We claim to hope for better days for our nation. We send peace messages and sing songs to show patriotism. We stand ‘together as one’. We plan on ending corruption and are busy fighting tribalism. We say it is the previous generation that has brought us the problems… it is they who divided us into tribal affiliations. It is they who are corrupt. It is they who messed up this beautiful country. Blah blah. We are so blinded I say.
The last couple of weeks, I have seen how ill-advised and blinded we truly are. I have witnessed how self-regarding and hard-hearted we are. How ready we are to pursue our own desires instead of the right things. Politics is our biggest drawback as a nation. We’ve made politics the conclusive factor. It is politicians who run our lives. It is they who manage our education, our social welfare, our economy, our future.
Moi University is fresh from elections. And the so called 28th Council or whatever has been elected. But what has it cost us? What have these puppets you’ve elected caused us? What has this mini election brought about? Enmity. Tribal affiliations. The election has brought about a polarised school. You can say I’m overdoing it. I’m lying? Well what of the fight on Thursday? Student turning against student and hurling stones? In the name of a fellow student? We’ve made politics something so high and have called stupid people, people who can’t think for themselves, our leaders. Are they our leaders? What qualifies them to be our leaders? What vetting or what realisations have they so brought us that we can dare stone each other in their name? CORD, JUBILEE? Are they, really?
I was vexed today when I heard that the race was a JUBILEE CORD affair. So the rot of national politics has found its way into the heads of students? Students whom we expect to be the pillars of this nation in future? Students whom we want to take up the economy? Nazi mbovu harabu ya nzima. A bad coconut spoils the good ones. It is a rot. From the top to the bottom. And it is sad seeing fellows I school with joining in. But who is to blame? Seriously who is to blame?
How do we want to build a nation free from tribalism? How do we want to build a nation free from ethnic violence when even a university can’t hold elections without students aligning themselves into tribal alliances?
And then someone gladly, and boldly, texts me “Najua umebambika coz mtu wenu alichukua!” I will slap you next time you associate politics with my name. I am Otieno not by my choice. Or did any one choose to be Kikuyu, Maasai, Kalenjin, Luo? I was born half Luo, half Kikuyu not by my choice but by destiny. My name should not be the basis of my political affiliations. My name should not be the end of my thinking. My tribe should never determine my decisions. That is the shallowest form of thinking I’ve witnessed on university students. People who’ve risen through education levels. From the close to 1 Million joining Class One to the about 40,000 joining Public Universities. Did you know University students in Kenya are the 0.04% crème de la crème of our society? And now if they behave like a bunch of uncivilised mediocrities, what do we expect of the rest? What do we expect of Kenya when the so called ‘best of the best’ are dumber than nursery and primary kids? When the people expected to take the mantle of our society and change the future are no better than the current leaders we have? In fact, they’re more senseless. Even kids are better.
Now the elections are over and they say, “Let’s forget the past and build the future”. Pretty much what national politicians say? We forget the past so that it haunts us in future? We forget that we’re still so far behind? That we still have that stupid mentality of he/she is of my tribe and the rest aren’t? We forget that we are still ready to pick up stones and fight fellow classmates? To the extent of stampedes, people losing their teeth, breaking of bones? We forget that we are gearing up to declaring tribalism a national disaster? Till when will senseless politics determine our choices? Yet this is not, and has not, been an issue with developed nations. It is the injudicious us, who instead of using our diversities as our strengths have decided to further separate ourselves. Yet, evidently, no tribe in Kenya can survive without the other.
Politicians are puppets. I was actually shocked that most of the people who ran for various elective positions in Moi University have but been sponsored by various lecturers, business people in the area and even the outgoing leadership. This is the ‘new’ leadership you claim to have fought for? The lecturers want support as deans and whatever. The business men want to keep their business premises around the university. The outgoing leadership wants to secure their business projects. It is a cycle year in year out and you’re there happily expecting change. They’ll make unchanging promises annually. And you’ll stupidly fight. And it will so escalate to national politics. And Kenya will remain undeveloped since we’ve decided to politicise everything. Nothing can run smoothly without politics. These people we trust don’t work for us. They represent people who tell them what to do.
How I wish we could quit all forms of baseless arguments and focus on issue-based and solution-targeted discussions. So that we can quit politics and let all these foundations we’ve built up over time that now determine our food and security crumble into nothing. In such a manner that in the future everyone can access similar opportunities from wherever not based on where they come from, not based on their tribes but based on the content of their character. Samaki mkunje angali mbichi. We can avoid the future we’re headed to if we change direction now.