Gema statement is deodorized tribal jingoism and a whitewash of jubilee incompetence

I read with consternation an untitled statement (‘statement’ is not a title) from an organization pretending to be Gema Cultural Association – GCA, published in the Saturday Nation of 16th April 2016. What initially caught my attention is the fact that Gema – (Acronym for Gikuyu, Embu, Meru Association) – is a tribal organization founded by the hawkish political elite from Mt. Kenya in the late 60’s. It’s purpose was to pursue non-patriotic, sectarian and ethnically laced political and economic interests of the group. A casual reading of its history from Wikipedia throws up such names as Njenga Karume, Kihika Kimani, Njoroge Mungai, Mbiyu Koinange, Jeremiah Nyaga, Jackson Angaine etc. Notably, Jomo Kenyatta is said to have put pressure on a reluctant Charles Njonjo to register the organization. Moi banned it in 1980. See,_Embu,_and_Meru_Association

The authors of the statement have added “Cultural Association” to Gema to sanitize the ethnic bigoted roots of their origins and interests. I do not know whether Gema remains in the list of banned organizations since that could explain the addition of the frivolous “Cultural Association”. The attempt at disguise does not work because the disguise is not intelligently done. For example, if the article came from GCA, the cultural association and not Gema the tribal outfit, how come the acronym GCA does not appear anywhere in the article and the word Gema appears nine times inside the article? Multiple references to Gema clearly identifies who the authors are, whose perspective is being fronted and how they would like to be identified.  Let them drop the pretense to belong a cultural association of any kind. They cannot escape their tribal roots and non-patriotic hegemonic interests.

Now to the substance of the statement, substance that reeks of intellectual bankruptcy and ethnic bigotry reminiscent of the origins of the outfit. I will analyse the statement paragraph by paragraph.

Paragraph 1

Unless they were listening to different proceedings, the case against the Deputy President was not dismissed on the basis of “steadfast presentations”. They may want to refresh their memories here Ruto and Sang case: Statement, ICC Spokesperson, 5 April 2016. Gema should stop trying to rewrite history.  A divided panel decided 2-1 to vacate the case. The Chief Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji declared a mistrial due to a “troubling incidence of witness interference and intolerable political meddling”. We rarely hear of the third judge, Olga Venecia Herrera Carbuccia of the Dominican Republic who dissented, finding that the prosecution case had not broken down and that there was sufficient evidence on which if accepted, a reasonable trial chamber could convict the accused. None of the judges vacated the case on the basis of “steadfast presentations”as claimed by Gema.

Additionally, there was no question of “subjecting our nation and nationals to proceedings in International Tribunal”. The nation was not on trial. Only individuals were on trial in what they called a “personal challenge”. It was not an ‘International Tribunal’ Gema people, it was the ICC – International Crimes Court, formed by the Rome Statute, which Kenya is a signatory.  It is the same Deputy President who rejected a local tribunal and joined the chorus of those who were saying let’s not be vague, let’s go to the Hague. I remember him saying that if the cases go to the Hague, they will drag until 2090. It is often said, be careful what you wish for. He got what he wished for. When it was clear that the case will  not drag until 2090, witnesses started suffering amnesia and others started recovering from amnesia. Others disappeared. The case was pronounced a mistrial. Jubilee god works in mysterious ways.

I find the statement “in its quest for national cohesion and unity, Gema…” curious. Is it just me or is this sentence an oxymoron. How can a tribal organization, formed to promote the interests of a tribal elite, lay any claim to “national cohesion and unity?” Look whose talking!

Gema statement paragraph 3

This paragraph represents an implicit admission by the tribal outfit that the much touted notion that jubilee has achieved or was supposed to achieve “national cohesion and harmony” is a mirage. There hasn’t been any meaningful dialogue towards partial “reconciliation and healing” much less a “total” one. This is one argument I have never understood. Can the jubilee mandarins and this Gema cheering squad explain to me this: How does the coming together of 2 tribal kingpins from Central and Rift Valley amount to “national cohesion and harmony” in a country of 42 tribes and several other tribal kingpins with whom the jubilee duo do not see eye to eye?  How stupid does jubilee think Kenyans are?  Making the issue of cohesion one of their top PR mantra shows that jubilee is aware that national cohesion and harmony is one of the greatest challenges facing Kenya today. Being mired in ethnic politics and devoid of any ideas beyond the tribe, jubilee offers tribalism as a cure for the tribalism. This is a marker of absolute intellectual emptiness on the part of jubilee. How can they claim they are uniting the country when they cannot sit down with their equally tribal counterparts in CORD to agree on something as simple as prayers? Concerted effort indeed…to divide and destroy the country.

Gema statement paragraph 4

This paragraph is laughable. The first politicians to balkanize the country along tribal lines are Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, the same people the statement is glorifying. The next group of hopeless tribalists is the CORD brigade. Scholars and civil society have no capacity to balkanize this country in any fashion near what jubilee and CORD politicians have done. I have said and I will not tire of saying, Kenyans are not tribal. It is only that tribalism is the ONLY narrative of the political class. Kenyans have no choice. They either accept the tribalism of jubilee, like Gema or accept the tribalism of CORD. Unfortunately, in their warped understanding of reality, Gema only sees CORD’s tribalism, not jubilee’s. If they were honest to themselves and to Kenyans, the paragraph should have read like this:

Gema notes with concern the systematic attempt by CORD and Jubilee tribal warlords a.k.a KANU stalwarts to balkanize the country along tribal lines. We note of an existing well-choreographed campaign by the leading tribal tin-gods and their sycophants to set Kenyan communities against each other. We call upon the jubilee government to lead by example and stop the 2 tribe hegemony that is primitive, exclusionary and divisive. All Kenyans deserve to live in one peaceful united country as brothers and sisters.

Anything short of this is a whitewash of jubilee’s tribal jingoism and Gema’s own.


This paragraph expresses contradictory positions on corruption. It pretends to ask Uhuru to escalate the war on corruption. I have, in several articles, explained why Uhuru can’t and won’t fight corruption. See Five reasons why Uhuru can’t and won’t do what needs to be done to redeem his floundering presidency and Uhuru, it is your ‘system ya majambazi’: Because you can’t tame its appetite for corruption, our only responsibility as the people is to vote you out!

