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January 17, 2019

Why negative ethnicity thrived despite Kaparo’s commission

Last week, Francis Kaparo called a meeting where he admitted his National Integration and Cohesion Commission has failed to stamp out negative ethnicity.  It has, instead, grown by leaps and bounds, fuelled by political leaders who perpetrate corruption.

Much as many Kenyans are greatly disappointed with the NCIC, one cannot help but be impressed by Kaparo’s admission of failure, which should forewarn President Uhuru Kenyatta that he should take much care in the appointment of the next chairman, if success is expected. It is clear that if lack of success in fighting negative ethnicity fails, so shall Uhuru’s vision of uniting Kenya.

Tragically, with the increase of negative ethnicity, which has eaten away nationalism, the glue with which Uhuru binds the nation, ethnic divisions have continued to balkanize and kill the dream of one Kenya, one people.

In the circumstances, one does not understand how there could be a vision of unity and at the same time, let the dream of creating one Kenya wither and die for failure by government to allocate adequate resources by which negative ethnicity would be eradicated and the whole country united.

There is little doubt the country cannot afford to fail in its efforts to eradicate negative ethnicity. In deed, the political crisis the country is trying to resolve with the handshake is one of negative ethnicity, which fuels electoral violence and political paralysis.

With such noble ideas, how can negative ethnicity continue to grow, thrive and attract millions to its deadly embrace? What must Kenyans do to ensure it does not grow and attract millions to ethnic hate, hypnotism, death and darkness of the whole nation?

To fight and defeat negative ethnicity, we must begin by understanding it as the ideology of genocide that killed millions of Jews in Europe, millions of Hereros in Namibia, millions in Congo, millions of native Americans in the US, Canada and Latin America and millions in Rwanda and Burundi.

It must be realised that there can be no national unity where negative ethnicity thrives. The only way to end national divisions is to end this monster, starting from the individual to the nation. It is either we want to eliminate negative ethnicity or not. But cannot end this national leprosy without making sure we don’t elect ethnic leaders, ethnic parties, ethnic councils of elders and other crocodiles that thrive in the waters of negative ethnicity.  The late Julius Kabarage Nyerere cleared Tanzania of negative ethnicity by banning its ideology and ruling out ethnic leaders, not to mention tribal councils that were unthinkable.

Negative ethnicity thrives because it has not been demonized with enough zeal to make people not want to have anything to do with it. People will gravitate towards it if they think there is some benefit from it. Yet people can only reap death.

Unfortunately, as in the case of corruption, it should never be expected that persons who have earned whatever they have from ethnic lords and kingdoms can sincerely be at the front of sweeping away the very maggots that feed them. Those who gain from negative ethnicity cannot fight it.

For those who only think about personal interests, instead of regarding negative ethnicity as an enemy, they regard it an ally that gives them power, money, positions in Parliament, government and Judiciary. In circumstances such as these, negative ethnicity can only thrive.

Far from benefitting anybody, negative ethnicity is a source of great danger. For those who value honesty, it is the source of electoral rigging, electoral violence and ethnic discrimination, which ensures people don’t get jobs they qualify for, merely on account of their ethnicity.

Though negative ethnicity is considered less dangerous than corruption, it is the greatest defender of graft committed by persons from their communities, even though they get nothing from the loot.

NCIC could have dented negative ethnicity, if it had fought it as Martin Luther King Jr fought racism in America or as the Jews fight anti-Semitism. If the commission had taken the fight to schools, working places, villages and public meetings, this would have been achieved.

 If Kenyans want to unite, they must fight negative ethnicity with same determination they are fighting corruption.



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