- If you are working, and are disciplined to sustain your employment, what wrong have you done?
- If you engage in business, whether small or big, and are successful, what sin have you committed?
That Kenya, in addition to the ethnic problem has a class problem is no news. For instance, if a motorist happens to get in an accident with a boda boda operator, he or she will quickly be surrounded by a mob. This mob will include other boda boda operators who will not rest until they feel that the driver has been punished, even if the motorist may not have been on the wrong. Public demonstrations almost always end up with property destruction, including stoning of vehicles.
In the past, political mobilisation has been premised on the haves and have nots, eliciting strong emotions. Fuelling such deep-rooted problem has its consequences. It is not lost on us that one of the reasons Mungiki found a footing was discontent arising from severe unemployment and landlessness. The sect gave unemployed youths a sense of purpose, a cultural and political identity, as well as an income.
And so the question is, do the poor rebel against the rich to acquire wealth and do the rich fight against the poor to protect their wealth? Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler find that income inequality is insignificant in determining the probability of conflict, unless politically instigated.
This is why all Kenyans need to be careful with the attempts to plant seeds of enmity between the masses who feel they are economically down in the name hustlers against the middle case, dynasties. The TJRC warned that “unless the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Inquiry lead to the real accountability for the perpetrators of current and previous episodes of political violence, incitement will remain a strategy for political violence in Kenya.”
The hustlers vs dynasties narrative has it that you are poor because others are rich. This is not true. The narrative fails to recognise the will of an individual to succeed, work hard and be committed, and supports tokenism and riding on victim mentality to get votes.
If you are working, and are disciplined to sustain your employment, what wrong have you done? If you engage in business, whether small or big, and are successful, what sin have you committed? What contribution have you made towards making your brother poor?
I think our role is to pay tax to support the country. Those who we have been given the mandate to lead us, must promptly use these funds to champion relevant education and make progressive policies.
And so, in my view, I would appeal to the Deputy President to desist from fuelling this hatred of hustlers versus dynasties, which is dangerous and a security threat.
As the second in command, we appeal to him to take advantage of his position, which is not permanent, and ensure that bottlenecks to youth’s active participation in the economy are unlocked. These could be lack of awareness on the government budget calendar or lack of skills to submit tenders. He could also come up with policies that make it easy for youth to continuously be granted loans.