Our lives are worthy living only when we are able to enjoy democratic rights and freedoms of life, expression, press, thought, assembly and association. When life has neither rights nor freedoms, it is empty, tastes like ashes, and is not worthy living.
Unfortunately, only those who have lost freedoms and rights can properly understand their loss, and the absolute necessity to preserve them. Those who have never lost freedom and democracy will caress dictatorship and agitate for it.
In Kenya, we have lost our freedoms and democracy before, and we are now on the verge of losing them again. To all right thinking Kenyans however, 2015 should be the year of rededicating ourselves to the preservation of freedom and democracy that make life worth living.
In 2015, Kenyans must also recommit themselves to preserving and protecting human rights whose violations reduce us to wretched slaves and prisoners of the government and other people.
Since life is a journey, from lower to higher, from captivity to freedom and from poverty to development, in 2015, Kenya must shorten its distance between the desert and the Promised Land, the Third and the First World.
Without freedom, democracy, human rights and better life, 2015 will be no different from 2014.
As President Nyerere would put it, our country is a house for protecting us from rain, wind, cold and wild animals, and it is best when stable, strong and beautiful.
Our country is important because it is the house wherein we enjoy our freedom, democracy, human rights and development. To ensure we have it, we always protect it against storms and strong winds that can give it cracks or blow its roof away.
To preserve our country, in 2015, we must acknowledge that our house has big cracks from big social storms, Tsunami and earthquakes. These cracks are on the ceiling, walls and foundation. In 2015, we must repair and fix these cracks or our house will soon fall apart.
Some cracks in the house are small and others are big, some are new and others are old. But they must all be fixed in 2015, or we will be risking our lives and those of our children.
The biggest crack our country has is terrorism that is killing people everywhere – at the coast, Mandera, Garissa, Lamu, Nairobi and other places. Given that crack of terrorism will take away our lives and freedom, 2015 must give fixing it top priority.
Another crack that our house has is dictatorship over our foundation of freedom and democracy. Unfortunately, there are people who think the crack of dictatorship is strength to the foundation, and it should be enlarged rather than fixed.
But in the house, dictatorship is a python or a lion. It instills fear in everybody and muzzles the media to ensure collective silence.
The other crack that the government must fix in 2015 is corruption. If the government plays politics with corruption as it is, its crack will enlarge the other cracks such as terrorism and dictatorship, and finally bring the house down.
Another crack in the foundation of our nation is apartheid in education and health sector that has created two systems of education – one for the poor and another for the rich – and two health systems, one for the poor and another for the rich. And because it is the rich who are in power, their system of private education is well supplied and their teachers are well paid while the public system is ill-equipped and their teachers are poorly paid. Equally, the public health system is ill-equipped and its doctors are poorly paid, while the private health system is well equipped and its doctors are well paid. This is why the public education and the health systems are plagued by strikes while the private ones are not.
Apart from fixing cracks in the house, 2015 must fight and counter evil ideologies that mess their minds, hypnotise, intoxicate and make them violent and aggressive to others.
As long as these ideologies dominate our minds, singly or together, we are at the beck and call of those who feed us with ideological narcotics.
The first ideological narcotic whose sale to the youth we must stop is Islamic radicalisation or udini in Kiswahili. Islamic radicalisation must be substituted with an ideology of religious tolerance, and not substituted with another religious radicalisation.
The other ideological narcotic which is more dangerous than Islamic radicalisation is negative ethnicity. It intoxicates people all over the country and is generally accepted as the ideology of our politics, political parties and coalitions, and the toxic basis upon which we share resources and jobs. Today, many parts of Kenya burn because the fire of ethnic scramble for power and resources is fuelled by the ideology of negative ethnicity, which we must replace with the ideology of nationalism and social democracy.
Finally, Kenyans must extinguish the fires of clannism, which is a mutation from negative ethnicity. As Nyerere would say, those who commit the sin of negative ethnicity do not just stop at hating people of other communities. When they have no other communities to hate, they turn against clans in their own communities.
In 2015, we must protect freedom. We must fight terrorism, dictatorship, corruption and apartheid. We must counter the ideologies of evil. These must be our national resolutions.