Reasons Why Kenyans Should Be Mourning on Madaraka Day

Fifty two years after

Fifty two years after “self rule” our engineers cannot manufacture a needle

Today, 1st June, Kenyans are supposed to be celebrating Madaraka day, the day when Kenya attained “self-rule” in 1963 ahead of 12th December (Jamhuri day) when the country attained “full independence” from British colonialists. However, for Kenyans who have keenly been watching the country being ravaged by different ethnic ruling classes in the last 52 years, the mention of a “celebration” (be it Madaraka or Jamhuri) can be repugnant.

Truly, conscious Kenyans have every reason to suffer psychological set-backs on Madaraka day, a period when the Nation ought to be in a somber and not a celebratory mood. This is because the country is bleeding and blood is being sucked by well-known political vampires. On the day when the country attained “self-rule”, the following is a summary of reasons why 40 million Kenyans ought to be shedding tears and not popping Champaign.

Perpetual landlessness
Any Kenyan who understands the country’s history knows that the sole reason why the struggle for independence was ignited was because the British colonialists had grabbed land in Kenya and converted citizens into slaves to work on plantations. Fifty two years after self-rule, more than 15 million Kenyans are landless. At the same time, siblings of British colonial masters hold vast pieces of land still called “the white highlands” while land grabbing by members of the thieving ruling class reached “epidemic proportions” decades ago. It is an open secret that great grand-children of British colonialists own vast game reserves together with Five Star hotels erected “deep inside the jungle” from where they control the tourist industry without taxation – thanks to high level corruption! With the prospect of remaining landless from birth to death, millions of Kenyans are more on the side of “self-damnation” than “self-rule” and this is one big reason why Madaraka day should be welcomed with lugubrious faces.

Record 10 million Kenyans unemployed
Kenya has a Labour force of approximately 20 million (2009). At the arrival of the 52nd Madaraka day, more than 10 million able-bodied Kenyans are out of work with millions of frustrated youths permanently languishing in absolute poverty. The ravaged and jobless youths have witnessed every promise of “half a million jobs per year” at every electioneering period evaporate to be replaced with fresh but re-packaged promised of the “Kazi kwa Vijana” type. For these youths, whose lives are constantly being wasted before their very eyes, crime has become a way of life. Under the circumstances, the whole idea of celebrating Madaraka day is anathema especially for those who have understood that the current rotten political system presided over by political vultures is a system that only works for the wealthy thieves and their allies.

Kenya has a population of 42 million out of which 8 million have nowhere they call “home”. Another 6 million live in dilapidated structures both in the rural and urban areas. In the cities, millions of Kenyans have been condemned to life in the slums because the “government” has been unable to invest in housing across the country due to misplaced priorities. For the millions of homeless Kenyans, celebrating Madaraka could just as well go missing on the menu.

Tribalism in government
When Kenya attained “self-rule” on 1st June 1963, the assumption was that the “divide and rule” tactic employed by British colonialists would be replaced by a new concept of “National unity”. Fifty two years after “self-rule”, the Jomo Kenyatta, arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta’s misrule of the country have cumulatively succeeded in dividing Kenyans along ethnic lines more than the British. Today, very few Kenyans believe that “National unity” is attainable under the current circumstances because the ideological bankruptcy of existing political parties has welded them to both tribalism and nepotism. The consequence is that top positions in every new government that comes to power is dominated by members of the President’s ethnic group. Fifty two years after “self-rule”, Kenya could be heading for civil war instead of greater civilization because the level of tribalism in government has risen to a proportion that has become unacceptable to the marginalized groups. Should Kenyans be celebrating or preparing to get even?

Election rigging
Jomo Kenyatta ruled Kenya for 15 years before former Dictator Moi took over and ran down the country with a corrupt and murderous clique for 24 years. After a New Constitution was constructed to limit Presidential term to 10 years, Kenyans woke up in 2007 to a new style of election rigging by the Kikuyu ruling class seeking to protect vested political interests and stolen wealth. The country bled and 1,500 lives were lost. In 2013, election rigging was further extended to enable the Kikuyu ruling class to seize power and maintain the “status quo”. Fifty two years after “self-rule”, and even with the promulgation of a New Constitution, the thieving ruling class is incapable of conducting a free and fair election so what is it that Kenyans are celebrating under the banner of “self-rule”?

Rampant corruption
In every democratic country, the appreciation of the rulers by the ruled is seldom pegged on the level at which the “National cake” is divided and accessed among the population. Kenya is in a very precarious situation because from experience, it is obvious that the capitalist ruling class will never be able to fight corruption among its members. The problem is that as the National cake continues to be stolen and eaten in private repeatedly by a blood-sucking ruling class in the face of mass starvation, poverty and suffering of the population, the idea of revolution is slowly beginning to take shape in the minds of the exploited majority.

