We can and only should be an optimistic nation. Initiative after initiative has been undertaken to improve the people’s well being as a nation. Independence was meant to free us from the chains of colonialism. Multipartism was meant to make Kenya a land of democracy and create more freedom that also entailed press freedom. The Bomas draft took the country towards a new dimension landing on the promulgation of the new constitution in August 2010. All these efforts have been in the quest of making Kenya prosperous, stable and peaceful nation. A nation that embraces the cultural diversity of its people. A nation of promise with visionary leaders who should be focused on guiding the country towards a middle-income nation.
Kenya is a great nation and a great nation must be sustained by political stability that will spearhead the country towards prosperity. However, over the past we must acknowledge that as a country we have suffered major atrocities that have majorly been caused by leadership wrangles founded on deep seated issues of tribalism, fight for land ownership, power struggles and social injustices that have occurred over the years. We face challenges as a country to date and these challenges are what we must rectify. The President has even acknowledged that the country is facing challenges when he said ‘Only a fool will say there are no issues in this country that require addressing’.
The 2007 Post Election Violence was one of the worst atrocities that has ever occurred in this country. Kenyans suffered in unimaginable lengths and depths. Lives were lost, property was burnt. Women, men and children; all suffered the rage and rant of the violence that no one had envisioned to occur as we went about predisposed to our political rhetoric. We went about spewing rage and hatred towards each other chanting and singing war songs against our friends, neighbours, workmates and anyone we considered to be of a different view. We were not relentless on showing our tribal inclinations and castigating communities that were not part of our political party or were not those of our leader. Our leaders had successfully fed each Kenyan the poison of tribalism and we had allowed it to dictate our lines of operation as a nation.
And what was the resultant effect? A highly polarized nation that began fighting from within. Vengeance, hatred, deceit, death, destruction was the devil that was burgeoning us. Fire and gunfire, spears and arrows cut through the wind racing down to our brothers and sisters; knives, pangas and machetes were drawn out and used as the weapon of choice; stones were our new rain and safety was dismal and only found within our tribal cocoons. What had become of us? What had become of Kenya our motherland? Utter darkness and doom.
This is not Kenya, this is not the Kenya we want and not the Kenya that should be. A bad memory the country would wish to forget; but it happened and we are still living through the effects. Fortunately, we have a new dawn, we have a new chance to ensure we are never divided as a country through our leadership or tribal inclinations. The opportunity to sort out our wrongs are here and the journey already started through the promulgation of the new constitution. However, we have a long road ahead as we need to deal with the shortfalls of the constitution, sort out our leadership structure and ensure that every electioneering period is a period of selecting sound leadership, a period that we look forward to, without causing any form of political instability. Let us look through and look into the lenses of successful nation building and use what is in our hands to correct what is ailing us as a country.