Jubilee mandarins have told us that Uhuru cannot fight corruption because there are independent institutions that are supposed to do that. You only need to read the reactions of jubilee defenders in the comments of the two articles referenced above.  Gema says that Uhuru should escalate the war to all levels of government (whatever this means), and then says war on corruption will not be worn by government alone. So where does the buck stop? This ambiguity is meant to exonerate the jubilee government. I have said and I still maintain that the kind of corruption that leads to lack of services and impoverishment of millions of Kenyans is systemic, government perpetrated and sanctioned. Only government can stop it. Uhuru is the head of government, a fact he often likes to remind us by his annoying “my government” phrase. It is therefore his responsibility to deal with corruption in “his” government. I have said that if he does not, excuses and tribal support like this one of Gema will not help him in 2017. Kenyans should and will vote him out. This position has infuriated jubilee supporters some of whom were calling me a disguised Ochieng (as if there is anything wrong in being Ochieng). (See comments on the articles above)  My response to them is simple, borrowed from Chinua Achebe in Things Fall Apart, “An old-woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a tale”.

I read of “double-standards” by politicians in this paragraph. Gema says that politicians are “blaming others, at the same time sanctioning and defending corruption in their own ranks”. This one I will grant it to them. They have hit the nail on the head. I agree. That it is politicians who are sanctioning and defending corruption.  I will also remind them that we were warned that there are only two politicians in the jubilee government. If you want to know who is sanctioning and defending corruption, just identify the two politicians. If you don’t know them read this article:

Gema statement paragraph 6

I am not sure where these guys live. Can they show us “tremendous progress in the areas of infrastructural development and health”?  Hopefully the ones they did with the alleged missing Eurobond billions? But one issue that I categorically disagree with is that there has been “tremendous progress in the areas of…support for youth…programs”. These guys are delusional. Jubilee gave crumbs and left-overs to the youth and then stole it! Just like the blood-soaked coalition government before them did. They gave money for kazi kwa vijana and then stole it. The youth under this regime remain the most socially, economically and politically disenfranchised segment of the population. To borrow Pierre Proudhon’s description of government, the Kenya youth have been lied to at every operation and transaction, denied registration, taxed, admonished, prevented, forbidden, punished, drilled in corrupt police recruitments, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, they are repressed, fined, vilified for being ‘radicalized’, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, sacrificed, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked as drug and sex addicts, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonoured, harassed, oppressed and stolen from by this regime and others before it.

What makes this regime the worst in its treatment of the youth is the digital promise it had come in with. It made the youth believe they would be its principal beneficiaries. They were wrong. They are its most extorted victims. More importantly, Mt. Kenya youth are among the most disenfranchised politically and economically of all the youth in this country. What makes their situation even worse is the perception that they belong to the tribe that has ‘eaten’. They have eaten nothing! Is this all the Gema elite have to offer the Kenyan youth in the 21st Century. A hollow tribal outfit meant to ensure that the wealth they have amassed to the exclusion of everyone else including ‘their own’ is protected?


Gema statement paragraph 7

Uhuru’s so called war against alcoholic drinks was illegal, shambolic, un-coordinated, un-sustainable, un-scalable, un-replicatable, a failure and a fruitless political posturing. I do not know what they are congratulating him about. The fact that it was concentrated in Central Kenya tells us how shallow the jubilee government is. Failure has become their obvious signature. War on this, war on that, war on the other, and none is won convincingly. Nothing is completed to the satisfaction of the people. If anything is completed, it is because of the opportunities it offers the politicians for theft and corruption and mileage in the next election.

Gema seems to share in this shallowness when it only mentions coffee in relation to collapsed industries. Coffee is a Central Kenya concern. Industries have collapsed everywhere in Kenya, sugar, pyrethrum, cotton, sisal, fluorspar etc. It does seem the authors are only concerned about the coffee industry because it is a Central Kenya affair. They are congratulating the president for forming a task-force to address the coffee problems in Central Kenya. I think the gratitudes are premature. Task forces are the things that government forms when it does not intend to do anything tangible about a problem. You’ve been had!

In conclusion, this statement must be seen in the light of what happens when an ethnic hegemony like jubilee draws support from the people not because they have a viable national agenda but because the leaders are from a certain tribe. The people cede their duty to think and to assess and are willing to whitewash a failed regime on the basis of tribal affiliation. I have said before that Kenya is in the grip of tribal tin-gods and they expect everyone from their tribes to prostrate themselves in front of them. This cartoon demonstrates graphically what the country has been reduced to by the tribal kingpins.



This statement is Gema’s obeisance to their tribal kingpin. If Uhuru is the ‘patriotic’ unifying leader he claims to be, he should publicly distance himself from the Gema statement and from the group in general. But I doubt he will. The statement adopts jubilees posturing of preaching patriotism by words and dividing the country along ethnic lines by action.

It is therefore the solemn duty of all patriotic Kenyans to reject this ethnic sycophancy as expressed in the Gema statement. We owe it to ourselves, our country and posterity. Let it be said that when the tribal tin-gods traversed the land demanding obeisance, blind loyalty and praise, a brave new generation told them, “No”!



Facebook Comments


  1. Its nothing but a tribal outfit,ethnic organization, political cocoons,elite class which infact doesn’t promote national unityor advocate peace and reconciliation whatsoever.

    • If they got nothing to say to their ‘clients’ do expect a blank page in a newspaper? listen to Radio Ramogi, mulembe and others not just newspapers.. Nchuri ncheke communicate their ideas to their people by means appropriate n convenient to them. When Gema chooses newspaper over other means to communicate, it’s an issue. And if the message was misleading, correct the message n not attacking the messager. In that council there is not professor like u r Dr. Why don’t u visit, dischool and reschool them in the right way?

    • Peter Kihia I am not sure I understand what your point is. Gema does not need educating. It has taken a position and it is up to us to make a decision about that position. If their position goes unchallenged, they and other Kenyans will think that their position is that of the communities they claim to represent. The world is not made evil by the actions of the bad people, it is made evil by the silence of the good people. Let Gema say what they may, but let it not go unanswered.

