Tribalism: Only generational change can save Kenya

Kenyans are worried and rightly so; that something must be done in order to stop the increasing polarization in the society. The senseless Mungiki killings; tribal clashes; increasing inequality; a breakdown of law and order and lately open tribal bias in public appointments are among the challenges facing the country. The older generation does not appear to understand the kind of country they are just about to pass on to the next generation. They have been around in political leadership rather long and do not appreciate the concern of Kenyans.

Kenyans are known to be resilient. They can withstand a lot of injustice to forget quickly and get on with their daily occupation including idling. A case in point is the Mau Mau struggle to get independence. The fighters were quickly forgotten as the home guards and colonial collaborators took over the country and business went on as usual. It has taken over forty years and for a momument to be erected in honour of Dedan Kimathi His widows and children have had to gatecrash in national events such as Kenyatta day to call attention to the authorities about the need to honour the gallant fighter.

Kenyans have been subjected to insecurity for long. Issues of tribal clashes are almost a common occurrence in our society. In fact deaths caused by the clashes are so common that recently when ten people died in Kitale the government did nothing to help the affected families. On the contrary the Kenya Airways crash got attention of the government so quickly upto to the top leadership. It would have been nice to show Kenyans that the government cares for all.

The latest problem that appears to be reaching unprecedented levels is the tribal appointments in public service. It is so glaring; that one could easily get the feeling that it has reached shameless points.

Recently seven lawyers were hired by the government to represent it at the East African legislative assembly nomination case at Arusha. All the seven who were paid handsomely for doing a shoddy job, were all from one ethnic community. The legal fraternity could not believe. It is not possible that the seven were the most qualified to do the job which was otherwise done below expectation.

Key ministries in government like defense, finance, internal security, education, energy, information and telecommunication are all held by members of a particular ethnic community. Assistant ministers and permanent secretaries of most of the ministries are also from the same ethic group. There are so many qualified Kenyans who can do almost anything that the government wants done in any ministry. Yet no one seems to take the diversity of this country into consideration.

In this day and age, even a small sub-tribe like the Pokot have enough qualified people to fill all the top public jobs in the republic; yet it would not be prudent for one to allow it because they are qualified. We live in one country with a common boundary and fairness is what can make us stay together in harmony.

If a particular tribe feel that they are being discriminated and victimized because a different ethnic group is in power, it is sad for the youth of this country. The youth do not subscribe to tribal sentiments. They are proud to belong to their tribes but are not happy when their friends are suffering without jobs and being denied equal opportunities because they do not belong to the tribe in power.

It is important that anybody who wants to take Kenyans to the dark ages of tribal appointments in public offices should be exposed and ashamed so that we save our nation,

It is sad to read the findings of Society International Developments (SID) that has given down the breakdown of public appointments and how the tribal factor has been perfected by the present government. It is a shame that a government which was elected on a platform of fairness has turned its back on the very people that put it in power. It refuses to work with leaders from the areas that voted for it overwhelmingly, and discriminates them when it comes to public appointments.

Joe Donde

Public Finance Consultant

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One Response to Tribalism: Only generational change can save Kenya

Anonymous said...

just to correct you, this older generation have not been in political leadership 'rather' long - they have been there all their adult lives. And we the younger generation keep voting them back in, we are so apathetic to the whole political shabang we could not be bothered to help ourselves - I think a people deserves its leadership, a crappy leadership for and equally small minded population.