Monday, January 07, 2008

Am I My Brother's Keeper by Lucas Mboya

Am I My Brother's Keeper by Lucas Mboya:
So its clear to all who want to see. Tribalism or ethnic chauvinism to a large extent is the driving force behind our politics and hence the flawed elections and its aftermath.

It is clear to me that corruption and tribalism go hand in hand. There is a viscous circle containing in it, tribalism, corruption and politics. The three combining in various lethal doses to fuel the next.
Tribalism, corruption and politics are the ingredients that have fueled our current mayhem. In fact, in the post Independence era there have been ethnic riots in 1969, 1992, 1997 and now 2007. Each of these has been an election year. I am sure some will say but there have been other election years other than those. Yes, but between 1969 and 1992 we were a one party state and the 2002 Narc wave was a unique event, and, well, the incumbent was not running.

So the question is this, is our nation stricken by true ethnic schisms or are these eruptions of barbarism cruelly promoted by politicians who have a selfish interest? I firmly believe it is the latter. There are numerous reports of how Kenya (particularly in urban areas) had become very cosmopolitan in the sixties and tribe was receding as a defining trait. But with our winner take all (literally, unfortunately) politics and the patronage surrounding it, our primative sentiments have been stoked. So what it is that politicians are receiving once in office that could make them be so evil and determined to get elected? There is but one answer: Corruption.

If you accept the foregoing then you will see why I believe that if we address the two evils of corruption and absolute political power (broadly the strengthening if institutions) the issue of tribalism will recede. It is after this that we can truly benefit from a "Truth and Justice/Reconciliation Commission" prior to that we'll just be changing the players and not the game.


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