Prof Akong’o Oyugi, one of the towering intellectuals of the 2nd liberation era has warned that the country risk plunging into anarchy if ethnic jingoism is not contained.
Here is his elaborate Facebook post:
A few months ago I warned that a near fascistic offensive was in the offing, with tribal jingoism rearing its ugly head and surreptitiously acquiring the dangerous features of a fascist tendency in our society.
I further pointed out that in a more or less obscure manner, fascist tendencies and its germs could be seen almost everywhere in our public life. With the development of of the very deep economic crisis, rampant corruption, widespread insecurity and threatening state failure fascist tendencies are embarking upon a wide offensive and encroaching on the already strained inter-ethnic relationships.
The ruling tribal elites are more and more seeking salvation in taking exceptional oppressive measures against the vulnerable sections of our people as they prepare for fratricidal war against our nationhood. They are reaching out for the crudest weapons against democracy, mainly invoking tribal arrogance and persecution syndrome.
Before our eyes, these are now crystallizing into unmistakable signs of genocidal threats as the right-wing elements in our highly tribalized state, civil society and the market are, with a weird frenzy, trying to put the whole burden of the crisis of governance on the backs of the usual suspects. No wonder, they are trying to solve the problem of state failure by criminalizing the vulnerable and direct victims of state incompetence.
That is why they need tribal jingoism, like the right wing of German imperialism resorted to fascist (terrorist) vengeance against the very victims of the same system. They need it to deflect attention from a deepening national crisis, which if the progressive forces (both national and international) do not dare expose, will soon degenerate into a Rwandese, Somali and Southern Sudanese situations. Mark you, we are not immune to such eventualities. But when it happens there will be Noaâ€™s arc to ferry the murderous inciters of tribal hate to Habermasâ€™ post-national promised land.
Where are Kenyan progressive patriots! Where are Maina Kinyatti, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Wachiira Kamoji, Onyango Oloo, Oduor Ongwen, Yusuf, Wafula Buke, Wahu Kaara, Sam Mwangi, Israel Agina, Ngotho Karuiki, Booker, Joe Mwangi, Adhu Awiti, Addilatif Abdalla, Kibachia, Al Amin Mazrui, Willy Mutunga, Gacheke, Mwangawiro Mghanga, Koigi wa Mwere to stand to the bullies who are bent on taking Kenya back to the dark old days of Kenyattaism amd Moism!
We do not need a political-party platform to speak out. We need to stand up against the reactionary storm gathering in the chauvinistic lairs of tribal hegemony. Raila and CORD are a mere feint. Progressive Kenya must connect the ongoing threat to peaceful coexistence between our different ethnic groups with the timeless struggle for social democracy.Â
But we must first begin by staring at the creeping crisis in the face and call it with its right name. Let us not hide behind the thin bushes of the likes of Saba Saba, the CORD rallies and other boggies indended to befuddle us and make us succumb to tribal manipulation of our quest for a democratic and equitable Kenyans society. Let us not leave this battle to Maina Kiai, Ndungu Wainaina. Godfrey Murunga, Githongo, Ndii, Oduor Ongwen and a few others.Â
To be sure the Jubilee government has unleashed the most virulent strain of ethnic chauvinism: ironically from the historical home to Kenyaâ€™s heroic anti-colonial nationalism â€“ central Kenya. The purveyors of the disease are young, energetic, cool but totally ignorant of the historical demands of the national democratic challenges of our young nation.
When they open their mouths democracy trembles with the fear of a caged animal and the imminent decimation of enemy tribes beckons menacingly. Let us stand up and speak. Let us oppose tribal jingoism. Let us arrest the creeping state failure. Let us bring democracy back into the arena for solving problems arising from the mismanagement of ethnic diversity by the ruling elite. Posterity will curse us if we fail to to be heard from wherever we may be.
Let us place Mpeketoni in the correct historical and geopolitical perspective so we can deal with it as a national tragedy caused by a toxic mixxture of bad politics of the past, negative ethnicity, distributive inefficiency of of post-colonial capitalism and misguided actions by undemocratic elements in and without our society. It is time for true democrats to stand up to be counted. It has happened before and it must happen now.