The Star (Nairobi)

13 October 2012

Kenyans Dethroned Kanu and Are Enthroning Ethnic Dictatorships

analysis

As people escaping from cold may end up in ice, Kenyans dethroned one party dictatorship of Kanu but are now enthroning one party ethnic dictatorship all over the country.

When Kenyans fought for multiparty democracy, they wanted it to liberate them from one party dictatorship. Instead of saving people, however, multiparty democracy has been hijacked by tribal chieftains who are turning parties into domiciles of ethnic dictatorship where communities are enslaved and turned into armies of fighting ethnic wars.

Ordinarily, parties are formed to champion interests of their members. They should not be pythons that hypnotise people into their mouths before swallowing them. But once hijacked, in elections, parties herd communities into "suits" and swallow them.

Fortunately, many citizens are waking up to the danger of one party ethnic dictatorship and are asking what they may do to escape their plight.

To escape ethnic dictatorship, many people are ditching ethnic parties for individual leadership. They have realised that irrespective of whether they claim to belong to members or their communities, ethnic parties are simply properties of their leaders.

Further, Kenyans know, because parties are their leaders' castles, candidates who run for office in them, have only shelter not ownership in them.

As for voters, they too now realise that their support for candidates in certain parties hardly gives them inclusion or ownership of the party.

To guarantee themselves representation, most voters now wish to elect people who promise to best represent and champion their interests, without caring a hoot about the parties on whose ticket their choices fight for election.

This realisation notwithstanding, to ensnare people into their spider's web, tribal party owners falsely claim that good representation can only come from their ethnic parties.

Simultaneously they paint chieftains of other ethnic parties as monsters waiting to eat up other communities whose welfare ethnic party owners claim to only think about.

Lest we forget, ethnic parties don't just use leaders to propagate ethnic hate. They also use grassroots agents whose mountains of hate far beat hills of leaders' hate.

To win communities, ethnic leaders cheat voters that unless they attain the presidency, their communities will never be secure. Further, voters are falsely convinced that their survival will not come from any leaders they may elect for themselves, but leaders they must elect for their ethnic president.

To attain political supremacy in their ethnic hinterlands, we hear the ethnic dictator pleading with voters, not to open their eyes and elect best MP or councillor for themselves, but to close their eyes and elect for him his candidates whether dead or not. Unfortunately when voters oblige they turn their counties into these leaders' colonies to own and exploit as they wish. Worse, by electing MPs for their leaders, voters cut off their tongues never to speak again about their own problems and interests.

By following ethnic leaders, Kenyans are in a great trap of ethnic servitude that makes one ask. Will they vote as Kenyans or as communities voting against other communities?

When Kenyans vote as communities, they don't do so by choice, they are coerced by their ethnic dictatorships. In Rwanda, many will remember how fifty thousand Hutus were killed by extremist Hutus for objecting to the killing of Tutsis, fellow countrymen and women.

Elections through ethnic parties have serious dangers. Like queue voting, ethnic voting is not secret. It is conducted though fear and threats and as war between communities. Ultimately, it breeds inter-ethnic violence.

Politicians that are driven by the ideology of negative ethnicity are like fishermen who can only fish in troubled and exclusive waters. To maximise votes, they create, through hate and suspicion, ethnic territories where enemy parties - ODM for Luos, TNA for Kikuyus, URP for Kalenjin, Wiper for Kambas and UDF for Luhyas may not venture. If they do, it will be to their own peril.

By the way, ethnic labeling is not done to unite but divide for the good of ethnic chieftains but ultimately for the destruction of the country.

Though it works against all, the strategy of 41 against one is nevertheless resorted to against the Luo when Kikuyus applaud, against Kikuyus when Luos applaud, against Kalenjins when others applaud and against Kenya when communities will applaud to their own final detriment.

Our ethnic parties and their leaders have become bulls that cannot stay in the same kraal called Kenya without fighting until only one is left standing.

Indeed we seem to suffer a collective death wish that forces one to agree that Kenyans are either bewitched, cursed or William Shakespeare was right that, those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.

But before communities self-destruct like butterflies jumping into fire, let us ask what is best for their survival, one or more parties for every community?

The truth is we abandoned one party system because we hated its dictatorship. One party system will also breed ethnic dictatorship for communities.

And why should communities be so suicidal as to put all their political eggs in one basket. Didn't sages say two heads are better than one?

Nor is monopolisation of power good for communities in Kenya. Only a few Kikuyus benefited from Kenyatta government. Only a few Kalenjins benefited from Moi government.

Only a few Kikuyus and Luos are benefiting from Kibaki's presidency and Raila's premiership. And why should an entire community stay in the cold because a party they have all congregated into has lost elections? Kenyans must stop dancing around the fire of negative ethnicity. It is a madness, they cannot afford.

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