By George Morara.
It is always a special time to come to the end of a year, especially as turbulent as 2013 and to usher in a new year with renewed hope and good will. It is that time of the year when we go though our balance sheets to keep in check our progress, winnings and losses in the year that’s passing.
It is time for reflection on how far we have grown or regressed â€“ how strong we’ve become or weakened â€“ how much we’ve gained or lost â€“ weather we are going forward or backward.
I have always thought to myself that if I were the president, I would work to realign everything to begin in January! The academic year, The Financial year, the beginning of a new term for the presidency â€“ recruitment, retirement and so on and so forth â€“.
It’d be a fresh beginning for everything except maybe for births and deaths, and marriages! Everything else would be reckoned at the end of the year and always have a fresh start in January. Since I am no president, I try to realign my own personal life according to my gospel in as much as the Grace and Blessing of God allows.
I am not overly delighted with the passing year. There was as much gain in my life, rather political life as there was loss. But am grateful that we have come so far. And in this reflection I want to highlight on issues that affected me and us through the year as a person, a father, a friend, a Kenyan, and a Briton â€“ as a socialist democrat â€“ a brother and a Christian.
I will be random in addressing all these aspects of my identity and highlighting areas of significant interest with regard to the events of 2012/13- from the early passing of Prof Saitoti, hero Chavez of Venezuela, Mandela and Mutula Kilonzo and many many others… the remarkable and historic Elections et cetera!
Ideally I’d want to talk about the whole world, from North Korea, to Syria, to Libya, to The Malvinas Islands, to South Sudan and all the neo-colonialism that’s going on however, this Ill address as time goes by — I am particularly keen on the State of The Union of The Socialist Republics of Africa!
I must point out however that this year in October, in the historic City of Trier, Germany I was blessed with the birth of my daughterâ€“ I named her Abigail Mekatilili Morara â€“ two weeks later I lost my dear grandma- she was 97! And I happen to have my birthday in the same month! 2 years early I lost my grandpa, he was 100.
It was his love for Germany that inspired my dream! Grandma’s passing did feel like the passing of an era and I do miss them most desperately! I couldn’t reflect on the year without them having been a huge influence in my faith, sense of identity and direction in life!
They were poor and generous hard working Kenyans- and they hoped for a better Country at the first Resurrection! But also wanted to leave us behind in a better land â€“ KENYA!
Personally, as other Kenyans had been looking forward to March the 4th General elections with huge anticipation and hope for a change of guard and a new beginning with fresh and dedicated leadership for our country. There had been a huge build-up of positive energy that this was indeed going to be democratic, free and fair.
For the first time the media paraded the Presidential candidates on Tv in an American style soap whose intention, it turned out, was to entertain Kenyans.
People had a real opportunity to make an informed decision as to which direction our country would go. On the list of contenders was: His Excellence Raila Odinga â€“ a selfless freedom fighter who has twice previously been denied the chance to lead our country. Hon. Odinga has been to prison for his faith, so to say and he’s a self-made man despite his father Mzee Oginga Odinga having been a freedom fighter in his own right, rising to the rank of Vice President â€“ and only to be tamed by the ruthless Jomo Kenyatta!
Raila maintained a dignified demeanour throughout, outlining his manifesto for continued inclusive development for the whole country! His only fault was to walk with recycled selfish characters!
Kalonzo Musyoka had in the previous election done a ‘Mudavadi’!Â He let Raila and the party down!
Then there was Uhuru Kenyatta â€“ Mr Kenyatta does not need introduction because he was born in statehouse â€“ a man who has never known hunger, insecurity or discomfort of any kind. A businessman wholly grown from the stolen wealth of his father.
After independence, the Kenyatta family grabbed a whopping half a million acres of the choicest land in Kenya. Put together, it easily makes the size of Belgium! They also have a hand in every pie â€“ from Banking to Agriculture to Tourism to the little manufacturing there is in Kenya! Kenyatta is the richest Kenyan and President in all East, Central, and North Africa comparable only with the ruling families in Angola and Gabon!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being wealthy if that has come about as a result of sheer hard work. During the televised interviews Mr Kenya wasn’t particularly challenged about the source of his wealth however a question was raised about how the family obtained so much land..to which Mr Kenyatta responded that his family bought the land on a willing buyer willing seller basis! He even managed a straight face.
