I have urged in this blog that voices of the good Kenyans need to speak up against CORD & Jubilee’s politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi. I have used this forum to speak strongly against these and the tribal warlords who thrive through them and who are keen on taking our country to hell, again. Two incidences of Kenyans speaking up encouraged me this week. The incidences were calling out the tribal kingpins, criticizing the mindless political games they play with other people’s children, pointing out the heritage of poverty they have yoked their people with, asking the right questions and letting the political class know they are fed up. One item was this video of Tedd Josiah, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYAox0BO8ek speaking about the IEBC protests mounted by CORD. The other was an image doing rounds in whatsApp, the featured image in this article, about what the children of Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila Odinga and Moses Wetangula are up to while the children of their impoverished followers are being hammered by police in the streets. I will comment briefly about the photo and then at length about Tedd Josiah’s message. We, the Kenyan people need to hear this message even more than the political class, because I doubt they are even listening.
The photo drove the message home. I am not worried about the veracity of the images, the authors may as well have used photo-shop, emojis or caricatures, it doesn’t matter. The most important thing is the message. The image hit home quite deeply, so much so that I felt angry and I have not even been to the anti-IEBC CORD riots. I have always insisted that the political class thinks that Kenyans are poor and stupid. When they ask other peoples’ children to go to the streets to protest, where are their own? Could they be rocking and rolling enjoying life and all things nice while the children of poor people are abandoned in the streets as the tribal tingods are whisked away in sleek 4 x 4’s as soon as the first tear gas canister is heard? Who is the fool now? The picture speaks for itself. Itafakali. Let me turn to Tedd’s video.
It starts by painting a shameful picture of an elder, a grandfather sitting in the streets in the name of protests. I had felt that there was something wrong with that picture but I hadn’t figured it out that way. Tedd asks a very pertinent question;
“How come the ODM leader has not mentored young revolutionaries who are supposed to be in the streets demanding for free and fair elections and an accountable government?”
This is a good question and it raises a fundamental issue about succession and political mentoring. The tribal warlords having no political ideology or institutions that they can pass on to a new generation are an end unto themselves. Politics is about them and therefore they have never seen the need to nurture a new generation. They stand for nothing, have built nothing apart from tribal fiefdoms and therefore they have nothing to offer a new younger generation. I remember watching a documentary of Nelson Mandela. When he left office, he had powerful words for the youth:
“Time has come for a new generation to take over, it is in your hands now.”
He had fought and ushered in a new democratic dispensation. The country had a new constitution, which had been his dream and objective all along. Having achieved these, he felt it was time for a new generation to take over. But he had something to hand over. The Kenyan political class have nothing to hand over. At the rate they are chest thumping and intimidating Kenyans with death and violence, we will be lucky as a generation to pick up leftovers of a country they are ready to shred to feed their own greed for power. Tedd’s was a call for the old guard to reflect and start to imagine a transition, and what their legacy will be. I doubt they are listening.
Tedd goes further to question if indeed there is a legacy to talk of from the ODM leaders in Nyanza. He correctly asks:
“A leader is supposed to lead you to a place of prosperity. What place of prosperity is there in Nyanza, one of the most fertile places in Kenya? What prosperity it there? What prosperity are these leaders bringing?”
This is a critical question. Tedd wonders what ODM and the Nyanza political elite have done to support for example, micro-finance for the youth and job creation for the young medics, scientists, media practitioners etc who roam jobless in Nyanza. Nothing.
But it is instructive that Tedd, even as he points out all these things reckons that he will boldly talk about them “because nobody wants to talk about these issues”. This is a serious indictment on the ODM political class. Nobody wants to talk against the tribal “tin-god” there. Tedd is right that he would be castigated for talking against his “tribesmen”. This is not a problem among the Luo only. We have reached a point where the tribal warlords at the top of the political class in Cord and Jubilee consider themselves untouchable gods. You cannot speak against them especially if you come from their tribes. For example, the reactions of Kikuyus to my criticism of the jubilee government are venomous, intimidatory and excessive. I have not heard Raila, in the name of democracy, defend a besieged Luo who takes a different position from him, criticizes him or asks the kind of questions Tedd is asking. True, I have not heard such a defense of anyone from the other tribal warlords, but I do not expect much from them. Uhuru, Ruto, Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Wetangula are KANUnites, graduated Moi spanner boys and projects. They never supported the new dispensation and they were at the forefront to frustrate and ridicule it when progressive Kenyans were in the streets demanding for it. So I do not expect them to defend democracy or the rights given to Kenyans by a new constitution and a new dispensation that they so vehemently opposed.
Raila and ODM should be different.
He likes to front himself as a fighter for democracy. Shouldn’t his people be the freest and the greatest beneficiaries of the democratic gains that he has ostensibly fought so hard for? How come that those of the new generation, the voices of reason among the Luo like Tedd will be vilified for their views without any expectation of protection from him? He prefers tribal sycophancy of the KANU orphans that he runs around with. Maybe ever since he started cooperating and joined KANU after the 1997 elections, he has learned that there are more dividends to be reaped from suppressing democratic space than from letting people be. Shame!
But Tedd, like many young people, a fed-up new generation of brave patriots who refuse this tribal dictatorship, is defiant. He not only asks the tough questions that nobody will ask, but he refuses to be co-opted into the chauvinistic, impoverishing and retrogressive tribal dictatorship. He says emphatically:
We have to really start looking at empowering our young people of the republic of Kenya [not Luos or Kikuyus, or Luhyas, or Kambas, but the republic of Kenya]…and giving them real job opportunities…they are just not bodies and numbers…in 2017 we are not gonna fight for you because I am not just a body. I am not a number. I am not gonna be in the mortuary as somebody flies out because shit got wild. The opposition strongholds need to start empowering their people, (Emphasis mine).
I, as a crusader for change is inspired by this message. I have said again and again that there is a new generation that is fed up with politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi. They are ready to rise and claim back their country from the tribal tin-gods in jubilee and CORD. I said in another article that these voices of change need to be raised and they need to be heard. Tedd, has raised his. More progressive Kenyans from all walks of life should raise theirs. This will bring about a people revolution, which is long overdue and inevitable. In the words of Robert Kennedy:
A revolution is coming. A revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough, compassionate if we care enough and successful if we are fortunate enough. But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character, but we cannot alter its inevitability.
It is my voice, Tedd’s and yours that will bring about the peaceful, compassionate and successful revolution, the change we want for the youth and for the future. Where is your voice?