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January 16, 2019

How Kenyans Are Betraying The Nation's Second Liberation

Every country that has been colonised by another has had its own journey of liberation that it must never forget.

Kenya’s journey for liberation from the Egypt of colonialism has lasted more than a hundred years and she has yet to reach the promised land.

Kenya’s journey for liberation has come in phases and cycles of struggle, liberation and betrayal.

The first struggle for Kenya’s freedom was her resistance to foreign colonial rule. It lasted for nearly 50 years and culminated in the Mau Mau war of national liberation. Mau Mau freedom fighters called themselves Land and Freedom Army indicating the main aim of their struggle was restoration of their land and freedom from colonial rule.

In December 12, 1963, Kenya finally won her independence from British colonialism. Once free, Kenyans expected independence to be a vehicle that would take them to Canaan or the promised land.

In the promised land, Kenyans expected to get self rule. But the notion of uhuru was larger than self rule. It included democracy and all the rights that go with it. Immediately after independence, Kenyans expected Kenyatta to form a government of freedom fighters. It was this government that was expected to return land to Africans, the owners from whom it had been stolen.

People’s expectations of Uhuru were however betrayed by President Jomo Kenyatta.

First, Kenyatta abandoned people in the desert. Instead of taking them to the promised land, he sneaked into Canaan with his family, friends and political supporters.

Second, Kenyatta formed a government of 10,000 home guards and loyalists from which Mau Mau and freedom fighters were excluded.

Third, with his policy of willing buyer, willing seller, Kenyatta refused to give poor people land.

Fourth, instead of solving all problems of the people, Kenyatta promised to only fight poverty, disease and ignorance which he hardly addressed while doing absolutely nothing about capitalism; the mother of our problems, negative ethnicity and corruption.

Fifth, Kenyatta did his worst when he gave people one party dictatorship instead of democracy.

Sixth, Kenyatta decreed jail, detention without charge or trial and assassination for those who opposed his government.

Finally, it was dictatorship and banning of opposition that forced people to struggle for second liberation.

Struggle for second liberation started when Odinga said “not yet Uhuru”, Kaggia said “without land people had been betrayed” and JM Kariuki said "people fought for more than a national flag, national anthem and a society of ten millionaires and ten million beggars."

In the struggle for second liberation, people used trade unions, Parliament, universities and underground organisations like Mwakenya, Kenya Patriotic Front and others.

In turn, the government fought those who opposed it with detention without trial, torture by police and prisons, assassinations and forced exile.

On December 10, 1991, Kenyans gained second liberation with the repeal of section 2A of the old constitution. Second liberation came with multiparty democracy, suspension of detention without trail, new constitution and devolution.

Like first liberation, however, second liberation has also been betrayed.

Kenyans removed Moi but did not eliminate Moism that has now given birth to the rule of Jubilee duo of President Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, former Kanu diehards.

Because none of presidents Moi, Kibaki and Uhuru has been a Joshua to take people to the promised land, poor Kenyans continue to languish in the desert. The new constitution still accommodates detention without charge or trial, the nightmare of democratic politics.

With Kenyans holding on to negative ethnicity as their ideology, devolution has evolved into full-fledged Majimbo where each county has minority Kenyans as foreigners and majority Kenyans as native citizens of the county.

Devolution is slowly metamorphosing into a second level of government for, of and for ethnic elites at the expense of the poor who must pay exorbitant taxes to maintain them.

Instead of democracy as rule of, by and for the people, Kenyans have plutocracy as rule of, by and for the rich that use massive amounts of money to buy power during elections.

Because of our fidelity to negative ethnicity, our leaders are facing trials at ICC which is the worst embarrassment for Kenya since independence.  

Kenyans continue to believe they can use capitalism to eliminate the same problems it creates like poverty.

Despite stated commitment to end ignorance, poverty of ideas among the people is greater today than it was in 1963.

We have now become a society of 10 trillionaires and 40 million beggars.

But as betrayal of first liberation gave birth to the struggle for second liberation, betrayal of second liberation will also give birth to a struggle for third liberation.

However, for third liberation to succeed where first and second liberations failed, certain things must be done right.

First, third liberation must take us to the first world.

Second, we must begin to dream our visions for ourselves. We cannot guarantee success of our visions if others (McKinsey Limited) have dreamt them for us. Like Europe, America, Asia or even Russia, we must have a renaissance or revolution of our own ideas or forget ever going into the first world.

We must liberate ourselves from the poverty of ideas for as Hosea says in Chapter 4 verse 6, "my people perish for lack of knowledge."

We must substitute capitalism of a few with social democracy that will ensure development for all.

We must look for Joshua from any ethnic community to take us to the promised land.

As colonialists handed over power to home guards and loyalists, with little regard to merit, we must not allow dying home guards to bequeath political and economic power to their children at the exclusion of Mau Mau children.

We must transform our plutocracy to a people’s democracy.

We must avoid being banned from the promised land by our incurable corruption.

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