Water is wet, fire is hot, and a rooster can’t be milked! These are self-evident truths – but as a Kenyan, I swear that if these statements are made by members of any ethnic group other than my own, or by a ‘Party Leader’ other than the one I worship, I will fervently oppose them and declare that they are the perfect example of the kind of lies ‘those people’ are telling … and millions will agree with me! For no other reason than that we supposedly share the same ancestry, language and cultural practices – and we are all ardent disciples of the same false prophet that is leading us unto death and darkness!
“What is deeply worrying is that the political class comprising a few hundred dubious characters could set this country on fire, and 41 million seem helpless to prevent it. Politicians have learned nothing and forgotten everything from the 2007 experience. They have trivialised the violence and remain in denial of how close the nation was to the brink. We may be very proud of the Somalia intervention but we are following their slippery path of divisive, ethnic politics.” Father Gabriel Dolan
It used to be that I believed that Kenyan politics was based on ethnicity – that atavistic fear and/or hatred we have for anybody who speaks a different language, comes from a different ‘ancestral’ home, and supposedly exercises a different culture; that fear and/or hatred that leads us to reject an honest intelligent person from a different ethnicity in favour of a proven thief of clearly limited intellectual gifts from our own community! Then in a flash of revelation, I discovered I was totally wrong on my evaluation of what Kenyan politics is based on!
My previous understanding implied a certain minimum level of intelligence and reasoning, however wrong or illogical, on the part of our political players – both the voters and the vote seekers! Our politics is actually based on a delusional leadership and a hallucinatory citizenship; it is based on voters that are so thick in the head they have absolutely no idea what is in their best interest; it is based on a people that are apparently totally incapable of making a connection between the vote they cast and their continued suffering; it is based on negotiations between a gang of devious traders (leaders) on the selling price of the low quality, substandard products they buy and sell (voters)!
Above all, our politics is based on a leadership that is so utterly morally bankrupt, so totally callous, so hedonistic and narcissistic, that it never occurs to them that they are actually elected to do a job – and that the job entails serving the people and not their self-interest. And neither political party, nor political label, nor ethnicity, nor age, nor level of education, nor degree of ‘exposure’ in any way moderates this description of these leaders – or these voters! Our politics is in fact built on the basest of instincts, our most animal inclinations, and our least human proclivities!
Do not mistake me, I beg you: I passionately support ‘sales and marketing conversations’ between our politicians, but I even more passionately support competition between them! As in business, mergers/alliances create the real danger of a political monopoly – which would be a disaster for our young democracy; where both the voter and the vote seeker have repeatedly proven themselves totally incapable of exercising the grave responsibilities of freedom and free choice! Above all, I passionately oppose the emerging and terrifying possibility of yet another ‘coalition government’ – a coalition of some tribes against others, a coalition of gangs and gangsters that will then rob us with impunity so long as each gang only robs from their allocated territory!! I passionately hope that we shall not yet again be subjected to a multi-headed ‘hydra government’ – for our politicians have time and again proven that they are totally incapable of principled agreement , be it a gentleman’s agreement, a memorandum of understanding signed before a battery of lawyers and the entire nation, or even a National Accord entrenched in the constitution!
On occasion, I have been challenged to throw my hat into the ring – to join the battle at the frontlines, to abandon this armchair social media activism. I dare say I lack the acrobatic wiliness, the native cunning, that is an absolute essential for success in Kenyan politics! I am seriously hampered by conscience and a sense of shame – and a certain attachment to a good reputation! If I were to enter the pig-wallow that is our political scene, it would be purely a symbolic gesture – with no possibility whatsoever of winning against the experienced alpha-hogs that run the show therein!
To be a successful Kenyan politician, you must have the amazing courage to seek and take on a job you are totally incapable of performing and indeed has no intention of performing; you must have the ability to steal with the certain knowledge that you shall not be arrested and charged; you must have the ability to spill the blood of innocents with absolute certainty that you shall not be held to account; you must have the ability to lie even in prayer, and in the full knowledge that even as your audience know you are lying, they will not call you out! You must have the ability to move from lethal enmity to profound friendship and back again with your supposed opponents, without so much as a pause in between.
As a successful politician, you must have the ability to commit the most heinous acts without the remotest prick of conscience! And you must have a tongue that has so many forks in it that it looks like Medusa’s legendary hairstyle! For it is only such a tongue that can utter phrases like ‘work together’ and ‘like-minded parties’ and ‘madoadoa’ and ‘thorns’ and ‘41 v 1’ without the teeth in that same mouth chewing off that tongue in shock or fury! To be a successful Kenyan politician, you must be capable of passionately calling for national unity and in the very next sentence asking your tribe to unite behind you ‘in the same way that other tribes are uniting’ behind their Eating Chiefs, while warning alternative leaders that unless they toe the line, ‘the people’ will punish them!
The successful politician has to be capable of being ‘crowned’ as an ‘elder’ despite their petulant childishness and complete lack of wisdom, without turning brick-red with shame under their pitch-black skin! They have to be capable of recognizing the extreme low self-worth and slavish dedication of the voter – and be ready to exploit it for all it is worth, while holding the said voter in absolute and utter contempt; which the voter indeed deserves for the unspeakable shortsightedness and crass stupidity that leads them to vote for the said leader season after season – and kill for him, and rape for him, and commit arson for him, and bludgeon supposed opponents in his name, and evict fellow citizens lest they vote for his opponents!
The successful Kenyan politician must be extremely adept at the practice of political harlotry, and be capable of taking it a step further by subverting the people’s will as expressed in their Constitution – while claiming that the continued practice of such harlotry is in fact in the interests of the nation and the citizens! My people, I lack the courage for such brazen behaviour! So, given my latent lack of political talent, I have tossed my hat into a different ring – that of the voice in the wilderness, attempting to call our people back to reason! And I suspect even there, I labour in vain!
But of course I say I was wrong on this tribe thing with a sarcastic light touch! Our cave-man attachment to our tribes is the root of all our troubles – it is what makes us re-elect Ali Baba and his gang of 4000 thieves every election cycle; it is what subverts the cause of justice when Ali Baba and his gangsters are caught with their hand in the public till; it is why we have totally clueless incompetents occupying positions vital to the welfare of the nation – because their lack of education, training, experience and ability is apparently insignificant given their ethnicity; it is the reason why we arm ourselves with machetes, rungus, and matches and bludgeon, circumcise, butcher, barbeque, rob, rape and displace fellow citizens with a bloodthirsty abandon! Indeed our extreme tribal feelings are the ultimate proof of our complete lack of the most basic human intelligence that would demand that we at least act in our own best interest by ensuring that we elect the people best suited for the task of running the nation – whatever their ethnicity or family lineage!
I am forced to conclude that Freedom and Free Will as granted to us by our Maker, and safeguarded by our obviously worthless Constitution, is indeed a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of the ignorant and the hateful citizenry that constitute our nation! Those that can only exercise their freedom and free will by expressing hate with every act of choice, by acting against their very own best interest, by repeatedly inflicting upon the nation the abomination of bad leadership, are not deserving of such freedom and free will!