Saturday, February 26, 2011

3 Years of National Discord

Prophetic Ruminations by Onyango Oloo

On February 28, 2008 I was flying into Kenya from Manzini, Swaziland where I had participated in a public forum the previous day at that city’s George Tum's Hotel. I had been invited by the Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Civic Organizations (SCCCO) to speak to our Swazi sisters and brothers about the tense, violent situation back at home. Manzini had been the last stop of a weeklong whistle stop Southern speaking tour which had taken me to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Now, as I zoomed by taxi into Nairobi from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport via Mombasa Road, I fretfully placed a call to a long time Canadian acquaintance who was working as a correspondent with the Voice of America in the Kenyan capital.

“There’s been a breakthrough! Kibaki, Raila and Annan are meeting! They are signing a peace agreement! The violence is over!”

Was her excited response when I asked for an update on the post election crisis.

Three years later what do we see in Kenya?

National Discord.

Vicious arm wrestling featuring the duo of dueling principals-one more unprincipled than the other.

Incessant barks and irksome braying featuring their rabid lieutenants.

Vainglorious insecure wannabe heads of state recklessly running their toilet mouths with puerile tribal garbage tinged with envious parochial venom; irrationally banging frantically on parliamentary tables even as live television cameras capture their every snafu for posterity to a stunned and bewildered national audience.

Some of the alleged key architects of the 2007-08 post-election carnage are determined to set the stage for another round of inter-community strife come the next electoral contest, as they desperately attempt to stave off their imminent plane trips to a Dutch city that has become synonymous with hell on earth for brutal war criminals, sadistic mass rapists, unrepentant ethnic cleansers and shameless electoral day light brigands.

As I write these lines,

a certain foppish spineless politician with myopic, somewhat misguided presidential ambitions who prides himself on his putrid opportunism is preparing to hector at the United Nations lectern in an abject plea for the world body to rubber stamp a dead end policy of immunity that is now the modus operandi of a section of Kenya’s fractious ruling coalition determined to hang on to state power using Al Capone tactics.

Forgotten for the moment is that euphoric last Friday when a certain document was sanctioned as the supreme law of the Kenyan land at the tail end of August 2010.

By now it is obvious to any Kenyan above the age of two with a functioning brain in their cranium that the vulgar vultures and hideous hyenas from the blood curdling KANU dystopia of yesteryears are circling ominously, hoping to pounce on our new constitutional child to maul it to extinction even before it has had a chance to fill its puny infant lungs with copious gasps of grateful oxygen.

But can this cacophonous cabal of scheming putschists smell the whiff of anger and draft of resentment being blown to our shores by furious northerly winds?

Do these greedy managers of our sprawling neo-colonial plantation feel the gnashing of teeth among the shamba boys and house girls?

Have they flipped through the yellowing newspaper archives to re-read what fate befell the unsung and unlamented Does, Bokassas and Mobutus?

How many Okellos, Netos, Saro Wiwas, Fela Kutis, Kwame Nkrumahs, Thomas Sankaras, Chris Hanis, Cabrals, Ruth Firsts, Dedan Kimathis, Koitalel arap Samoeis, Wasonga Sijeyos, Elijah Masindes, Pio gama Pintos, Me Katililis, Muthonis and Graca Machels are lurking in the thickets waiting for the hour to blow the trumpets that will bring down the walls of east African Jericho?

Is there a possibility that Kenyans will start using Facebook for more useful functions-apart from announcing how bored they are; why their Premier League teams lost; where their weekend clandestine lovers disappeared to?

Is it possible that

volcanic eruptions, lake side rising tides and riverine floods of transformational fervor are about to over run the pig sty that was built over our home by hogs unperturbed by filth?

As the clock ticks, I close my eyes and see clearly a new Kenyan phoenix rising from the forty eight year old rubble of corruption, repression and contagion.

Onyango Oloo

Nairobi, Kenya