By Gilbert O Kenya
We should not pretend that the current talk on secession comes as a surprise. It is a plain fact that for the last 54 years, Kenya has been firmly controlled by the Kikuyu/Kalenjin hegemony. Out of the four presidents the country has had since independence, three have come from the Agikuyu community while one has come from the Kalenjin community. Apparently, the trend is not about to stop. This is abnormal in a country of 42 plus communities.
The just concluded polls have shown that the leaders from the two largest communities in the country are not only ready to use their communities’ numerical strength to retain the country’s top leadership for ages, but they are also prepared to employ the state powers and machinery, which they happen to have a firm control over, to manipulate elections in their favor.
Why are we then acting surprised that the other Kenyan communities outside the privileged big two (Agikuyu/Kalenjin axis) are eventually toying with the idea of secession? The time to candidly talk about these things is now because, as some pundits would quip, the moment we stop talking is the moment we start fighting. The Kenyan scenario is akin to an abusive marriage where the couple must either agree to amicably accommodate each other or divorce.
I completely disagree with those who are saying that talking about secession is akin to beating war drums. Keeping mum about all the sticky tribal issues affecting our society today doesn’t make them disappear. Our nascent democracy and the quest to build a nation called Kenya is an experiment that has terribly failed. We cannot simply wish some thorny issues away and hope that they will not explode on our faces some time in future. As our good doctors always tell us, “prevention is better than cure.”