Arise Oh Combatants of the Third Liberation!
It took a brutal civil war in the United States to resolve the issue
I no longer wish to add my voice to the celebratory din of my fellow citizens, as they praise the advent of the second republic and her great constitution. One year of observing what the omens are, is enough to precipitate a cold feeling of disbelief and death in my heart. And I think I have the healthy pessimism of a realist.
This new constitution wont and can not be implemented within the present constellation of forces. It is dead on arrival, still born, the few patchworks of positive spin like the CJ not withstanding. Institutionally there is no change. For me this means I have to look at the GCG and her apparatchiks the way I looked at Moi and his KANU order. A historical aberration which must be fought, defeated and sent packing.
(In this essay, for reasons of palatability, I will leave out the thought which categorizes a constitution [and the legal order] as the institutionalization of existing property relations.)
What really motivates me so harshly, is my understanding of the role of corruption in national underdevelopment. Far from the level of productive forces [labour skills & higher technical expertise & managerial prowess etc], I think the real determinant has become corruption and her negation of meaninGful investment: the inability of Kenyans to have any project executed to technical specifications because of theft and graft and lack of professional honour. Bridges will collapse, buildings will collapse, light transformers wil be installed in heavy voltage lines, industrial products will not meet the technical standard (such that nails, pangas and makasis will crumble in fundi’s hands) and drainage systems will become dams –because the engineers forgot the laws of gravity! And the rot infests everywhere: even certificates and diplomas, Phd degrees, will be issued without the necessary standard, but because of other considerations, like bribery cash. This is why a foreign degree carries such weight in Kenya (even if it is only from a football college in America where brain-damaged blacks from the ghettos pretend to be literate!)
This general malaise of standards, means Citizens look at each other and see just another swindler. Whether it is a doctor, a lawyer, a mkokoteni pusher, a wife or a husband, the common denominator is, it is safe to consider him/her, a conman. (The doc steals goodies from the public hospital and sells them privately; the lawyer sells you to the other side if they pay him more; and over spouses my lips are sealed). That is, the moral fabric of the nation is broken, is re-written by the kind of political system available, which has debased common decency and reduced elementary human values like honesty to stupidity.
A collapsed moral order must be a collapsed political order.
I am therefore certain, that given this prevailing moral disorder, Kenya is tethered to a hole she can not climb out of. Mass poverty and underdevelopment; a violent underclass kept in check by a murderous law enforcement agency hiring themselves to the thieving elite. #The police brutality and liquidation is necessary to keep hoardes of urban and rural lumpen in check. You can not police such desperate destitution by reading miranda rights at every corner. It is total repression, state terror. Or anarchy.
Now, I have made a list of the mega corruption scandals in the last 5 years. And tried to follow up what has been done by the so called relevant authorities to follow them up. The trail grows invariably cold after the initial media circus. The police labs, the submarine, ID printings, currency printings… ardhi house.
The tendering system? that is another pungent can of worms! And whenever you talk to Kenyans in the know, they smile and say those are just the ones that made it to the media. There is more, much more that you have never heard of! I think they are right. This is the way it was under the old constitution, and there is no goodwill under the new to expect a significant headway.
This board is replete with many examples of mega scams [KenGen, Co-Op bank, Mombasa port, Oil blocks, Bursaries, Repatriated cash, Forex] … one more audacious than the other, and the latest one is this National Health Insurance rip-off. –Fictitious clinics, formed and registered after the tender is awarded! No capacity on the ground, while already existing health institutions, like Russia which is to serve Maseno University, are called Mortuaries by the wananchi. And this one is particularly painful because it is under the watch of two great Luo professors, Nyong’o and Muga, who belong to the progressive wing of Kenyan politics! If this is what the progressive wing of your country’s politicians let happen under their watch, men boasting the highest academic credentials, and coming from one of the most health challenged areas of the republic and therefore know the score of disfunctional medicare, then what do retrogressives look like on the other side?
I therefore after careful consideration, withdraw the benefit of doubt I have been habouring in my heart, seeing a window of opportunity with the promulgation last year. Now I consider that false hope. I will be lobbying for the institutionalization of the death penalty only for corrupt executives. Street robbers and suspected terrorists are of course already summarily executed daily by the ‘kwekwe’ look alike squads.
IMPLEMENTATION BY SLOW MOTION:
A constitution in itself is just a document. Without implementation it is a dead thing even as people sing about it. Democracy as a concept has been around for 3000 years! but you will be hard pressed to find it in practice. 100 years after all men are born free was promulgated in the American constitution, blacks were still slaves. It took a brutal civil war to resolve the issue, and even after that civil war, as recent as 50 years ago, blacks could not vote in the South. So I look at the new constitution and think: what a wonderful document! just like the 1963 one from Lancaster.
But, do we implement it, even if the price is civil strife or not?
I think that document will prevent Uhuru Kenyatta from running, but his classmates will do everything to protect him. So, what gives? Methinks the whole political class, one way or another.