  2. The views presented by the outfit are their own and do not represent the overall views of the entire Gikuyu ethnic group. Therefore, they should be treated with the highest amount of contempt they deserve and more.

    • Some people think the Presidency is our birthright. Uhuru Kenyatta is my President but I don’t always support his ideas. I know when to applaud and when to question and criticize.

    • Trouble with the kenyan analysts is that they are purveyors of naked propaganda.the professor is using a hammer to kill a fry.if this statement came from the government,his rebuttal would be he is talking as if the entire kikuyu community is part and parcel to this statement.perhaps this is the price we are paying for a mainstream self censored politically correct press that has seen mushrooming of gutter press and left wing analysts with distorting narratives. Gema and other tribal outfits were proscribed in 1980.anyone purporting to speak for and on behalf of kikuyus should be given a deaf ear.

    • Maina, you miss the point. When a tribal organization buys space and speaks in an ethnically polarized country like ours, it is important that the more sane members of that community declare their stand. You may not agree with Gema. But what do you think that members of other communities read in the statement? You and I are guilty by association. It is up to us to declare a position. We cannot turn a deaf year to a statement published in a daily that was read by over 300000 Kenyans. It would be foolish and reckless of us to do so.

  3. I like that kariuki. Standing by th
    e truth. Not following stereotypes. Not even raila is capable though to lead this country. We need normal Kenyan who has manifesto. Kenyans should style up and stop looking at money or the family one comes from

    • I am not so sure what you are talking about Keziah. If you agree that we need to fight tribalism in all its manifestations, then there are no two sides in Kenyan politics. It is a single political class driven by ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity, siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi. If you have consistently read my articles you will have realized by now that as far as I am concerned, Jubilee and CORD are one and the same and not “two sides”. Same emptiness, same greed, same vision-less tribal jingoism. If there is a difference it is only that one group is in power and the other group wants it. If we are to fight siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi, then we have to call out Jubilee and CORD. That is what I have consistently done.

  4. ……… bwana professor,i like reading your articles.i as well follow you and your teachings.whats the best term would you use to describe me……an idiot,a psycophant, a fanatic,your disciple or what?

  5. Prof. Michael otieno not wainaina. May be oinaina leave gema alone. Kama wewe uliolewa na mjaluo sisi ni gema na tutakua hivyo juu uamuzi ni wa Mungu.kama una uchungu meza wembe ama vioo vya kusyagwa.

    • @Stephen. You are an old man. But it’s frivolous you haven’t a modicum of wisdom even in your mellow state. So, any liberal thinker is a Luo or simply just got married to a Luo? Come on. You are not that daft. Debate and cite reason. Negative ethnicity is wrong. One does not need to be a “Mjaluo” to say that. I will treat your sheer ignorance with a tinge of doubt for you are better than that. Critic objectively. #AnOwinoHandwriting

  6. Am not aspiring to be such a professor. What of other tribal councils of elders? Are they by any means legally acceptable or it’s only Gema u have to urinate on? prof, if u ain’t professing, u don’t deserve the title.. I might not be smart like u to neutralize ua baseless argument completely Bt note clearly it’s a matter of time..within the next 5yrs I will have the full audacity to do so. It will be prudent of u not to use vocabulary jagons to communicate ua ‘sense’ to wanjiku who is semi illiterate not unless u want to show off ua language mastery… Having said that, Also show her by quoting the 2010 COK where she’s is not allowed to form tribal organizations to defend her own interests..I know the trick that u people with big appetite for fame do: go against the majority and they get to know yu. I won’t be surprised to see u buying us back to defend that popularity

  7. Stephen u r disgusting……do your kids go to a school which is purely Gema. Do they go to a church which is multi ethnic.. ..are the tutors to Yr kids all Gema…do u live in a GEMA neighborhood… when it rained were u spared the hustles cox u r Gema? Do u have special supermarkets for Gema? Do u have special hospitals for Gema? Why r u so hollow?

  8. I concur with prof on the facts put in black & white that tribal outfits are fronted for the benefit of few tribal kingpins. I am not of the President’s region if there exists such a region, but I whole heartedly supported his election with the hope that he would at least fight negative ethnicity by reigning in on those who perpetuate it and form a government that every kenyan would identify with, but I was wrong. The government has taken all its machinery to fight CORD kingpins at the expense of national unity.

    • I understand your frustrations Mlenga. Uhuru’s failure to fight ethnicity and the way he has embraced it disappointed many people. Young people thought that we could finally have a modern state, based on patriotism & meritocracy, accountability and productivity. Unfortunately, he chose the KANU script, which is the only script he knows. That is why I have argued that in-order for us to usher in the modern state that we desire, we must send him home in 2017, and he should be followed by the other tribal overlords in Jubilee and CORD. We can then take back our country and modernize it. And yes we can.

  9. Time will come #Revolution to take Course and Kenyans shall see the Meaning of being patriotic to Each and everyone. Finally fruits of independence for each citizen will be enjoyed all over this Great #Kenya

  10. I can’t agree any more Prof.. But those supporting this GEMA thing can explain to us what agenda it stands 4 if not safeguarding mundane tribal interests at the expense of having a one united nation as they hypocritically teach us.

    • And we must stand up against it. We must refuse to bow to any initiative that divides Kenya. In fact, the true mark of patriotism is when we refuse to bow to any divisive and exclusionary practices and ideas especially when they seem to favor us. This is because whatever they seem, such ideas eventually favor no one, and undermine everyone.

  11. When Gema meets then thatz tribal….other elders from othe communities do meet at a frequency higher than gema but nobody says tz tribal… think we can use these eldrs to detribalise this country…in uganda they are honored and respected and in terms of reducing negative ethnicity uganda does better….lets not catch a cold coz GEMA has met and issued a statement!!

    • Hehehehehe…Kamau, we should catch more than a cold. We should shiver and shudder and shake and be afraid…very afraid. Tribal jingoism is lethal whether being practiced by “our own” or by “them”. It is like feeding a crocodile hoping it will eat you last. Be afraid, be very afraid.

    • No one is attacking you Macharia. The group is called Gikuyu, Embu, Meru Association and it was founded to protect the interests of elites from those communities. It is your duty to say that it does not represent you. But when it buys space in the papers to spread their propaganda and you keep quiet, it will seem as if it is speaking for you. The world is not made evil by the actions of the bad people, it is made evil by the silence of good people.

