By Dorcas S
There is an on-going narrative in some parts of Kenya that those of us who support/ed NASA and the Raila/Kalonzo ticket are sore “perennial” losers who cannot accept “defeat”.
That the push for secession is “sour grapes” by someone who “will never be president!”
These pockets of Kenya subscribe to the atavistic belief that once Raila Amolo Odinga “is out of the picture”, Kenya will rise “juu sana”…..
That said, let me dispense with some truisms:
That the 2017 General Election has been a huge letdown NOT because of the outcome – whatever SCOK decides this Friday – but because of HOW the electoral process was manipulated and abused by the incumbency.
The murder of Chris Msando was not necessary. He was doing his job.
The international community’s rubber-stamp of Jubilee’s “victory” was very telling and that the very people who were up in arms (against the same international community) shortly after Kenyatta and Ruto were charged at The Hague (in 2013) are now the same folks citing support by the AU, EU, UN and US as the “official seal of approval” for Mr. Kenyatta’s victory is even more telling:
The enemies of my enemies are my friends!
The gloating, while the prerogative of those who believe their “side” won, is neither gracious nor magnanimous and only serves to widen the chasm between the sides as does the disparate reactions to the violence meted out against the mostly Luo protestors who were protesting the ill-timed announcement by the IEBC.
The state-sanctioned death and destruction in the mostly Luo-inhabited communities was not necessary. It only added to the violence the community has endured throughout Kenya’s history, bookended on one end by the father Jomo and on the other end by the son Uhuru, in the process hardening the community’s resolve to distance itself from Kenya’s central government.
Viewed against the foregoing, the national hyperventilation over Prof. David Ndii’s “Petition for Self-Determination” is hypocritical especially coming from folks quick to cry “incitement” when their jingoistic sense of entitlement and macabre celebrations at deaths are called out.
Those pining to squash Mr. Ndii’s right to free speech and intellectual discourse reveal the hollow and pyrrhic nature of the presidencies of yore.
An insecure and weak leadership uses state agents to intimidate and in some cases, assassinate those they are afraid of like they were of Pinto, Kodhek, Ngala, Mboya, JM, Ouko etc.
Why would the family/estate of anyone who has lived an honest, productive and honorable life need “protection” in the wake of their death?
Why take from the national coffers and rape the national resources if one is confident in their leadership (skills) and in their ability to grow the national economy AND lift up the fortunes of (many) others?
Why hoard resources and power if one has legitimate mandate from those they lead – and can mount an equally legitimate campaign to sell their agenda – and create a “movement” – OUTSIDE their base?
Again, an insecure and semi-legitimate leadership cannot sell its agenda to a majority of the people without resorting to the dark and sordid machinations outlined above. It is this reality that informs the proposal Mr. Ndii has put forth:
A historical track record of a society where significant sections of the population have grown up and fully internalized the demonstrable fact that they are 2nd class citizens; expendable thanks to a trigger-happy and jumpy law enforcement commanded by a series of equally insecure leadership.
Finally, and this to me is the heart of this piece, the manner in which Kenya’s presidents have held on to power, the impunity and accompanying violence they have employed in order to cling on to power, while able to produce short-term gains and euphoria among family and friends, only sets the stage for the cycle of corruption and impunity to repeat itself.
Article 20 of the African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of which Kenya is a signatory allows a people a “right to existence; unquestionable and inalienable right to self- determination; to determine their political status and pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen.”
The same article says more but germane to this piece, the foregoing says it all.
Additionally, the United Nations has provisions for secessions and oversaw the breakup of the USSR, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia into several nation/states so the discussion David Ndii broached is not without precedent nor is it illegal – unless Kenyans want to harken back to the days of Charles Njonjo and Daniel Moi when such talk was treasonous.
The injustices citizens of such societies endure over time eventually leads to increasing calls for independence of which secession is the most drastic form.