Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tribal alliance talk sets the stage for the next conflict

Sunday Nation 18 October 2009

A new furore has been unleashed on unsuspecting Kenyans following Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s call for an alliance between himself, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Minister for Agriculture William Ruto.

The VP’s remarks came only a few weeks after some Rift Valley politicians and their Central Province counterparts had floated the idea of an alliance between Ruto and Kenyatta, touted as the ‘‘KK’’ alliance, ostensibly bringing together the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin communities.

Kalonzo’s new alliance has already been christened ‘‘KKK’’ to bring on board the VP’s Kamba community from Eastern Province.

What this alliance talk illustrates is the peculiarly Kenyan fatuous leap of logic that misrepresents the political dreams and aspirations of individuals as the consensual positions of entire communities.

It also demonstrates the state of danger any Kenyan living in a cosmopolitan area faces every time some misguided politician opens his mouth and purports to speak for his tribe.

If they last until the next General Election, these KK and KKK alliances will become the nexus around which the next ethno-political war will be fought in this country, and the main victims will definitely be ordinary citizens from these and other communities around the country.

Going by reports of rearming of ethnic militias, it is clear that the next conflict has the potential to completely destroy Kenya as we know it today. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, the war after the next will be fought with sticks and stones!

All our politicians are keenly aware of the effects of their political posturing especially in the poisoned political climate that has existed since late 2007.

In the light of this, Kalonzo’s ethnic posturing exposes him and his ilk as nothing more than wolves in sheepskin balking at nothing in their quest to rend the fragile fabric of our nation for their own nefarious ends.

Further, talk of selective tribal alliances based on personal friendships only illustrates clearly how far off course we have slid as a nation in our search for identity in the community of nations.

There is a manifest absence of a sense of history among our leaders as well as among their most vociferous supporters.

It is, therefore, right and proper for every clear-minded patriot to keep reminding our wayward ‘‘leaders’’ that some of the things they say and do are inimical to the existence of a united prosperous country.

However, the hullaballoo raised by the politicians opposed either to the idea of a KKK alliance or to the VP’s campaign talk this far from a General Election is duplicitous, to say the least. Many of the politicians accusing the VP of balkanising the country are not really sincere in their sentiment.

Recent history will remind us of the major role many of them played in the intense ethnicisation of any issue during the campaigns for the last General Election.

Many historians will eventually agree that the fighting following the 2007 General Election was not caused to a large extent by ‘‘stolen elections’’ but by politicians who have since independence framed every major national issue as a matter of one tribe (or collection of tribes) against the rest.

Indeed at the height of the post-election violence last year there was even talk of isolating Central Kenya into some sort of landlocked country akin to Lesotho, or even of secession of other parts of the country to protest at dictatorship by ‘‘one tribe’’.

The rapprochement between these three individuals should serve as a lesson to ordinary Kenyans who are still suffering the after-effects of a prolonged drought as well as the consequences of the ethno-political flare-ups of December 2007 to February 2008.

If we needed any further evidence of the depravity resident in the souls of our so-called leaders, we need not look any further than what is happening on the political scene.

The National Accord signed last year between the two principals was not an end in itself.

It was, as has been repeatedly pointed out by various commentators, a ceasefire to allow for far-reaching reforms in the architecture of the state.

After Kofi Annan’s recent visit to the country to assess progress on achieving the agenda items comprising the Accord, there is near unanimity that progress is either too slow or non-existent as far as important institutional reforms are concerned.

Instead of focusing on ways of speeding up these reforms and paving the way for a new Kenya, where the events of the recent past will become just a painful memory, these ‘‘leaders’’ are busy laying the groundwork for the next conflagration.

In the interests of the future generations that would like to enjoy a more peaceful existence, these and other tribal demagogues must be stopped before they destroy the little pride left in being Kenyan!

Dr Lukoye Atwoli is a consultant psychiatrist and lecturer, Moi University School of Medicine.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Say something about this post!