  12. The page is “sponsored” by who? This is a fish market proff! Don’t we he read of luo council of elders or the western block? Arid n semi-arid block?to name bt a few! Sell ur article to get money from raila, he has made a dozen of non tribal kikuyus millionaires!

  13. We are all Kenyans…. we should not talk as people of different tribes csz we pay the same tax we are back, we are Kenyans…. it doesnt matter where u come from.

    ## unify the country instead of splitting it

  14. I still can’t get your point, what problem do you have against GEMA, you know The GEMA communities border each other. This is a fool masquerading as a professor.

  15. Mr. ‘PHD’ is tribalism all you ever read in school? Spewing tribal vitriol adnauseum can be truly nauseating. Change topic for once. For example what is trending now is conservation. Ama hiyo walikuwa wanafunza in the afternoon?

    • Chris, there is no need of being sarcastic. I choose what I want to write about. I am convinced that the greatest threat to our national cohesion, unity and survival is not conservation. It is politics of ethnicity, impunity, and mediocrity siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi. I do not write because something is trending. I write because it is important. You are free to read the trending articles on conservation and then when the world moves on, you can move with it to whatever will trend next. As for me, you will find me here, exposing tribal jingoism and engaging with Kenyans of good will to get an alternative political narrative which is non-ethnic to save this republic. This is a course we are committed to, regardless of whatever is trending.

  16. When are we going to stop this foolishness about tribes and crap…the other day there was a news item about a kid who passed on in Kiambu District hospital coz oxygen ran out after the facility’s power went off…my guess tells me that kid was Gema…..I have seen very poor Gema members just like there are poor Kenyans every where…Tribalism in this country is fanned by the leaders for their own selfish ends…and because we have become slaves to their manipulations…you think the person living next door in Mathare….kayole…Huruma.. Etc is inferior coz he is not Yr tribesman… You don’t think hard and realize that you are all of the same ilk…you are all poor…that’s your shared tribe….the tribe of poverty

  17. This is a fraudster, he’s the same idiot, that has been criticizing uhuru since he was elected, that time in the blue shirt standing, eti in Australia bt now he is seated, muthamia, masaanta&Gadda fiv take note! Raila moves his luos to an act against the law, cord is luos, n yet hii mfano ya proff wa umatako “was in jupiter” here there is no tribal thing!

  18. All that held us together is torn apart.As a country we are no longer at ease.Things have fallen apart and the president is to blame.The proffessor is a patriot.We are not blaming Uhuru becoz he is Kikuyu but bcoz he is incompetent.

    • We have to get to a place where we can express ourselves and be judged by the weight of what we say. I agree with you. Some Kenyans think I should think in a certain way and only say certain things because I am a Kikuyu. I am Kenya first. I stand for her and defend her always. I do not need to defend my Kikuyuness. It needs no defense and in any case it has enough self-appointed defenders. It is Kenya that has been been left to her own design, and the brave voices of citizens like you.

  19. Its every community ‘s dream to lead this country. GEMA was formed to take care of kikuyu, embu, meru’ s intrest. Do you expect them to start talking abt issues of other tribes?

    • (GEMA) was an organisation in Kenya created to advance the social and political needs of people of Cental. They have managed to put Kibaki and now Kenyatta. compared to other regions in Kenya central Kenya has always received a bigger share of the government cake thanks to them.

  20. Gema died long time ago.The mastermind of this tribal outfit are all gone.Thanks to the new constitution that guarantee equal opportunity to all Kenyans.let fight for equal opportunity as kenyans,we don’t need any tribal grouping to do that.

  21. The prof gave his view but seems die hards will always be die hards for no reason state your views or “the prof cum moodo wa yuuba” jst happened to say something that u even degrade his qualification

  22. This PhD guy obviously got his creditation through googling, he is now using Google to reason. I would assume a Prof is someone so busy to be chairing some commission, or lecturing…. not making juvenile posts…

  23. We are a democratic society and I believe there is a freedom of association in our constitution why domonise some grouping instead of forming yours?more outfits should come up from other regions with an aim of helping thier people end result would be a national cohesion just like the 47counties which are going a long way in bringing devolution and development to the people of Kenya

    • I did not say that Gema should not assemble. I responded to who they are and what they are saying. I am surprised that you imagine that more tribal organizations like Gema will lead to “national cohesion”. Could you please explain how that is supposed to happen.

  24. Kenya politics have never been issue based and will not become soon. Politics in Kenya are driven by tribalism, sub tribalism clanism and nepotism but people only sees tribalism. Kenyans are always at ease discussing other people tribalism and not theirs…that is what has escalated the problem

    • True, tribalism only becomes bad when it is the ‘others’ doing it. Not when it is us being tribal. I always cringe when I hear the six tribal overlords, Uhuru, Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Ruto, Raila and Wetangula say the prolem in this country “Ni siasa za wale za ukabila”. Laughable!! They are now busy seeking new tribal coalitions. With such leaders, we are doomed.

    • Civilization takes time…self denial only add impetus to problem. When Kenyans will start discussing tribalism from “me” as opposed to “those”..we shall kill it completely

  25. As the professor has said, the current leaders in goverment were planted to safegaurd the status quo, then even if we vote them out they will be simply replaced by other purpets of the so called system of majambazi. Raila’s co-operation with the system is just a survival tactic but going by what he did when it was his authority to ensure the Nairobi road by-pass comes to pass by demolishing the buildings obstructing it without fear or favour , then he is capable of dismantling the system of majambazi and thats why may not be allowed to occupy State house.

    • I have argued consistently that both CORD and Jubilee and their leaders are steeped in politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity, Raila included. He dare not dismantle the system, which he is now firmly a member of. He simply wants to replace Kikuyu/Kalenjin tribalism with Luo (and whoever other tribal warlord he can form a coalition with) tribalism. This is the problem with the political class. They are trying to replace tribalism with tribalism, It will never work for Kenya. We will forever be dogged by a crisis of national cohesion if these tribal warlords are the only option we have.

