Thursday, January 17, 2008
Kenya's Democracy: The Ammunition Needed in This War!
President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said: “Let us say to the democracies: "We Americans are vitally concerned in your defense of freedom. We are putting forth our energies, our resources and our organizing powers to give you the strength to regain and maintain a free world. We shall send you, in ever-increasing numbers, ships, planes, tanks, guns. This is our purpose and our pledge."
There is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. Basic things expected by Kenyans of their political and economic systems are simple:
-Making sure that every vote counts in our elections.
-Security: Especially for lives & property.
-The ending of special privilege for the few.
-The preservation of civil liberties for all.
-Equality of opportunity for the Kenyan youth irrespective of their ethnicity.
-Jobs for those who can work.
These are the simple, basic democratic rights that our leaders MUST never lose sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable quest for power. The inner and abiding strength of Kenya’s economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations.
As much as I would want to think otherwise, it is an open fact that the happiness of future generations of Kenyans may well depend upon how effective and how immediate the US and other developed nations can make their support to Kenyans felt. Whatever stands in the way of speed and efficiency in the restoration of democracy and harmonious co-existence of the people of Kenya MUST give way to the uttermost the national need. I reiterate--- MUST GIVE WAY!
As men do not live by bread alone, Kenyans cannot be expected to fight the current war by using one form of armaments alone. This war for the restoration of our democratic rights must be fought on all fronts using all available forms of ammunition. Don Stevenson, Former President of Global Hospitality in San Diego, CA, a company that bought out other resorts that were going under said that they would take over a resort that was going under, fire the President, turn it around by re-training the workers, make a profit and sell it. According to Stevenson, everything rises and falls on leadership. You cannot expect a church, business, institution, organization or country to turn around and become successful when you have the wrong leader in the highest office. It just does not happen! The very fact that Kenya is going down means that we have the wrong leader. If Kenya is declining, it’s because we have a declining leader. If Kenya is on a plateau, it’s because it has a leader who is on a plateau. He cannot climb higher!
Those who man our democratic defenses, and those behind them who build our democratic defenses, must have the stamina and the courage which come from unshakable belief in the democracy which they are defending. The mighty action that we are calling for cannot be based on a disregard of any type of ammunition! We need to employ and we are going to employ all forms of ammunitions to win this war. In such times, it doesn’t help to bring up Chanceldonian controversies. What needs to happen is just to address the question of leadership in Kenya. Period! Ignore it and Kenya goes under forever because of a few selfish old men.
The Nation of Kenya takes great satisfaction and much strength from the things which have been done to make its people conscious of their individual stake in the preservation of democratic life in Kenya. Those things have toughened the fiber of our people, have renewed their faith and strengthened their devotion to the autonomous and democratic institutions that we seek to build and are ready to protect. We are fighting to restore a Kenya that is founded upon essential human freedoms. The freedom of speech and expression, the freedom of every person to worship God in his own way. The freedom from want—which is, economic understandings and opportunities which will secure our nation a healthy peacetime life for all Kenyans. The last one is the freedom from fear- which means a countrywide disarmament of vigilante groups which are used by heartless politicians to maim, kill and destroy precious lives and property in Kenya.
This is no vision of a distant century in Kenya. It is a definite basis for a kind of country like ours and it is attainable in our own time and generation. This kind of country is the very antithesis of the old guards that have usurped the highest offices in Kenya today.
The Freedom of a democratic Kenya MUST mean the supremacy of human rights everywhere in the country. Our support and prayers are with all those who are struggling on all fronts to regain those rights in Kenya or for Kenyans. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To this high concept there can be no end save victory. Some of us will not come out unscathed, but that is the price of democracy. It is not without considerable trepidation that I have opted to walk this path.