By Dorcas S
There is this quaint almost flippant line some Kenyans have taken to using in the run up to the August 8th Elections. The line urges Kenyans “to pray for peace”. Another variant of that now perfunctory throw-away line offers the rather confusing “I will accept & promote peace”.
“Accept & promote peace”? I must be missing something.
The confusing taglines aside, the idea that God, or whichever deity one subscribes or pays homage to, will allow them to cut corners, cheat and lie their way through a situation, THEN allow them to thrive in said situation – attained illegally or via nefarious means – is sacrilegious and an abomination.
It is also the height of hypocrisy and an affront to anyone who tries their best to do the right thing AND to live right!
On the other hand, why would anyone be surprised that a society whose people used religion and faith to galvanize support for a duo charged with the most heinous of crimes are again trying to pervert otherwise pure and fulfilling constructs (religion & faith) towards selfish ends (abuse and misuse of supposedly independent and fair systems of government to retain power)?
Why would a culture where kleptocrats and tenderpreneurs offer the patently false and meaningless “I’ve been blessed” or “It’s God’s Favor” in response to questions regarding the probity of their wealth behave any differently?
In a very sobering and dark piece for the online magazine ELEPHANT titled “ELECTION 2017: A Silent Panic in Kenya”, writer Dauti Kahura offers a searing indictment of a Kenyan clergy fraternity that has and continues to cede its moral high ground when most needed – when the rich and powerful use their monopoly on the instruments of power to abuse the rights of the least among them. Mr. Kahura writes that:
“The PEV of 2007/2008 was the culmination of a church that had ceded its moral authority to the state five years earlier. The church was reaping the fruits of its lack of moral indignation and its overt indulgence of a state that had come to regard the Catholic Church as its ruling partner.”
With the on-going campaign and the attack lines being leveled at NASA as the backdrop, it becomes very obvious that the same playbook successfully used in the 2013 elections has been dusted and revised (with help from Cambridge Analytica) for 2017! Once again Jubilee hopes that a critical mass of Kenyans will choose NOT to demand a fair and just accounting of their votes; opting, like they did in 2013, to “accept and move on” from an outcome; any outcome.
Ironically, the same folks peddling the “pray for peace” and “accept and promote peace” banality are the same ones hawking the #KenyaIsBiggerThanPolitics vacuousity.
The same wolves sporting the latest woolen garbs and howling for “peace” also do the bidding for their close associates; individuals with known histories of playing politics i.e. manipulating the country’s electoral system in their favor while simultaneously claiming that “Kenya is bigger than politics”!
Not too long ago, we, the people, had the land and the colonial administrators had the bibles. They left us with their bibles and took our land in exchange! Almost sixty years later, “land” has been replaced with “vote” and “bible” has become a metaphor for ethno-flavored political rhetoric laced with biblical allusions.
It is this twisted logic that has driven a tipping point of voters in various pockets of the country to offer a loud but succinct counter-narrative:
That Kenyans “hawataki vita…..wanataka kupiga kura kwa amani ndio tupate haki…..” (do not want war…..they want to vote peacefully and get justice…..”) – this as offered by Bomet County Governor Isaac Ruto at a campaign rally in Nakuru on June 18.