Corruption in past and present governments has put Kenya in an “explosive mode” and the only reason why a revolution has not broken out (aka Kenyan spring) is because there is still no revolutionary Movement or Party to explain what is to be done and to lead the revolution from within. Kenyans should therefore, not be celebrating but contemplating a “revolutionary solution” that will send the capitalist ruling class packing for good. Corruption is part of the capitalist system and blood suckers running the system will never end corruption. This explains why from Jomo to Moi, Kibaki to Uhuru, corruption is still with us. It is time to enter into deep mourning and any Kenyan celebrating Madaraka day under the current state of affairs is either benefiting from the system, naïve or confused.

Terrorism and political assassinations
If Kenyans were to celebrate on June 1st, it should be because millions are now conscious enough to understand that the country is fighting a proxy war “against terrorism” in Somalia with the United States stocking the fires from behind. In this useless war, the country has had to pay heavily on two fronts – massacres by Al Shabbab and political assassinations by the government. Al Shabbab has attacked us, not once or twice but as a matter of routine. Baragoi (40 policemen dead and bodies left to rot in the valleys), Westgate (67 dead), Mpeketoni (65 dead), Kwale (60 dead), Garissa University (148 dead) among other insecurity related deaths especially in Rift Valley and North Eastern provinces.

Fifty two years after “self-rule”, Kenyans cannot defend themselves against a rag tag militia called Al Shabbab. Instead of training idle unemployed youths in the counties and arming them to keep Al Shabbab at bay, the government has consistently been using the excuse of terrorism to clandestinely implement an Israeli-American agenda of using political assassination to eliminate Islamic clerics as a way of curbing Islamic fundamentalism in Kenya. Has any Kenyan ever wondered why no single Commission has ever been set up to investigate the more than 20 assassinations in Mombasa alone? Should Kenyans be celebrating or asking serious questions?

Foreign control of national economy
To establish who is in control of a country’s economy, one has to examine the ownership of both companies active in the country’s Stock Exchange and top Banks. Total Kenya, American Tobacco, Crown Paints, Nation Media Group, Limuru Tea, Marshal East Africa, Williamson Tea, Pan African Insurance, Barclays Bank, CFC Stanbic, British American Investments, Standard Chattered Bank, Diamond Trust Bank and Kenya Airways (owned by the Dutch) are just a few names that could help underline the point at the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

The manufacturing industry, Import and Export industry, Tourism industry, Construction industry, Mining, Telecommunication, Horticulture (including Flower industry), Banking, Domestic Trade, Distribution Networks and other key industries/sectors are all on the hands of foreign companies/allies milking Kenya dry.

Fifty two years after “self-rule”, Kenya is economically being ruled by foreigners under an arrangement called neo-colonialism with profits realized ending up in western capitals. The country’s engineers cannot manufacture a needle while we import pencils from the United States. Surely, should Kenyans be celebrating or trying to manufacture our first needle? There is no single Kenyan who can effectively advice the President so former British Prime Minister, Tonny Blair, has been brought in to do the job and the President smiled happily as he shook hands with his advisor before the Media! That is where we are, 52 years after “self-rule!”

Collapsed social services
Whether it is the health care system or the education system, the language is the same. Government institutions together with social services have collapsed in Kenya making life much more difficult compared to the days of colonialism. The principle is the same – nothing works!

Fifty two years after “self-rule”, the best hospitals in Kenya include the Nairobi Hospital, Aga Khan, Mater Misericordiae, MP Shah, Bangla Wash, Chodhri Manji dispensary and a host of other health institutions, clinics, medical labs and X-Ray centers on private hands. These private health institutions are for the rich only.

Likewise, some of the best performing schools are private owned. Public transport is firmly on private hands, just like the oil industry which is controlled by mafia cartels. Even supply of basic consumer commodities such as maize and sugar are on private hands. The government has allowed illegal import of sugar to kill the sugar industry. Mitumba (second hand clothes) trade has totally liquidated the local textile industry.  In 1963, Kenya was drug free but fifty two years later, the country is one of the key drug trafficking centers in the world. Some of our politicians (who are known drug traffickers) sit in The Senate where they remain untouchables!

The politics of privatization under capitalism has destroyed the country with the government having no significant role to play in the running and management of social services. Under the circumstances, where is the “self-rule” we ought to be celebrating on Madaraka day?

Should we not be mourning?
It is true that Kenya attained self-rule but we can’t finance the National budget! The government has to ask the West for help to finance the deficit! We promulgated a new Constitution but after being starved of cash for the ruling class to eat, devolution, a key component of the Constitution, is flopping. MCAs are constantly at war in a perpetual struggle for power. County governments have become the new centers of corruption because while the Constitution is new, the system on which it rests on is rotten.

We have top engineers with PhDs at our universities but when we want to construct a bridge, a road or a railway line, we have to go to China to seek “experts”. Despite the high unemployment, we allow the Chinese to come with their manual workers who fornicate with our women to leave behind Kenyans with Chinese eyes, broken virginities and collapsed marriages. We attained self-rule but 50 years later, we have never learnt how to print our money. Should we not be mourning on Madaraka Day instead of celebrating?

Okoth Osewe
Secretary General
Kenya Red Alliance (KRA)


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