BY: Rashid Wanjala
In this 3 Part Series, I will deal with Uhuruâ€™s Historical responsibilities that he needs to act on urgently if he is going to claim a place in Kenyaâ€™s political High Table
When a slave was born during the Slave trade era they didnâ€™t know any other home other than the land on which they were born. As such they ended up in generational bondage.
In Kenya we have Kenyans who in their own country, have continued to be like slaves, continue to pass the baton of squatter hood from one generation to another.
Uhuru the Squatterâ€™s Landlord is the story of a man who is described by Forbes as the largest land owner in Kenya, land which his father is believed to have amassed through questionable and morally unjust means while he was in power.
Unfortunately thousands are known to have been displaced in Central, Rift and Coast Provinces to create space for the land which Uhuru inherited, and on which thousands of squatters are known to inhabit.
The next election I believe is going to feature â€œthe Squatterâ€™s Landlord vs X (the other horse)
Â This is why. It is believed that UK owns land the size of Nyanza province while millions of Kenyans are squatters and landless, some on the very land which is reported to be his.
As a man aspiring to run for office he must be willing to be scrutinized by the public, whom I have promised myself never to betray unlike Uhuru Kenyatta who fails to realize that thereâ€™s a reason why people fully take charge of their inheritance once they attain age of majority (18 years).
This happens because at that age, they are adults who can make their own decisions, and can decline when they are old and intelligent enough to realize that it doesnâ€™t make sense for a single individual aspiring to lead his countrymen to own land the size of Nyanza Province.
Ever since he turned 18, it has now been 32 yrs and still counting- a period when Uhuru had sufficient time to demonstrate remorse, and own up to being a beneficiary of historical transgressions.
He could have faced cameras and appeal to the disenfranchised millions who allegedly include his own uncle, to allow him more time as he prepares to let go of the hundreds of thousands of questionable acres in Rift Valley and Coast provinces.
He could then go ahead andÂ surrender that bad inheritance to the state for distribution to the landless. He is also currently reported to be involved in a court case in which his father disinherited his very own brother. For those who say I make things up, hereâ€™s the link http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-88646/kenyatta-kin-sues-mama-ngina-over-grabbed-land
People say he just inherited and so should be left alone; I say no because inheritance too comes with responsibility.Â One that urges us to decline things that even though belong to us doesnâ€™t make sense to belong to a single individual. That is what leadership- especially presidential- is all about?Â A responsibility that though not legal, is grounded in moral ethics.
The utilitarian principle that one individual can be a source of happiness to the masses if they can give up just a little of their own happiness for the sake of the sad, disenfranchised many who have never known happiness- people struggling to eat a meal, or even clothe or drink water, people surviving on less than a dollar a day..
And this is about helping such people regain the land which was taken from their forbears and which were it not for the historical injustices, they would otherwise have themselves inherited.
Instead their inheritance was diverted to another individual who wants to be president. That is why he is accountable to them- in their disenfranchised millions.
The emotive land question, was at the core of the 2007 post election violence, even the formation of Mombasa Republican Council (MRC-Pwani sio Kenya) is as a result of the alleged believe that indigenous coastal communities are victims of massive land displacements especially the prime locations.
The on going political negotiations between Ruto and Uhuru are likely to be dominated by the land issue in Rift Valley, it complicates the envisioned political marriage as the masses especially in Rift Valley may not be ready to support the Uhuru presidency if called upon to do so.
Jeremy Bentham in his A fragment of government argues that â€˜it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrongâ€™â€.
Put another way, â€œActions are right to the degree that they tend to promote the greatest good for the greatest numberâ€.
In Benthamâ€™s thinking therefore, Uhuru would be wrong because his delayed action on these historical injustices, is denying happiness to a large number of Kenyans- Millions of landless stand to own a quarter to half an acre each if he decides to do the right thing- relinquish some of his land to the disenfranchised millions, the paupers whom he intends to lead.
Of what value are the thousands of acres of idle fertile-arable land for example in Taita Taveta district yet the area is home to thousands of landless people stricken by hunger perennially just because they have no land to cultivate.
Uhuru claims in his TNA launch speech which plagiarizes heavily from Thomas Jeffersonâ€™s authored The Unilateral Declaration of Independence of 1776, without citing his source that â€œthe pursuit of happiness is not a preserve of a privileged fewâ€¦it is a birthrightâ€¦â€ . Thomas Jefferson though, rose to become the third President of the US.
Plagiarizing this is even funny because this is a document that is at the heart of American nationhood. Yet he claims to be an enemy of what America stands for. This is intellectual dishonesty.
It is double standards, in his heart of hearts, he is like literally reciting the almost equivalent of Americaâ€™s â€œloyalty pledgeâ€, and unleashes a TNA launch in which he attempts to copy cat a DNC or RNC convention, but which he fails miserably to replicate, and then he turns around, and tells us that he yearns for a uniquely Kenyan republic, a sovereign nation- give us a break!
He needs to first do what Ngugi wa Thiongâ€™o calls â€œdecolonizing his mindâ€, before he talks of decolonizing us. Be original, and stop copycatting the Europeans and Americans!
I agree with him on his TNA launch plagiarized statement that â€œhappiness is not a preserve of a privileged fewâ€, but he ought not to just wax lyrical about what were serious pronouncements by the Founders of America, who actually were at war with the imperialist British- but to live and walk the spirit of those pronouncements, which are not just mere words, but are about a people who stood up to those who had sat on their backs for too long.
Unless he claims that as a â€œsquatterâ€™s landlordâ€œ he decided to plagiarize an author (Thomas Jefferson) who was a â€œslave landlordâ€ himself but still hypocritically wrote and spoke against slave ownership. Then I would understand.
For those of you who want to learn of this man who Uhuru the â€œSquatters Landlordâ€ plagiarized, watch this video link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXQYCTgBFQ0
However in this case, the hustlerâ€™s and pauperâ€™s lot in Kenya has to contend with a fellow citizen who for 32 years has not found it remorseful to continue holding onto a bad inheritance. He has ducked engaging in that debate instead.
Thomas Jefferson is his ilk because he was hypocritical, a person who centuries later continues to be the embodiment of the American paradox right at its founding. Jefferson owned slaves, but admonished slavery in his public and written pronouncements.
Just like Uhuru who plagiarized him, his public pronouncements were contradicting his real actions.
However, if he wants to be president it has come a time when if itâ€™s not from the heart, he doesnâ€™t have to redistribute, but at least face the cameras and say why he should claim the tag of the hustlerâ€™s champion.
That is why the G7 leaders would have a lot of explaining to do to their people if itâ€™s Uhuru that they will support. He cannot burry his head in the sand and expect this serious matter to go away, but to face it head on.
This is because until he deals with this it will continue to be his anathema.