the very existence of this country. This group has organized themselves into cartels whose sole competition is crafted around how much public resources they can loot. Impunity is their other name because they have captured the state; they have taken hostage all the arms of government and they are toying with the people of Kenya. They steal, trade in ivory and animal products, peddle drugs, smuggle goods, rustle cattle, engage in organized trans-border crimes, commit war crimes and crimes against humanity, kill and engage in terrorism. They do all these and go untouched. They then run back to their so called communities and appeal to emotions through sensationalized slogans for tribal protection. But at the opportune moment, they kill and maim and rape the same members of their ethnic groups at will and for their own good.

The trouble with Kenya is not tribalism and negative ethnicity; the trouble with Kenya is this group of political elites organized into cartels and mafias, engaging in warlike activities that threaten to tear this country apart. The trouble with Kenya is the sheer lack of leadership to save this country from the jaws of these cartels and mafias. They have gang-raped our country and left it for death; they bask in the glory of their amassed wealth which they have stolen from the poor people of Kenya drawn from all tribes. This people, and not tribalism, will surely kill Kenya; the level of corruption witnessed in this country, and not so called negative ethnicity, will destroy Kenya.

Next time they tell you anything about tribalism and negative ethnicity, kindly remind them that we have two ethnic groups in Kenya – those who eat the meat and those who salivate. I am told that until such a time when the rich (who have obviously amassed their wealth through corrupt means) will have finished eating what belongs to the poor (millions of Kenyans from all ethnic communities in the republic), will the poor start eating the rich – who are the political elite (cartels and mafias) drawn from most if not all the tribes in this country.

Misrule, Corruption and not Tribalism, will Destroy Kenya Misrule, Corruption and not Tribalism, will Destroy Kenya Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on February 13, 2017 Rating: 5

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