  26. The problem with these PhDs (Papa has Dough) is that they wade through ad hominem, post hoc propter hoc, argumentum ad ignorantiam and argumentum ad populum fallacies with great ease and finesse. From a logic point of view it is truly remarkable how so called education fails to lead to an incisive critical ànalysis on such mundane issues.

  27. Prof u r refusing to see or u r outright ignorance to see 40 against 2 is tribalism that u perport to support merely bcoz it is not historically documented for u to quote.

  28. it’s my own opinion if truely prof is committed to change and you have everything needed to start this journey of change , STOP. complain and nominated 30leaders and other people to nominate 70people’s we starting vetting them now now. this way we can get 3leader’s for top leadership.

    • Gitau, I am not complaining. I am sensitizing. My message is simple. That the current political class in CORD and jubilee is mired in politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity siasa ya ukabila, ukora, na upuzi and they are taking us to hell. We desperately need a new political narrative which is non-ethnic. Even if we mobilize your 30-70-3 with the current political narrative, we will have changed nothing. You have seen how sensible educate young men get into CORD of jubilee and all of a sudden they are talking rubbish. The politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity can only corrupt. I am committed to finding this alternative narrative. Right now, I do not know what it is . But I do know that we will never change the country without it. Only a new non-ethnic political narrative will replace the old-ethnic one that is being used by the political class to take us to hell.

  29. professor do you require a degree to know how kenyans vote, kenyans always vote along tribal lines, so whatever your telling us here is misguided and can not apply anywhere in kenyan politics.

    • I do not look at the world as it is and ask why, I imagine the world as it could be and ask why not. Yes, Kenyans vote ethnically. That does not mean they cannot and they will not vote in any other way. The problem is not Kenyans, it is the options they have been given by the political class. All of them are tribal. When Kenyans are given a viable non-ethnic option, they will see it and they will vote for it. It is our duty, you and I and other Kenyans of goodwill to find out what this other alternative could be. If we have not given them the alternative, we cannot accuse Kenyans of voting according to the only choice they currently have, tribe.

  30. it was formed to bar moi from ascending to power when they discovered that kenyatta was not in good health,these people are not good intentioned

  31. It was for e economic empowerment Moi dismantled for it success remember he also did away with Alanna union Abaluya football club Luo union and build his friendly associations Kalenjin, Kamatusa and KANU

    • Moi was playing in the field of ethnicity. He had the power and therefore went after other ethnic organizations in order to strengthen his own. I have argued that the last 53 years have been of politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity. Gema was a key player and if we are to imagine a different political dispensation of patriotism, accountability and productivity, we must be wary of Gema and all other tribal associations.

  32. Ndo maana wanakataza ukabila ili wafanye ukabila shame on them.pia utakuta sera zao hawawezi kupigia kura mtu wa kabila ingine hata kidogo,na hiyo isipo koma, kenya hii mwisho wake ni Rwanda iliyopita.

  33. magacha

    I think our politicians must recognize that they are representing one umbrella nation within a democracy of parties, they must be willing to sustain something greater than their own egos,their own survival,their own faction for their own people and their own interest. Otherwise, we will all fall prey to what I call ”TRIBES EFFECTS.”
    We must recognize that we have the ability to identify those dynamics and resist the enticements of the warped psychology that those politicians are selling.

  34. Most people blame tribalism in Kenya for the country’s failure to progress, alongside corruption and bad leadership. Tribalism in Kenya arises when one or more m communities that are ethnic exalt themselves above other communities. This results from tribal consciousness and loyalty of the members who then exalt their tribe above the other groups. Tribalism in
    Kenya also emphasizes strong loyalty within the gro

    • It is also that politicians benefit from this tribal exultation and exclusion. They love tribalism because it keeps them relevant. All of them. It does not matter whether they belong to the communities that exalt themselves over others, or those that fight back. They are all beneficiaries.

  35. Why do some people like to start unwarranted arguments that bring acrimony. Is this how they like to live their lives. Please bring issues that would help people and not make them fight. What kind of people are you?

  36. No matter how confused, brainwashed they may be,develops from every act of syncope ant and tribal cacoons: your sudden,dazzling,perception and observation that there is something in each Mwanaichi with which we can identify ourselves as Kenyan even if only for a moment but not our tribes that is a powerful new force- kudos prof.
    That awareness if transmitted swiftly, powerfully, by intellectuals of your kind, would lead many Kenyans from indentifucation with a course seemingly defined to change the contours of our social and political life. Professor why you are writing or looking for is something different, less confined to particular so- called political outfits- Cord or Jubilee but a statement of national purpose almost prophetic in dimension that would bind Wanainchi in a great experiment. Your observation is not intended as irony!!! What else can a professor son of Gema- having already born a kikuyu aspire to???? You could not have chosen to write bout tribalism without believing it both worthy and possible!!! Hongera

    • I agree that if we can find, even for a moment, that spark that identifies us as Kenyan, if we can swiftly and powerfully seize on that spark and inspire Kenyans differently, we will become the generation that attains the socio-political revolution that has eluded us over the last 53 years. I am committed to intellectually looking for that spark. We must find it, to light a new fire of patriotism, accountability and productivity. The country now writhes under the flames of ethnicity,Impunity and mediocrity. If we do not get an alternative sooner than later, the flames will consume us.

  37. Furthermore those movements- the Gema and others don’t provide a description for the Great one society called Kenya- we are people of this generation but still estranged, isolation described the vast distance between man and man today…..

  38. As A Professor You Didnt Understand The Content Of Those Publications And If You Did, You Failed To Establish The Root Cause That Brought UP This Organization As You Ought To. I Doubt Your Credentials.

  39. “…It is therefore the solemn duty of all patriotic Kenyans to reject this ethnic sycophancy as expressed in the Gema statement. We owe it to ourselves, our country and posterity…” Thank you!

    • I have not said that people should not associate. I am critiquing their statement for what it is and the message is it meant to send. If they didn’t want us to respond, they should not have put it in the paper. Now that they did, it is the duty of those of us who fundamentally disagree with them to make our point.

  40. A good piece. I come from Embu county and have often argued out that GEMA is a tribal outfit of the elite. ..who take advantage of the poor people in Mt. Kenya region…especially during elections

  41. Prof. Michael Wainaina, I hope you are taking care because when you go against the grain, the writing is on the wall. Look at what happened to Jeff Koinange in the early morning break in Brother Jacob Juma last evening. You should understand that these guys are not averse to doing away with there own. Take Kungu karumba and JM Kariuki as an mere example.

