Rejoinder By Muigai To Messers Keter And Munene

Sirs; Both of you do have very valid points and the arguments presented are indeed thought provoking. However, there is an issue that both of you seem to be circumventing.

What has an election rigging got to do with the small man named Kamau, Otieno, Kipketer, or Mwachongi? Can any of you and anyone for that matter explain how the deaths of all Kenyans in the post elections period has affected the current administration in office? I do understand the frustration and the sheer anger at a government that treads on its electorate. Every Kenyan has experienced oppression regardless of ethnicity. In my opinion the response from the so called native peoples of Rift Valley and Nyanza had nothing to do with disaffection of the Kibaki administration.

If this anger was indeed caused and provoked by the Kibaki administration, how many government institutions and installations suffered the people’s wrath? In many countries, when citizens are angered by events attributed to the governing administration of the day, the pattern has always been there for all to see. We all saw the events as they unfolded at Tiananmen Square in China and, most recently, in Burma where dictatorial administrations were challenged by the electorate. Remember that even dictators have their supporters, even in the examples given.

This did not diminish the zeal of those opposed to the regimes. Kenya was at such a crossroad. Why then did people turn on each other and begin slashing, maiming, burning and raping all in the name of protest? What was the difference this time round? Why was Kibaki seen to exist, if it was indeed Kibaki that was “Shetani”, in other individuals just because they belong to the same ethnic community? What was the catalyst that ignited the burning embers of tribal strife?

I put it to you, the answer lies in the way the concept of Majimbo was presented. ODM was the only party that presented Majimbo as one of its major platforms in the election. According to ODM party leaders from areas that bore the brunt of ethnic violence, Majimboism means “kila mtu arudi kwao”. This, in essence, means that anyone who was not a native of a particular region would have to leave for their “ancestral region”. Basically people would pack and go away leaving behind what they know to be home with just the clothes on their backs.

Years of toil brought to naught just because they belong to a different ethnic community. Some ODM leaders would have Kenyans discriminate and “cleanse” their communities using ethnicity as the yardstick. When will this then translate to religion, skin color or hair texture? How does a political leader, be it at national or regional level, defend and attest to this thinly veiled blueprint to ethnic cleansing? It is purely diabolical, unethical and has no place in civilized society. Is it not the sworn duty of any leader to represent the people of his country and community regardless of race (read tribe), creed or color? Political leadership based on discrimination of any kind often has a boomerang effect, and once this door is opened there is no saying where it all ends.

Majimbo has its advantages and disadvantages just like anything else. Moreover since government policies put forth since 1963 by past administrations have resulted in glaring development discrepancies in most provinces of Kenya, save Central and Nairobi, why shouldn’t Majimboism be the way forward?

This is the reasoning of any sane Kenyan who has witnessed the Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki administrations. Correct me if I’m wrong gentlemen, but it is to my understanding that Majimboism focuses entirely on regional independence both at the economic and political level in retrospect from centrally administered governance thereby giving the local populace the power and the ability to control their own destiny. This is the Majimboism I know as an ideology. The one some Kenyans are currently fighting for and about is one that I personally do not recognize nor want to be associated with.

Many arguments have been presented blaming the current levels of poverty and land ownership as the culprits in the events leading up to the post election killing fields of Kenya. I would equate such an argument with one such as, “Kenyans went on a killing spree because of high temperatures in the country”. The common Kenyan man has never contributed to government policy. Yes they vote politicians in, but that is where their political involvement ends.

There are, however, legislators both in the current administration and in opposition that have been members of successive government administrations. Whilst in power, they were privy and gave approval to policies that have resulted in the serfdom of the Kenyan people. Many of them are crying wolf and thumping their chests at the “horror” of rigging. They have lost millions invested in winning the elections and cannot abide with the thought that their place by the table of Kenya where they would “eat” to their fill has been taken by another person or evaporated. Where does Mwanainchi fit in this picture?

The truth of the matter is that Kenyans who both perpetuate and are victims of the atrocities that have been witnessed have much in common, irrespective of ethnicity and location in the country. But sadly, Kenyans are held ignorant of this fact by the village politics of tribe. This ignorance has been exploited by successive administrations, including the current one while the Opposition leaders are undoubtedly cut from the same cloth. They have deliberately exploited this channel of ignorance to fan the flames of ethnic hatred and the rest is history. Many live in camps today without basic necessities whilst the leaders they voted for play power games.

At this point some may want to label and dismiss me as a PNU sympathizer. Far from it, I tell you. My position is that it is just another politically and morally corrupt party bent on keeping the status quo. We have seen these parties and recognize them for what they are. They serve no other purpose other than to ride on the backs of Mwanainchi, feeding on their blood.

In ending, I wish to quote one of the founding fathers of the Kenyan nation Oginga Odinga:
It is “Not Yet Uhuru” in Kenya.

Milton Muigai