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Kenyans today are asking; What if our enemies win? say Koigi Wamwere

COMMENTARY

Only Kenyans themselves can halt their own destruction

Story by KOIGI WA WAMWERE
Publication Date: 2/15/2008

AS FIGHTING SUBSIDES, TO get a conclusive cure, we must ask ourselves why it started in the first place, and look for solutions at all levels – individual, leadership, and community.

For sure, the volcano was ruptured by an electoral dispute, but its red hot lava that has scotched the whole land was building up for a long time, fed by our contempt for democracy that we have thoroughly subverted with negative ethnicity and killing of members of other communities among us when they vote differently.

Yes, we have been fighting for a tribalised presidency: Our community must win or we go to war.

We have also been fighting because, to us, other communities are guilty of their leaders’ sins for which we must kill them. And there other reasons.

Poor Kenyans hacked their neighbours with machetes hours after the president was sworn in, not because of the elections but because, whoever won, they had planned to ethnically cleanse and create their own ethnic state by killing and evicting neighbours from enemy communities.

Unfortunately, relatives of evictees and government have helped to actualise majimbo with counter-evictions and evacuations to ancestral homelands.

IT IS NOT MAJIMBO, SOME ARGUE, but theft of elections that caused violence! But who stole elections and why would a poor man from one community, supposedly made mad by rigging, hack to death his poor neighbour from another community who couldn’t possibly have rigged elections?

Fundamentally, we are fighting because, as communities and individuals, we are full of ethnic venom and hate each other. To make sure we kill one another, negative ethnicity whispers to us:

‘‘Other communities are devils we must kill’’ ‘‘If one of them is president, we are finished’’; ‘‘They want to rule us by force’’; ‘‘We are poor because they are rich’’; ‘‘If we kill and evict them, there will be more land, jobs and businesses for us’’; ‘‘Our ethnic enemies are animals, not people’’; ‘‘If we don’t kill them, they will kill us’’. And so on.

To save Kenya, we must eradicate negative ethnicity, the progenitor of all demons that we have in our minds and hearts.

Surreptitiously, negative ethnicity has brought to Kenya millions of devils to destroy her. And should you doubt the capacity of negative ethnicity to destroy Kenya, visit Eldoret, Kisumu or Naivasha.

Today, many express surprise that we are fighting. They say we buried negative ethnicity in 2002. We did not. As all united against the Kikuyu during the referendum and last elections, in 2002, all united against Kanu, Moi and the Kalenjin.

Even electing Kibaki against Uhuru Kenyatta, a fellow Kikuyu, was to many, sending one ethnic thief to catch another. Thereafter, ethnic hate reigned supreme.

Kenyan communities are ruled by ethnic fears. Even elections are stolen out of these fears. What if our enemies win?

Communities have so thoroughly demonised one another that thinking of leadership from another community is an unbearable nightmare. And the recent slaughter and ethnic cleansing have only made these fears worse.

For a lasting cure, communities must undergo exorcism, reconciliation and healing, without which, not even a national coalition of ODM and PNU will save Kenya.

Down here, communities hate and fear each other too much to embrace. Consequently, an all-inclusive coalition and reconciliation of communities must go hand in hand because communities cannot simply put themselves in the exclusive hands of those they fear.

As we seek to eradicate negative ethnicity, so must we unemployment. When we see youth mirthfully kill, it is not for elections; they take it as an opportunity to loot, rob, rape and extort.

To these youth, the war is a godsend. But politicians are not loath to use war by youth as a trump card. They can even turn off the taps of violence and death if they wish. If they don’t, the world should charge them with genocide and crimes against humanity at The Hague.

Though Kenya bleeds and hurts, her desire to fight is not dead. Propelled by negative ethnicity, the ideology of genocide and a hypnotising death-wish, Kenya still courts the very tragedies that have destroyed Africa.

Worse, as Kenya self-destructs, its chaos poses a mortal danger to East Africa whose survival depends on its infrastructure and stability.

WE SAY THERE IS NO GENOCIDE yet. But President Kagame of Rwanda warns us that genocide does not start with a million deaths but  five, then 10, then 50, shortly it grows to 100, then it goes to thousands. By the time you realise what is happening, it has a gained a momentum that is wiping out life in villages and communities and is getting out of control?

Ultimately, to save Kenya, more than anything else, we need the courage to say no to our negative ethnicity and ethnic sins of our communities.

And it must all start, not with pointing fingers of guilt at others, but with ourselves.

As we anxiously await Kofi Annan to midwife a solution for Kenya, we must remember the baby will only be as good as our conception and delivery of it.

Mr Wamwere, the former MP for Subukia, is the author of ‘Negative Ethnicity: From Bias to Genocide’.

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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