The proponents of the jubilee merger have been lecturing Kenyans about national unity. They claim that theirs is a “patriotic” move to “bring Kenyans together”. Politicians especially of Kenyan extraction can say anything. This is the newest “anything” in town which makes sense to no one except the jubilee mandarins and daydreamers. They are yet to explain to Kenyans how merging tribal entities like TNA and URP is supposed to bring about national unity and cohesion! It is akin to saying that if you have a small heap of garbage and you merge it with another small heap of garbage, you get a big heap of worthy garbage! But jubilee is so desperate to drop the tribal millstone hanging around its neck that they are willing to believe their own hype. This is a country deeply divided along a tribal fault courtesy of jubilee and CORD tribal chauvinism. We cannot talk about national unity provided this fault exists and it keeps getting bigger. If jubilee is serious about national unity and cohesion, dare they merge with CORD their tribal Siamese twin. Anything short of this is hogwash and tribal gymnastics.
If Kenyan politicians were honest, a merger between the two is not inconceivable, after all, they have more in common than in contrast. To begin with, both are mired in politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi. What this means is that there can be no way of bringing about national unity if only one side pretends to “denounce” its tribal character, identity and method of political mobilization. For us to achieve truly national character in politics, there is need of conversion of both CORD and jubilee and not one or the other. If jubilee is serious about national unity, dare they first merge with CORD. If CORD is serious about national unity, dare they merge with jubilee.
To show that there is no ideological difference between CORD and jubilee, the tribal kingpins at their helm have worked together in the last three elections and two referenda when their tribal political interests coincided. To begin with, all are KANUnnites. Some were more senior than others, some had a longer dalliance than others, some were more hawkish than others, but all were as ideologically empty and tribally inclined then as they are now. You did not need to be intelligent or visionary to succeed in KANU. In fact too much of either was frowned upon. You only needed to show deference to baba Moi and to fit in his tribal arithmetic.
These KANUnnites learnt well.
With Moi the master puppeteer gone, the puppets fragmented into individual tribal tin-gods and today none can project a vision that resonates with all Kenyans. They all think they are worthy just because of the tribal following they bring to the table. The problem is that they have no respect for each other. Because they know each other to be empty and tribal, they will not give way to each other. They reckon that one tribalist is as good as the other. And I would tend to agree, if two or three tribal warlords can unite, all six can. If Jubilee cares about national unity, dare they merge with CORD. And I can propose a new name for that merger, “KANU Re-united”. They can add “21st Century style” just for swag and PR!
All the KANUnnites seem to define national unity as a “tribal MOU’s by self-styled tribal warlords speaking for their strongholds”. CORD claims to be national, because it considers itself a more legitimate tribal conglomeration than jubilee which is seen to be a conglomeration of two tribes. This is the greatest handicap of the political class in CORD and jubilee. They are entirely incapable of imagining a nation outside the tribal paradigm. I do not blame them. Doing so needs very high level of intelligence both natural and acquired, great moral fortitude, vision, selflessness and statesmanship. All these qualities are lacking in all the feuding and jostling tribal kingpins. None of the six, Raila, Uhuru, Kalonzo, Ruto, Wetangula or Mudavadi can demonstrate any of these qualities in sufficient quantities or in sufficient combinations. The biggest qualification they have for wanting to rule the country is that they all want power and they have serious contempt for each other since they know none of them is better than the other. Some even sadly have a sense of entitlement, that somehow Kenyans owe them the presidency! However, if you remove tribal supremacy, they are all as equally empty as politicians come. I have not heard them say anything inspiring in the last 15 years. In fact, I have heard them all tell us how tribal, or corrupt, or empty each other is. They are masters of doublespeak and political gerrymandering. Surely, they belong together.
When it comes to political day-dreaming, they are equally matched. Their status as tribal overlords haunts them equally. Consequently, their rhetoric is self-righteous and there is nothing they like more than calling themselves “nationalists” but they call each other “tribalists”. Well, you can only be one or the other, not both at the same time. A good test of who they really are is to ask ourselves what would happen to them if Kenyans got rid of tribalism tomorrow and embraced nationalism. All of them would go home. It is impossible to conceive of a united and cohesive Kenya with these tribal warlords at the helm. They are the antithesis of what is needed to build a united country.
To their credit, jubilee has identified the biggest political problem: A fragmented country courtesy of their and CORD’s politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity. From this, they acknowledge the need for uniting Kenyans. Again this is correct. It is their prescription of how they will go about uniting Kenyans that betrays their hopelessly doomed way of thinking…that the solution to tribal fragmentation is to form a bigger tribal coalition. This is honest stupidity. You cannot solve tribalism by more tribalism. It is Martin Luther King who warned us that:
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
After 53 years, the political class needs to admit that their unity project has been a total failure. It is time to regroup and take the unity song back to its source KANU, and hopefully compose another song. This has to start with a merger of all the KANUnnites, in CORD and jubilee, not just the jubilee ones. As for we the people, after 53 years of the meaningless unity song, secret tribal warlords’ MOU’s, scripted ethnic mergers and tribal divisions, we are tired, very tired!