  42. Prof. I fault you on this. A deeper analysis of all tribal groupings;their origins,agendas,strategies would have made better critical thinking. I feel you are not balanced, but equally it could be deliberate. There was/is Aksmbs,Luo union, kamatusa, Pwani initiative etc. All these are cultural/tribal outfits. Those talking of tribes exalting themselves above others are just thinking of the presidency. Other tribes will one day rule Kenya for a fact. If you expect all 42 tribes to rule Kenya during your lifetime, forget it. Do the maths or change it to one year per tribe. Tribalism is real.I get hit below the belt in FB even before I declare my political affiliation, just by my name. I once had my name start with an ‘O’ and most gave me likes. My family are married to Luo,Kalenjin and Maa. When we meet we are good Kenyans. When we are led by politicians; Uhuru,Kalonzo,Raila, thy tell us our names ‘betray’ us. Lastly, no genocide in Kenya. We are beyond that foolishness,even if one leader wishes it could happen -to proove his point.

  43. What is the difference between gema, kalenjin, luya and mijikenda? To answer my own question, there isn’t any difference. They are all outfit crafted for political reason. None of them can claim to be angel or devil advocate.

  44. In as much as you may pretend & try to sing along CORD’s gimmick, you were born Kikuyu, and there’s nothing you can do about it, prof. Kikuyu wakiungana, ni ukabila, but other communities are exempted in this anti-tribe school of thought. Tribal affiliation is a gift from God; and if you read the bible, you will understand even God favours some tribes.
    Critics, matusi zitajaa hapa, kazi yangu ni kuona nani mkali kwa kutusiana

    • …it’s my considered opinion that this gentleman is a Professor of Political Naivety…
      …as we say in GEMA: kaihū gacangacangi gatigaga kwao gūgithinjwo..

    • Maingi and Mbugua, the fact that you have swallowed the tribal lie from your tribal tingod does not mean everyone has. Some of us have the misfortune of being able to think for ourselves and to see a bigger picture than the narrow ethnic jingoism of the tribal tingods in Cord and Jubilee. It scares me when you bring God into this and say he favors some tribes. That is stuff I do not even want to contemplate.

  45. I cant agree more with Prof Wainaina. The Gema believed in NATIONALIST COVENANT! Kenya is a property of a few kenyans! Did wainaina mention political and economic gains as the sole agenda why GEMA was crafted? What other prove? The same group doing the same hv no respect to our constitution, where NATIONAL UNITY replaces NATIONALIST COVENANT. Equity, equality, inclusiveness, patriotism, rule of law, human righ, governonce thats transparency, accountability and intergrity. Its upto you kenyans to wake up and take charge of our country, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

    • Peter, I was responding to a statement they had put in a natinal daily. I did not pick them up at random. If the rest of the groupings buy space in the newspaper to spread tribal jingoism, I will respond in equal measure. As unfashionable as it is, I believe in Kenya. I am against the current political class in Cord and jubilee who are mired in primitive politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi. When a tribal organization comes out to support such backward politics, it is my duty to call them out.

  46. …it’s my considered opinion that this gentleman is a Professor of Political Naivety…
    …as we say in GEMA: kaihū gacangacangi gatigaga kwao gūgithinjwo..

  47. There’s nuthin wrong with supporting your fellow tribesman, just like it’s okay to support someone from some other tribe. Raila is passionately supported by Luos; I live near a lot of them & few even know what political idiology is, let alone wht Raila stands for. In the U.S, people of colour & other ppl of non-caucasian origin overwhelmingly voted for Obama, whereas whites predominantly voted for Republican candidates in both 2008 &2012. The world over, there’s a recognizable pattern.

    • First the claim about “world over”is pretentious. I am not sure that the Luo and the blacks on the US comprise “the world”. Anyone looking for a defense of tribalism will find it. I have seen it in many commentaries and with many commentators. It is nothing new. I have said that the country is in its current state of dissonance and disillusionment because of the politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi from both jubilee and Cord. We will not make any progress if this remains the trend in Kenyan politics. I cannot and will not accept an argument that tells me that the only option we have is these tribalists “because that is the way the world works” because it is not. This is the narrative of the current political class. The people need an alternative non-ethnic narrative. I am committed to the alternative.

  48. Why is it tribal when Gema unite? I guess it’s because of the strength we have when united. Wengine hawana ukabila wakiungana? Let me ask you in French, kai wimurihe ni Thu citu?

  49. you must be acord instrument i beg my fellow tribesmen not to take you serious because soon or later you will be vying for political seat using cord ticket.

    • You have your “tribesmen” all to yourself. I have the right to run for any office using any ticket including Cord and “let the people decide”. It doe snot help matters when you seek to disqualify other people on the basis that they are tribal while addressing your tribesmen.

  50. Give us a break professor, u too can go and create yours, we cherish this, land buying companies, sacco societies, matatu saccos and co operative societies , all originated from kikuyu nation, we won’t let go!! #(kamuingi koyaga ndiri).

  51. Oliver, if you had read the article you would know that I have not spoken against saccos and societies and land buying companies. I have spoken against tribal jingoism. Especially the one disguised as these. I have read the constitution and I have not seen anything there called “kikuyu nation”.

    • There is really nothing wrong with community bodies taking care of its members’ welfare which eventually contribute to national growth…..just like a panga, it all depends on how you use such a body. Rather than batter it out of phobia for its strengths, we should encourage formation of many such bodies which can then be represented by one unifying body and exploit the synergy. However in this era of devolution, this idea may have been overtaken by events. A scrutiny of creation of the 47 counties could also reflect an element of our ethnic thinking though as handed down by our colonisers in their quest to divide and rule. The article does not do justice in analysing GEMA among other such bodies especially the good that can/may be reaped from them.

