KENYA: WAKE UP!


Kenya, you are about to be victim again of ethnic strife unless you wake up! The Quartet of Ethnicity, Religion, Land and Party politics have raised their heads again, just when the sanest among us thought that we were about to take a walk to the New Constituion Referendum, a document many have died dreaming about. A constitutional renewel is a sign of national maturity, but it is also a sign that our independence constitution had leaks, bad leaks, that, if not sealed and the boat rebuilt anew, could sink us as a nation.

Kenya has many religions and it is not practicable to write a constitution that meets all their individual needs, but it is possible to give Kenyans, of all faiths, a political document that promises freedom of worship, which, to me, means “living one’s faith” without being a detriment to other Kenyans of other faiths! The Draft Document does that.

It is not possible to legislate on land, so perfectly that mega-land owners (not corporations) and the landless, like me, are agreed. It is okay to legislate how much land an individual (not a corporation) can own anywhere in the nation. A nation can not survive on an agenda that aims to achieve regional ethnic purity. Who can remind us about this fact when religious leaders  have recoiled back to their ethnic cocoons?

Kenya as a free nation is younger than the two main religions, Islam and Christianity. We have to remember this before we play with religious fire to sort out Land and Reproductive issues. Who can remind us about this when political parties and politicians are betting their odds on a failed constitutional referendum under the imagined safety of their tribal houses?

Kenyans: Wake up! You are on the chopping block! Fellow Kenyan, your VOTE is your VOICE and SHIELD! No roof is going to fall over your head when the YES VOTE carries the day!

 The wise are a hopeful lot, they walk a step at a time, with one eye to the past and the other eye to the future.  Kenyans, move on. we know the current document is a disappointment.

Those of us who bathe in crocodile-infested rivers know that it is not wise to bask on the rock where you have bathed! Kenya, the demons of Political Party, Tribe, Land and now Religious Faith are conspiring to dispatch you the way of “that nation”  as you bask in your not-so-glorious past.

JR Alila

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