By Koigi wa Wamwere
The survival and moral being of Kenya as a nation is at stake from serious problems. Negative ethnicity and corruption threaten Kenya at the moment. It might sound repetitive, boring, and irritating saying this. Yet, patriots must stand up to expose and fight those problems until they eradicate them.
After all, “a homestead is conquered when owners lose vigilance and put their shields on roof tops.”
Yet, several things tell us that instead of Kenyans fighting negative ethnicity, most are embracing it.
We are happiest when living together in harmony and love. However, Kenyans are more attracted to hate, inter-ethnic conflict and war hypnotized by negative ethnicity.
Like a garden of flowers of different colors, Kenya should derive beauty and love from ethnic diversity. Instead, ethnic diversity has become a curse and a source of hate, conflict, division, and war. This is similar to some resources such as oil that have become a curse instead of a blessing to countries like Kenya.
Many Kenyans embrace negative ethnicity
Some Kenyans diagnose negative ethnicity as a disease suffered by most. Shockingly, the sick accuse those analysts of causing and giving negative ethnicity to the country. They would rather the scourge devour the country quietly.
Some even support ethnic conflict as a source of strength to communities. Others argue ethnic hate is inherent in negative ethnicity, inevitable and ordained divinely by ethnic diversity. Therefore, instead of fighting negative ethnicity, many embrace it as an ally against other communities.
Indeed, with the collapse of nationalism, many adherents and disciples of negative ethnicity commit themselves to it as their only source of security.
With Kenya more or less dead, most Kenyans do not live in Kenya anymore. They live in ethnic kingdoms back in their counties and in smaller urban ethnic states where their communities constitute majorities.
If we care for this country, we must stand up in the war against negative ethnicity, even in death. Then, our lives shall not be useless. No matter how frustrating, patriots and nationalists must soldier on against negative ethnicity. Negative ethnicity undermines and opposes all that is best and dear to human life.
Negative ethnicity is the cause of our problems
So far, negative ethnicity has given Kenya its worst leadership. The leadership has in turn given the nation terrible vision in thick mist and a terrible system. The terrible system is the mother to all our problems. In ethnic elections, the only merit that matters is ethnicity and money.
One research rated us as the sixth poorest country in Africa. Yet, our poverty can only get worse because the death of ethnic neighbors is our feast. The only poverty we care about is ours. We justify robbery of others with “what belongs to other communities is never ours”. In addition, that “all cattle are ours” and “we should rescue them from others”.
After categorizing other communities as enemies, we concede no human or economic rights to them. Instead, we entitle ourselves fully to violate their rights.
At independence in 1963, thanks to nationalism, Kenya was full of Kenyan nationalists and patriots. Today, thanks to negative ethnicity, Kenya is full of Kikuyu, Kamba, Luo or other ethnic nationalists and patriots. With Kenya dwindling by the day, it is just a matter of time before it disappears and is no more.
Negative ethnicity is the enemy of democracy
After fifty years of fighting one party dictatorship, negative ethnicity now uses ethnic discrimination and enmity to obliterate democracy. Ethnic bigots consider democracy an ally of their enemies. Consequently, negative ethnicity will never allow democracy to install either Raila or another Kikuyu in power, rendering all elections contentious.
Negative ethnicity is an enemy of democracy, which it seeks to substitute with ethnic dictatorship. In all countries where negative ethnicity is the ideology of politics, instead of democracy, it is ethnic dictatorship that reigns supreme.
Negative ethnicity is even a foe of something dearer than democracy. By promoting ethnic discrimination, conflict, genocide, and Holocaust, it is a great enemy of life.
Negative ethnicity is also the greatest enemy of truth. It flourishes only through lies and false promises that all people will benefit from it. Yet, only a minority benefits from it as it crushes the majority under its iron heels. To live by truth, honesty, and integrity, society must wage war against negative ethnicity.
Negative ethnicity promotes corruption
In a multi-ethnic society like Kenya, negative ethnicity is the greatest promoter and protector of corruption. When negative ethnicity cries out that “our people are being finished” or “we are being finished”, it is protecting corruption.
Not anyone who promotes corruption therefore can be a crusader against corruption. Champions of negative ethnicity are also champions of corruption. More so, promoting negative ethnicity means promoting graft.
As long as negative ethnicity is the foundation of government, it can never champion the war against graft.
When the foundation of the ruling party or coalition is negative ethnicity or ethnic coalition, it is false to claim that same government can crusade against corruption. It is not possible and it can never happen. Nor should it surprise anyone that corruption continues to grow in an environment that negative ethnicity rules.
Neither can devolution succeed while married to negative ethnicity. If negative ethnicity drives devolution, it will kill devolution. It will replace it with majimboism (system of regions) or even session by ethnic counties into independent ethnic states like Kosovo or Serbia.
As President John F. Kennedy of America said, ‘mankind must end war or war will end mankind’. We too must say that Kenya must end negative ethnicity or negative ethnicity will end Kenya.