  52. Professor. I can why can’t u tell us about luo association. Gema was formed for both political and economic mileage. However Kikuyus have been seen as selfish yet Njuri njeke, Kikuyu council of elders, Massai association and many others like wazee wa kaya don’t come to picture. Everyone in kenya treat their tribe first. Let kikuyus be and grow themselves. Mental Corruption starts with your mind Seeing Kikuyu jingoism… Am a proud cultural Kikuyu

  53. Tribalism is in Kenya to stay. I won’t lie to my son that he doesn’t have a tribe, because he has one and am proud of it. Mwacha mila ni mtumwa, now, in my opinion when we fail to distinguish politics and tribes, thats where we go wrong. Belonging to Kikuyu tribe harms no one, when we politicise, then everything changes. The only way out is having objective politics tailored around national interests and development, rather than divisive politics bordering on tribal affiliations.

  54. Professor wainaina or whatever you ca yourself, can you leave GEMA alone.not unless you did your phd in gemology. Kindly shut up or ‘nature” will silence you forever.

  55. I’ve often asked myself this question which has always been taken for granted,”who is a Kenyan?”To me it would appear to refer to the various ethnic groups found within the borders of Kenya.When people from central Kenya take a position on a weighty issue,and declare that”Kenyans”have spoken,you are left wondering which Kenyans they are referring to.What I want to state here for any avoidance of doubt,is that we will never move forward as a nation with this skewed sense of entitlement,disguised as patriotism!There is a clear difference between tribe and culture,and this is what the good alluding to.Culture denotes the practices of a particular community(tribe)This is in fact very healthy because it enhances one’s identity and sense of belonging.It then becomes negative(tribal)when these practices are imposed on other communities,whose practices maybe different.For a country to gain real patriotism,all cultures have to be accommodated irrespective of the differences,and that’s why America is where it is today.Let me conclude by saluting astute individuals like Prof.Wanaina,for speaking the truth and advocating for real patriotism and showing true love for his country!Salute Prof’!

  56. So wewe proffesor uchungu wako ni gema voting there own every elections?…thts wat your calling tribalism?…excuse me we are ademocratic country everyone is free to choose any1…do you thing luos will ever vote for akikuyu or any tribe wen aluo is vaying for presidency?…so pliz msituchukia cz of our numbers sio kupenda kwetu ni Mungu ndio aliamua…so pia nyinyi zaeni mkue wengi its nt our fault if we vote our own…its cz we love each other..

  57. Having read the whole article, I am convinced that with like minded patriots of Prof. Wainaina’s stature, we can salvage our nation. The moment tribe overshadows our thinking, we lose objectivity. GEMA should remain as it was, a dinosaur relic for the museum.

  58. Vincent

    This man, Prof. Wainaina is a great patriot…he remains one of the most ONLY sober and eloquent scholars of modern Kenyan times…Always scathingly objective!!!

  59. GEMA had immense wealth. the GCA was registered as an offshoot of GEMA to take care of these interests. Even if they wanted there was and there is no room for the tribal function that you so much dread. even Abaluhya Football Club is today AFC Leopards FC.

  60. How comes when a certain communities form a cultural organization it is labeled as tribal and retrigressive but other community organizations are very much hailed as progressive? So called Professor should stop this game proto.

  61. the Monday demos are virtually s one tribe affair but they are not described as such but a meeting or groups of Kikuyu’s are regarded as tribal even on social occasions ,wee wainaina arap otieno please give us a break ur just promoting CORD’s porojos & propaganda,

  62. Political and economic gains nt patriotism are the key words here guys. U should examine that statement carefully and stop loathing prof. Truth is bitter. This whole thing was just created to make kenya a property of a few goons! Ask yourself how does the poor Wanjiku or kamau benefit from this? Nothing.

  63. Germans, britons, greeks etc are all tribes(though in europe) and they promote and identify themselves with their own culture, i don’t know why in africa when we promotes our own, we are lebelled tribal outfits by others instead of them showing of what superiors they have , we should be proud of our diversity and complement the shortage of the others.

    • This is a pretty misguided comment. It is not belonging to a tribe that is a problem. Everyone belongs to one. it is the using of that fact to mobilize politically to the exclusion of others that makes tribalism bad. When you do that, you disrespect diversity and demean instead of complementing others.

  64. At times i wonder which institutions confer this men into prof.For your information GEMA communities are the most non tribal people.In mount Kenya we have ODM elected MPS yet you could like us to believe we are tribal?In mount Kenya ODM leaders can vist at this to nyanza when tuju said he could support kibaki he had to vist his home town with a helmet in his head,when you a prof claims that GEMA is a tribal unit it shows your lack of appreciation.

    • Your argument about GEMA communities being non-tribal is an interesting one. No community is more tribal than another. It depends on the tribal warlords fronting themselves as the tribal Kings. It is they who need tribalism to survive not the people.

  65. Good professor tell me the difference between Gema and lets say the Kalenjin,miji kenda or luhya coz i believe all these are a group of people sharing the same culture,occupying the same geographical niche and speaking almost the same dialect.

  66. When luo leaders meet with some frm western its not tribal, i wonder with some ppo. At the end one day kenya will go apainful way of coup we will be no different with libya









    • I am the first to support any effort to preserve and teach culture. So if GEMA are so concerned about cultural revival, how many cultural centers have they build? How many cultural curricula have they developed? How many cultural scholars have they sponsored? How many researches into cultures have they funded? How much promotion of culture is in the statement I analysed? The answers to all these questions is none! You shall know them by their fruits. They are nothing more than tribal chauvinists.



  68. this professor is either evil or has a serious case of self detest and destruct.There are soo many Gikuyu’s who appreciate other Gikuyu’s as well as other tribes because they’ve been raised to be patriotic and accommodating.Stop yourveilled tribal hatred

  69. Can I ask a rather basic question? I will do so anyhow. What is wrong with a tribal association? You claim they are non-patriotic. Any facts to support that conclusion? There is nothing wrong with proudly and distinctly associating with a tribe unless that association infringes or impinges on other tribes or peoples in any manner. Methinks

  70. I know and i believe that tribalism is in every kenyan blood. I was on a work trip once with my collegue and it happened we were from the same tribe so we were walking on the street and we came across another guy he was of the tribe too coz when he heard us speaking our language. He was so happy to meet people of his tribe there. We talked for a while asking us where we are from and so fourth. He actually offered to host us in his house instead of renting a room. Thats exactly what happens if any of the tribes meet at such circumstances. But the enthusiasm is far much less if it’s people from a diffrent ethnicity. You dont expect that to change if its the rich or politicians.