Mr Kenyatta had seemed embattled throughout and at some point threatened to withdraw from the tv appearances. While Mr Kenyatta served under His Excellence Odinga as Deputy prime Minister, he had been totally insubordinate and unnecessarily sat as cabinet minister in a docket for which he was totally unqualified for.Â The qualification was tribe!
Anyway â€“ Next was Hon. Muite.
Hon Muite is a freedom fighter who has been oppressed by the previous governments however he is a no nonsense man. A lawyer by profession, he understands his stuff. Hon Muite is very much an unpopular prophet in his backyard largely due t his no nonsense attitude and clearly an inclusive Kenyan Vision â€“ a distance away from tribe. He was impressive, and would be safe pair of hands for Kenya. A little bit too a head of his time. He came across as articulate and of course, not to entertain any nonsense!
Then there was Lady Martha Karua â€“ a breath of fresh air being a female in a male dominated game. She was going absolutely nowhere. A lawyer by background however had history of dining with the corrupt crowd. Personally I was particularly pleased that she set an absolutely needful example for our ladies. She just needed to come in the form of the late freedom fighter, icon and Nobel laurette, Lady Wangari Maathai.
Lady Karua’s enthusiastic campaign was going absolutely nowhere despite her spirited fight.
Next was Dida â€“ a teacher by background â€“ Moslem and polygamist, he identified well with the population however he came across as a joker â€“ and not taken seriously. His TV appearances served only as entertainment. It was interesting to see 4 women happy together with one man!
I still haven’t got my head round that.
Then there was Prof Kayiapi â€“ surely an educated man who had risen from herding goats to being permanent secretaryâ€“ he articulated himself well however his call not to recycle leaders fell on deaf ears â€“ perhaps because he was also part of the network that had been grinding Kenyans. He was old clearly spent breath! Nobody seemed to remember him immediately after the televised debates.
Next was Musalia Mudavadi – a spoiler â€“ a man in politics wholly on the merits of his father. Mr Mudavadi has become synnonmous with shame and redicule, chai, bahasha â€“ meaning “tea” “stuffed envelope” and has been shunned by his own Luhya community as directionless. He is a perfect symbol of National Embarrassment.
Then there was Peter Kenneth â€“ the youngest candidate, dashing and with a clean report card â€“ He was ideally the fresh face of Kenya. He was not particularly articulate and made several mistakes in his campaign â€“ choosing his high school friend for running mate â€“ came across as weak despite his record and reliable promises. I did meet Mr Kenneth and asked him to give Hon. Odinga a call and offer to co-run with him. He gave me a lame excuse. That’d have been a game changer! Again I wrote to him and he replied saying he knew what was best for Kenyans. It turned out that he didn’t. Hon Kenneth remains a man of integrity and given a chance in the company of strong comrades in leadership, he’d take Kenya to a higher plane.
Despite his lack of foresight, he is a man who commands respect.
Anyway, on March the 4th 2013 AD, Kenyans came out in large numbers in a historic and peaceful voting exercise that put us right back on the map. Afterward the country was gripped in anticipation as the tallying of votes took longer than expected with extraordinary technicalities. After a long anxious wait, Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner â€“ in no time the Presidential escort moved in to psychologically hypnotise the population.
The Press turned all cameras on him giving Hon Odinga a complete blackout! The Right Honourable Raila Odinga moved to court and a water-tight case with overwhelming evidence of rigging, malpractice and outright manipulation and stealing of the votes was assertively presented.
After two week intense deliberations, a two minute ruling was made in favour of Uhuru Kenyatta! The whole exercise turned out to be a farce â€“ a well orchestrated machinery had been working long before, scheming to steal the vote at whatever cost! It was rumoured at the time, that money stashed in suitcases was being forced on people!
The Country was divided.
Tribalism showed its ugly head however peace was maintained with Hon. Raila urging his supporters to remain calm and press forward, reminding them that there was a lot of work to be done. Even a fool would tell that there had been daylight robbery in our country!
Much of the evidence still litters the internet. The powers that be, would not let the numbers diminish â€“ ghosts were awoken to make up the shortfall and the Presidency was handed over to a protectionist racket to continue the legacy of all the previous regimes.
