By Wes gideyi
It is a propaganda war, and we will be the ultimate losers when the shyte hits the fan in 2017.
Some of the narratives being bandied around include:
– “We” are protecting the businesses and business people in the CBD from “rioters”. This of course implies there’s a we that does business and makes productive use of the CBD, and there’s a them that are just stone-throwing hooligans.
– Why must people suffer and die so that one man, “The Lord of poverty” can win. This implies removing the IEBC somehow favours one man, even though the man will not get to choose the new commissioners, and even though a fair and just commission is good for everyone.
– Why are their own children not at the forefront. Well this one assumes that the people taking part in picketing are stupid or paid a pittance to take part, rather than them being adults who can make their own decision on what they want in life. Besides, every individual leader swallowing tear gas on those streets is someone’s child.
– Kenyans want “peace” to build the nation. Of course this conveniently avoids the fact it wasn’t because of our violent nature that PEV happened, it was because of an electoral system in which people had no trust, and because of a leadership that believed winning (at all costs) an election that disenfranchised half the country was okay.
– We are mobilizing “youth” to counter them. Again there’s that “we” vs “them” narrative, this time pitting groups against each other in what can only end up in battle, all this in a country with a functional security apparatus and a constitution that allows for freedom of association and speech.
And of course there’s us, the poor masquerading as a fake middle-class that subsist with loans up to our necks and cars that belong to scrap yards, we type from behind monitors as the maids we cannot pay a living wage scrub the floors in our rented abodes. We are desperate to maintain the status quo, the one in which we are supposedly a peace loving development conscious nation.
We would do well to listen to Immortal Technique’s “Poverty of Philosophy”
Viva la revolución