Moving to the Left
I have always held in high esteem the principles of a social democracy. The majority having their way and the minority having their say and being heard. This has informed my political choices over the past few elections that I have had the opportunity to participate in.
There have been a fair share of disappointments, from feelings of outright snatching away of my rights. And suspicion over a subtle stifling of democracy. These sentiments explain why I highly respect the pain and burden borne by those caught in too deep within the struggle.
I have tried to interrogate our past as country. Our fight for independence was lit deep within the forests and caves of the Kirinyaga. Patriots left the comfort of a home and family for a greater call. To free up a people. Take back their land. Yes, they were branded terrorists. They were subdued,in 1957 or thereabouts. The embers of their fire moved the struggle from the forest to the streets and later to the LEGCO and the existing colonial institutions, eventually winning the war by intellectual argument and transforming the same institutions. Freedom! That was 1963.
In 1992 the country experienced its first multiparty elections. The streets had scored a first victory. Fast forward to 2010, we ushered in a new era that granted us more say in how we wish to be governed, courtesy of devolution. The lives lost to this extent cannot be a justification but should provide a reflection on the price paid.
Change of Tact
It is on the same breadth that I believe that the streets having done their part, now is the time the struggle made a change of tact. This should be moved into homes, to instill values of social inclusion and democracy. To help everyone understand, respect and protect the rights of others irrespective of tribe. Violence cannot realise this. Building a strong family as an institution will have much greater impact on the national values.
Social democracy espouses the will to build strong social institutions; civil strife will only strive to destroy the same. I believe that our country has made great strides in the quest for democracy. Greater credit goes to the heroes of the second liberation for helping lay the greatest foundations of democracy in an African country. Many of them were vilified and faced the greatest cruelty. Some of them suffer the consequences to date.
Where do we go now?
We are now standing at a crossroads. We could either help put up this house, or tear it down. We can tear it down much faster by civil unrest. We can also bury our heads in the sand, ignore that emergent crack and watch the house walls split into two. This house we are trying to build on hard core capitalism will come crashing down. Whoever was going to become president at this juncture would not have an easy job.
That is like finding work under an all-day scorching sun with a cruel boss and still having to contend with a disgruntled and nagging wife at home. It is much tougher, since there is little option of leaving the union in this case. Not when we all still want to live under the same roof.
We are not just deeply divided but also a poor country. Millions are still not able to properly feed themselves in this era of smartphones and e-commerce. We have much work ahead of us. I close with a word of hope. Many including myself were moved by Boniface Mwangi’s campaign. It represents the light at the end of the dark tunnel of corruption, tribalism, cronyism and other vices that stand in the way of a socially cohesive society.
I support the argument that development without unity is futile. Everything can be destroyed from a single spark. We should all work hard to build a unified society by asking and addressing the hard questions that keep us apart. Not by sweeping them under the carpet. To embrace a love that respects, protects and honors every Kenyan, irrespective of political affiliation or tribe- to wear as our slogan#HapaKazi na Upendo tu!