With Mr Kenyatta as President the country ‘s gains were out of the window. A highly polarising figure, Uhuru Kenyatta would keep a lid on the evils of the previous regimes’ ills and excesses and our history from colonial times. Hon Muite in his manifesto, was keen to challenge the reasons why Kenya is still paying for loans dating back 100 years!!! Quite a legitimate concern! Why would we be paying anyone for debts owed by the colonial government in 1912! Who would that be? Britain? It is not that Kenyans want to punish anybody for past evils and atrocities but to know the whole truth for the healing of the Nation. The Truth would bring to life all freedom fighters whose graves have been shamefully forgotten! The Truth would have shed some light on the suspicious politics murders dating abck to the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s â€“ right up to our very own time â€“ the recent deaths of Former vice president and African Mathematical wizard Prof George Saitoti. Sanator Kilonzo and several other key witnesses privy to information with regard to the ongoing cases at the International Criminal Courts. Really The Truth would set a plat form for reconciliation and a new start â€“ a fresh start.
Sadly with a reincarnated Kenyatta and Moi who declared themselves Presidents for life, it doesn’t take long for Uhuru to declare how long he’d rule Kenya!
Basically Moi is back in power! It is not unreasonable to fear for your life should you say something unpleasant to and about the ruling class. There is evidence to support this. We also know that Kenya discovered oil in poverty-stricken Turkana however deals were done and sealed in secret- this may partly explain the insecurity in the area. Kenya could be producing oil and nobody knows about it- and a protectionist government is necessary to keep things tightly on the hands of the few!
From his humble acceptance of the court’s ruling, Hon Raila Odinga has been subjected to humiliation from this government from day 1. He was thrown out of his office unceremoniously before the end of his term. His security detail withdrawn. His Properties broken into, and belongings stolen and vandalised. He has been denied access for the use of the VIP lounge at the International Airport in Nairobi in a bid to embarrass him. His staff have been subject to ridiculous police harassment and to ice the evil cake, he has been denied his benefits package having served as Prime Minister in the previous government â€“ amid a myriad other little inconveniences that are mounting to intimidation and abuse of His Excellence’s right to go about his business freely.
Despite all this, he has carried on in the business of Nation Building. His Excellence is the man who championed for the new constitution that Kenyans are enjoying! While he is at it, The government is on it knees with scandals left right and centre â€“ strikes from all sectors â€“ even street children are out demonstrating.
Our Roads are claiming lives on a daily basis, hospitals have been closed with health care professionals on long strikes â€“ jaw dropping deals have been made ignoring all laid down protocol â€“ appointments for public offices have been shamelessly made to reflect on tribe and accidents and incidents happening that have painted Kenya a very dark place to be in recent times â€“ let alone the cost of living, job cuts while the President’s family business empire booming!
To silence his disgruntled colleagues in government, Uhuru has come up with posts such as head of Anti-Female Genital Mutilation â€“ of the 30 appointments he has made, 26 have been within his tribe and closest friends comprising mostly of recycled and exhausted pensioners who’ve been in government since time immemorial. A tiny portion for his partners in government and dangled one or two among the rest of the country!
There are government departments in Kenya in which Kikuyu is the official language and yet there is a constitution for the country to be inclusive of all tribes and peoples!
Basically ignoring all the rules meant to check and balance the equation for inclusive leadership! It is hardly a year and even those within government are groaning and mourning at the excesses of this illegitimate government. The Bible says that when the Righteous Increase, The People Rejoice â€“ but when the wicked rule, the people groan â€“ the people perish!
This is what is happening in Kenya! I am not here to criticise Mr Kenyatta however as a Kenyan I am qualified to critique the state of affairs in my country. It’s in my face! Mr Kenyatta as leader has chosen to ignore every rule in the book â€“ and has proved a modern day colonial master…. much to the disappointment even of his own supporters. He has introduced a police state to invade the privacy of citizens’ freedom of association and social life! He has gagged the press..needless to point out that The Kenyan press really deserves everything kick in the teeth â€“ not that it makes it right, but they were complicit with the vote rigging; it turns out, some of them had accepted stuffed envelopes thus reporting positively on Mr Kenyatta while giving His Excellence Odinga a complete blackout at a time when Kenyans were hungering and thirsting after honest good news!
Letting Mr Kenyatta alone, The Kenyan population aren’t saints either! It takes very little a scratch and the ugly tribalism and corruption show! Insulting others simply because of tribe or culture is stupid. The giving of a bribe is equally as evil as receiving a bribe.
Accepting to move on is just an easier option! Most Kenyans would not dare put their lives at risk demonstrating, but would gladly enter into a dangerously overloaded bus that is surely deemed to overturn at the slightest swerve! Uhuru Kenyatta is a reflection of a large section of our people! There are also those who keep silent, or are indifferent â€“ or who pretend that they have no interest to avoid conversation. They are all equally collectively guilty! In as much as our system doesn’t function, we have a role to play as citizens to help move us forward. It is what our Leader The hon. Raila Odinga has been teaching us. Were it not for the Engima Odinga, the country would have erupted in chaos and violence in March 2013 â€“ for a thorough repeat of 07/08!