    • It is obvious you are more comfortable with those of your ethnic extraction. I appreciate Kenyans whenever I find them. We will speak swahili. If they happen to be Kikuyu we have one more language in common. I am excited about meeting Kenyans and Africans any where in the world. if you expanded your thinking just a little bit, you will too.

  71. Whats wrong being in a tribe or associating with like minded groups? As long as its not meant to infridge on rights of others or destroy the social cohesion of the nation, then nothing wrong with that. What we should be asking for is its objectives, goals and values, then we can rightly judge

  72. Prof.Otieno. In this world it’s survival for the fittest.jews are doing so.our constitution is also very tribal. Counties are tribal enclaves. Demos in nairobi are me whichever name we give to a tribal organisation whose members aim is for survival reasons. Got no problem with that. Patriotism doesn’t mean you do away with your distinct identity and survival tactics in this competitive world . Otieno you are also trying to survive and you are seeking the GEMA community acceptance.

  73. We have tribes worldwide. Tribalism, racism, segregation are practiced everywhere everyday but here in Kenya its an obsession with negative impact socially, economically, politically and everythingcally.

    • Yes Sam. And this obsession is a sickness with the tribal warlords at the helm of CORD and jubilee. Unfortunately, they have spread the sickness to their followers. We need an antidote.A new generation of patriotic Kenyans who will pursue politics of patriotism, accountability and productivity. We need these Kenyans urgently because the doctor has diagnosed that our tribal warlords in Cord and jubilee are terminally ill with politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity, siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi. They cannot be cured.

  74. The only target Cord n supporters r trying to inflict is economic sabotage which the “Kikuyu jingoism” as u refer to them as must n will in whichever way protect. Huwezi kuwaleta waadamanaji from corded areas n more so from luo nyanza kuvuruga amani au kuzua fujo hapa Nrb eti coz ni Waliowengi na wasiomuunga mkono Raila Ondinga kisiasa wataumia ki kibiashara as a way of forcing a compromising situation through mob dictatorship. Nusu mkate msahau kabisa.

  75. professor Wainaina I don’t really get what you are talking about,GEMA is a pro Jubilee tribal group and they are doing their work.The same way Luo council of elders do.

    • the real fact of the truth is we are a nation who can only stand as one without differences. There should never exist a self intrest but only a one intrest an intrest for a one nation not a regime not a party not a tribe not a person or a certain organization. WE SHOULD BECOME KENYAN NOT A TRIBE BUT KENYAN.

  76. @ godfrey, infact most of the like minded say and write the bought propaganda because they are paid well to do so. Keep it up some fruit may come of it wether edible or not. Wanjiku need their issues addressed and check your facts, wanjiku need the whle of her not a club2

  77. Embu and Meru are remembered and grouped together with Gikuyu during campaigns and elections ONLY. When it comes to sharing of the cake, they are conveniently forgotten. Never again.

  78. the real fact of the truth is we are a nation who can only stand as one without differences. There should never exist a self intrest but only a one intrest an intrest for a one nation not a regime not a party not a tribe not a person or a certain organization. WE SHOULD BECOME KENYAN NOT A TRIBE BUT KENYAN

  79. The Kikuyus are known for using and dumping others. The GEMA matrix is about this. Ruto is next to cry. They are grooming another one after Kamwana. Aulize Raila alipongoja Kibaki aseme tosha…Raila means well for this country. A real patriot

    • Kinyanjui the fact that u dont see what the tribal effects in this country is then you are the idiot one…we have left being kenyans first and tribes second and instead we have embraced tribal manouverings in everyday life.even when u meet a person this days u hear ” which tribe a u from”!and u dont see anything wrong with what tribal groupings has done to the country?????

  80. Any outfit that brings people together for a common good should be supported by every sane minded person. Unless it infringes the rights of others. Just because the word Gema is associated with the ruling class should not be used to demonise the intended association. Other tribes are doing it. Why not Gema. Those groupings can effectively be used as forums inter tribal negotiations and cooperation. Only when we embrace those tribal groupings will we be at a point to negotiate lasting peace and coexistence

  81. To my learned friend :when jamii ya mirembe comes together to discuss one of them rising to the highest office that’s not a tribal grouping, when kamatusa is registered ,that’s not a tribal organization, when kaya elders meet in kaya forests to talk about mijikenda issues,that’s not a tribal organization, similarly the luo council of elders.tribalism is only when Gema meets.we love our tribes but we hate negative ethnicity. Full stop. #one country one people under God.

  82. Bloggers are like socialites,they will say and do anything for attention.All of us know that what GEMA is doing is right.They hail from the major Uhurus’ voting block and they are there for him always.

  83. I dont understand why some Kikuyus just insult Wainaina before even reading what is in the link obove.Why must he be called Otieno or any other Luo name,what have the Luos done to you Kikuyus that their names are used as abusive nouns?is it because they are the only tribe that is a threat to your government? I wish people would wake up some day and realise how useless tribalism is,how useless it is to insult your fellow kenyan because of few greedy men in government,how useless it is to vete for someone with no leadership qualities just because he is your tribesman..Kenyans lets be real and stop it.BUT if you feel tribalism is the way out,the only solution to that your illness is a serious war.yes,you will end up with a serious tribal war to solve your issues,but again it won’t.You will surrender and cry for peace.all your people will die,bodies of your friends and relatives will be spread all over the ground in a pool of won’t like it..that way,you will want to talk with anyone you meet and ask for peace regardless of their tribe.The time is now,you either make peace and end this tribal idiocy without losses or start a war and end it with tears.

  84. OMG! Prof. The situation looks like the Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”. We have lived in an environment saturated with ethnic politics for so long that it is not easy to see anything else for most Kenyans. At times it very discouraging especially from some of the comments above. The wrong narrative we have swallowed up will not be easy to spit or smash. 😐

  85. Nobody was forced to join GEMA, it was formed to unite Mt Kenya people for political interest. Those who formed it owe nobody an apology. It didn’t have to be registered to achieve its objectives. I’m proud to be associated with GEMA

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