When I criticised Kikuyus for negative ethnicity, I didn’t mean to say only Kikuyus are guilty of negative ethnicity.
Negative ethnicity is a disease that all Kenyans are sick of. While many Kikuyus are guilty of feeling superior to other Kenyans, many non-Kikuyus are guilty of anti-Kikuyuism – negative ethnicity of condemning everything about Kikuyu. And though both Kikuyu bigots and non-Kikuyu bigots believe dawa ya moto wa ukabila ni moto – the cure of negative ethnicity is negative ethnicity, to eradicate negative ethnicity both Kikuyus and non-Kikuyus must self criticise and cleanse one another of ethnic malaise. None is one’s own doctor. To end hate, it must be stopped from both ends.
In Kenya, negative ethnicity has two main streams. First stream is Kikuyu’s negative ethnicity against other Kenyans. Second stream is non-Kikuyus’ negative ethnicity against Kikuyus or anti-Kikuyuism that is comparable to anti-Semitism. Between Kikuyus hating non-Kikuyus and non-Kikuyus hating Kikuyus, communities and clans in same communities hate one another causing more negative ethnicity and clannism as in Somalia.
Having berated Kikuyu negative ethnicity, let me explain what is wrong with anti-Kikuyuism and clannism.
As a variant of negative ethnicity, anti-Kikuyuism started as a colonial strategy of divide and rule, designed to subvert struggle for independence by ensuring Africans did not unite against colonial masters. To guarantee disunity of Kenyan communities, stereotypes were invented to demonise and make Kikuyu leadership of the struggle for independence unacceptable to other Kenyans.
Though anti-Kikuyu stereotypes are as false as those of the Kikuyu against other Kenyans, there are non-Kikuyus who believe those against the Kikuyu entirely.
First, Kikuyus did not fight for independence for the good of all Kenyans but to dominate and exploit other communities.
Secondly, Kikuyus are greedier and love money more than other people in other communities.
Thirdly, whether poor or rich, every Kikuyu has benefited more than any non-Kikuyu from the regimes of Kikuyu Presidents Kenyatta, Kibaki and Uhuru.
Fourthly, like Jews, Kikuyus are incorrigible from their hate of others and the only solution to their problem is the Final Solution or genocide.
Fifthly, Kikuyus can never accept and vote for leadership from another community.
Sixthly, politically, Kikuyus are not compatriots. They are the enemies – adui.
Seventhly, all land Kikuyus have is a gift from Kikuyu Presidencies.
Clearly, anti-Kikuyuism is built on Kikuyu stereotypes not based on truth but supposed collective qualities to do evil – just like the Jews.
Anti-Kikuyu stereotypes forms the core of the ideology of anti-Kikuyuism just as ethnic stereotypes in general form the core of negative ethnicity and clannism, which constitute ideologies of all Kenyan ethnic politics, political parties, coalitions and governments even when they are claimed to be governments of national unity.
Because of the all-pervasiveness of negative ethnicity in our politics, anti-Kikuyu politics are as driven by negative ethnicity as Kikuyu anti-non-Kikuyu politics. While targets and goals of Kikuyu and non-Kikuyu politics may differ, their substance and nature are same. Kenyans, therefore, put the same ethnic politics into power whether they elect Cord or Jubilee politicians. Only a third party whose ideology is not negative ethnicity or clannism will save Kenya.
The basic nature of anti-Kikuyuism – like clannism - is shaped by the economic conflict between Kikuyu and non-Kikuyu communities built upon myths and false beliefs.
In addition to the above anti-Kikuyu stereotypes, many non-Kikuyus believe that all Kikuyus ate during Kenyatta and Kibaki Presidencies and are now eating during Uhuru government. From this claim, a justification is drawn to demonise all Kikuyus with qualities of Kikuyu elite that is greedy and oppressive and will, like other ethnic elites, ruthlessly exploit their own and other masses.
Many poor non-Kikuyus will say they are poor because Kikuyus are rich. Yet 80 per cent of Kikuyu people are as poor as non-Kikuyus who condemn them for their poverty.
While it is true that Kikuyu elites like other ethnic elites ate during Kenyatta, Moi, Kibaki and now Uhuru regimes, like masses of other communities, Kikuyu masses – however convinced they are otherwise – have eaten absolutely nothing, just like majority Kalenjin masses ate nothing but air during Moi presidency.
As for non-Kikuyu elites, having eaten less than Kikuyu elites, they expect their turn to eat with every change of government.
Unfortunately, just as Kikuyus believe they cannot eat together with or must eat more than others, non-Kikuyus also believe, to realise their turn to eat, eating Kikuyu elites must go to create space for them. Given our ethnic capitalism, every election is a matter of life and death because they determine who will eat and who will not eat.
If communities cannot eat together, it is logical that the eating community must have Presidency to allocate itself more jobs and resources, and prevent others from eating. Without a nationalist and patriotic leader under whom all can eat, Kenyans can only elect President from their own community and loathe Presidents from other communities that will not let them eat. Anti-Kikuyuism flourishes among non-Kikuyus because no Kikuyu President has bothered to share the national cake equitably.
To enhance their unity for President, every community has an ethnic kingdom and king that is at war with other ethnic kings. In this war, 41 weaker non-Kikuyu kingdoms, intoxicated with anti-Kikuyuism, unite against the strongest Kikuyu kingdom, an effort that is no solution to Kikuyu domination or negative ethnicity.
With or without hate speech, the only way to end negative ethnicity, anti-Kikuyuism and clannism is to admit and correct them, for us, our children and country. All Kenyans are one. We must defend them equally against evil ideologies.