We’ve been blessed with a beautiful country â€“ with lush green valleys and hills â€“ panoramic savannah grasslands, a magical Rift valley and highlands that yield plenteously â€“ lovely coastal line, lakes and rivers â€“ a blend of enchanting tribes, cultures an animal Kingdom envied the world over! We have all the resources we need to compete internationally with countries such as south Korea, our very own age-mate, if you like.
There is no reason why our country is poor. There is no reason why Our people are dying of preventable diseases. There is no reason why Our children are learning under tree shades with 6 or 7 children squeezing onto desks meant for two kids. There is no reason why Our people die of hunger of drinking dirty water There is no reason why Our children, women and disabled people beg and sleep in the cold streets. There is no reason why Our women are dying giving birth. There is no reason why Our elderly are dying in poverty. There is no reason why Our infrastructures dates back to colonial times when we’ve been independent for half a century! There is no reason why Some of our cities and towns are unlit in the night. There is no reason why Our postal services don’t function. There is no reason why Our people perish daily on our roads. There is no reason why there is a huge gap between the poor and the rich.
There is no justifiable reason why some of our people live in fortified castles while others languish in filth slums in our cities â€“ particularly in Nairobi! There is no justifiable reason why Our people accept these conditions â€“ and just “move on”!
In the coming year, I want to encourage my fellow country men and women to stand and face the person in the mirror and begin to challenge the status quo. It is apparent that change in Kenya, won’t be starting from the top! Only you and I can begin to bring sanity and sense into our situation.
The first thing is admit that things are elephant. Not just for the 40 tribes, but for the whole country! Even from Uhuru’s backyard in Gatundu, there is poverty and jiggers and suffering like in any other part of our country! To move forward we must acknowledge that we have a problem. A big one!
Let us borrow a leaf from next door â€“ Tanzania! Kenya must be greater than tribe! The beauty of our different tribes is that we are ALL KENYANS! We are fortunate to have such a colourful conglomerations of different tribes and peoples â€“ Each tribe makes a unique contribution to our Nation. We have a huge heritage to preserve and hand down to the coming generations! 3rd- Let us gang up against corruption. It is a cancer that MUST be killed! Let us begin from family â€“ friends, our communities and spread it in our societies and eventually nationally and onto our extortionately corrupt and selfish leaders! It sounds easy a solution but not quite.
To kill corruption, we must be prepared to suffer â€“ to be inconvenienced â€“ to be thrown into jail, to be accused falsely, to be humiliated and be made to look like a fools â€“ even to die. Death can be the price of dignity â€“ of believe in right doing!
The freedoms we enjoy today, are as a result of huge sacrifices often costing precious lives! I am hopeful that things will be better, but also I cannot help feel that maybe for this generation, we are late to act, and therefore our actions will benefit us little â€“ however, if The LORD Jesus hasn’t returned, we will leave behind an honourable legacy for our children. What sort of an inheritance do we want to leave behind for them.
For my children, I want A beautiful green unspoilt country â€“ good governance that ensures equal sharing of resources and an environment to thrive and contribute for themselves and for the future generations.
Brethren once we overcome tribalism, clanism, nepotism, corruption and all manner of psychopathic tendencies and primitive culture and begin to make the right choices â€“ to protect the weak and most vulnerable amongst us â€“ to be inclusive even at home treating those babysitters as family â€“ to re-awaken our conscience and begin to live with integrity despite the hardships, to use our resources wisely and to work hard â€“ then we can begin to transform our arid land into an oasis of hope and prosperity. We need a complete mentality and attitude makeover!
Let us usher in the New Year with renewed hope and vigour â€“ with higher, nobler objectives to serve, to give and to bless others. And am Sure God is for us â€“ and if GOD is for us, who can be against us! Let us thank GOD for seeing us this far. All is not lost! Let us wake up! Let us also take those most vulnerable under our wings- and let’s be mindful of those who are hungry, displaced and homeless; the sick and elderly- those less fortunate than most of us and those caught in the crossfire of the malpractices of poor, arrogant and totally corrupt leadership!
May God also bless us individually, as families, and as a country. A very happy New Year of Our LORD 2014! Please find the words of our beautifully crafted National Anthem and reflect on them!