BUCK STOPS WITH VOTERS

Dynasties and tribes: Hypocrisy will be the ruin of Kenya

Call the spade of tribalism by its true name

In Summary
  • Those waxing lyrical about how political dynasties have presided over Kenya’s economic meltdown have aided in the flourishing of the dynastic families
  • Those jittery with tribal dominion are guilty of brandishing the ethnic card as a stepping stone to power

It’s easy to point an accusing finger at political dynasties or communities from which Kenyan presidents have come, for the troubles we face, but the buck stops with the voters.

As a country we have affectionately adopted a custom of venting displeasure with the ruling elite for gross incompetence and abuse of power, only to enthusiastically campaign and vote for them during election time. People castigate politicians on and off social media to look cool or woke and retreat to their ethnic cocoons when the power of the ballot is badly needed.

How a people who consider themselves educated elected to Parliament people who pass bills detrimental to the economy beggars belief. Whether it’s county government or the national government, Kenyans have demonstrated that the long paragraphs they write on Facebook about the need for “a mindset change” are just for leisure.

Those waxing lyrical about how political dynasties have presided over Kenya’s economic meltdown have aided in the flourishing of the dynastic families. Those jittery with tribal dominion are guilty of brandishing the ethnic card as a stepping stone to power.

And while there could be a general consensus that balkanising the country along social class or tribe is detrimental for a just and cohesive society, both camps still draw huge support from Kenyans. Citizens are not only ready to campaign for them, but also to injure their ‘opponents’.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that common sense has been thrown out of the window to be replaced with ethnic and sectarian ideologies. Why would a government official be dishing wheelbarrows to a people whose economic fortunes haven’t changed since the invention of wheelbarrows? Why would we be accusing certain communities of misrule when we have a fully functional government in place with the machinery to ensure ethnic inclusivity in leadership?

The tragedy is that in all these, Kenyans are over-zealously clapping and naively vociferating how their respective camps, both comprising senior people in government, are going to take power come 2022. The same Kenyans are lamenting about the sorry state of public healthcare and runaway joblessness.

This country will not transform on account of hypocrisy, but on calling the spade of tribalism with its true name. Sugarcoating issues and hiding on social media must stop.

Freelance journalist and writer