Mr. Osewe, Why Is Clay Onyango Provoking You?
Mr. Okoth Osewe, mine is just a humble question. Although I am not a Luo, I am one Kenyan who finds your writing very interesting. One thing I would like to know is why Mr. Clay Onyango is provoking you without reason.
Clay has gone to KSB archive and lifted an old commentary you penned a year ago during election campaign (15th November 2007). The article questioned why Kikuyu chauvinists are afraid of Raila Odinga and it was written when in Kenya, a disease called “Railamania” had just erupted in Kenya.
With his “cut and paste” blog (because he lacks the power of analysis), he posted the old article at his blog in a way that suggested that it was you who just mailed it to him. This is because he did not indicate that the article was “lifted from KSB” and proceeded to impersonate you by making it look like you communicated and sent it to him as a “reaction”.
You have also sent me mail saying that you did not post the article. In the publishing world, this is unfair and could constitute a violation but that is not my point. In fact, the bait is so strong that if I had not read the article before, I could have been misled to think that it was fresh.
The rabid commentators at his blog appear to have swallowed the bait – that the article is fresh and has just been posted by you in response to Clay’s cutting and posting of information about your book on Tuesday.
In the lifted article, it was very clear that your reference to “Kikuyu chauvinists” who were afraid of Raila was a direct reference to “Kikuyu ruling class” and their supporters and not the masses of Kikuyu people. To quote the article, you wrote:
“If you ask me, the masses of Kikuyu workers, peasants, students and millions of unemployed Kikuyu youth who form the bulk of Wakikuyu should have nothing to fear because they are like millions of poor Kenyans suffering across the country under Kibaki”.
“It is the Kikuyu ruling class and their friends in business who are afraid of Raila. The problem with Kikuyu chauvinists spreading malice against Raila today is that they have deliberately refused to differentiate between the corrupt elite draining Kenya on the one hand and the poor Kikuyu masses on the other, the same poverty-stricken class that has nothing common with Kibaki and whose members are living side by side with other ethnic groups in slums across Nairobi and other regions”.
This is a very clear class analysis of the situation at that time and someone needs to be very stupid to suggest that you are attacking Kikuyu masses as “chauvinists”. In fact, some Kikuyus even voted for Raila because they did not agree with Kikuyu ruling class led by Kibaki. Why is Clay promoting mad-slinging at his blog?
I think Clay is being malicious. To lift an old story purporting it to be your reaction to a recent posting and then allowing it to be taken out of context by rabid dogs starved of stories to chew deserves a comment and it is good that KSB is now open. I want to pull punches.
I am a University student studying sociology (Mastering if you like) and I first came into contact with your articles when a fellow Swedish student lifted an article from your KSDA website and used it as reference in class. I am not holding brief for you. I am just raising my voice against what I think is “intellectual dishonesty” although this may be a bit advanced because I may be reacting to postings by lumpens.
You have just written a book on a sensitive and difficult subject and I think that the best people like Clay could have done (if they are educated enough) is to wait and read this book then spew their critiques for evaluation instead of engaging in cheap manipulations at his “cut and paste” blog. Kenyans have been asking why members of the community in Stockholm cannot engage in anything productive and you have thrown a big challenge in the ring that does not deserve distortions and manipulations.
I know you are very bad news at defending yourself but Kenyans too should make their voices heard because Clay has destroyed many lives in Stockholm. I rarely comment on these blogs but may be, I need to begin because I am getting upset and I will decide soon whether to get into the boxing ring if this is what it will take to lift the level of debate.
If you have published a book, you have to be calm and expect both positive and negative comments, both constructive and reactionary criticism. From a literary vista, I find your intervention very intrepid. There is a difference between being “literate” and being “educated”. It is the educated elite that casts the literate masses under the welter of metaphorical verbiage thereby conjuring illusions into terrific realities. I welcome your educated comments hoping for further exploratory expositions at KSB Forum on topical issues.