Thursday, January 03, 2008
Sad! Kibaki Joining Amin,Bokasa, Ibrahim Babangida, Mobutu Sese Seko, Kamuzu Banda etc!
The personalities of leaders like Nguema, Idi Amin, Kamuzu Banda, Ibrahim Babangida, D.Arap Moi, Jean Bedel-Bokassa, and Mobutu Sese Seko provide fascinating patterns and models for research into the African traits and idiosyncracies. They form the caricature of the African in the minds of outsiders who see Africa as one inhabited by persons of lesser mental capabilities and people completely incapable of governing themselves!
What is happening in Kenya, gives the alignment and realignment of political forces mostly at the domestic level. At the core of it all is the continuing imperialist exploitation of Kenya by a largely unproductive and irresponsible dominant class. The unfortunate result is the further marginalization, exploitation, impoverishment, domination, and denigration of poor Kenyans by the rich Kenyans. Am sorry to say that these leaders are a total disgrace to Kenyans and Africans in general.
Leading scholars like Chinua Achebe and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and thousands of top minds have fled Kenya and the continent of Africa voluntarily or otherwise because of the corruption, repression, and mindlessness of our so-called leaders. There are thousands of young Kenyans scattered all over America and Europe today roaming the streets, in jail, prostituting, or engaged in menial and degrading jobs all in an effort to survive because of greedy, irresponsible and power-hungry leaders back at home. It kills me to imagine that some of the most arrogant and selfish leaders that are a stumbling block to the realization of true democracy in Kenya like Uhuru Kenyatta have never passed a single exam in any institution of learning despite all the advantages that they were born with.
Kibaki and Michuki need to understand that brutalization, domination, manipulation, exploitation, and marginalization of poor Kenyans will never build Kenya. If anything, it only serves to breed hatred, anger, acrimony and bloodshed. Kibaki’s advisors like Prof. Nick Wanjohi (who taught me the causes of civil disobedience!) need to help Kibaki to analyze the antecedents of a people’s revolution. They need to open his eyes to clarify and understand the complex and shifting positions of the various interest groups that surround him. The wanton abuse of human rights, the appropriation of state power and its resources, and hostility to popular and progressive forces will not help Kenya one bit. It will only catapult Kenya into denigration, tribalism, pity, and exploitation.
In 1789, the regime of King Louis XVI of France was brought down, partly by its own rigidity in the face of a changing world, partly by the ambitions of a rising bourgeoisie, allied with aggrieved peasants and wage-earners and with individuals of all classes who were influenced by the ideas of the enlightenment. Kibaki is just helping to propagate the notion that Kenya and Africa is nothing but a region where nothing good happens, where no new ideas can develop, and which is inhabited by rapacious politicians, blood-sucking generals and a people criminally addicted to blood and mayhem.
By being arrogant and selfish, the Kenyan leaders are just aiding the deliberate conspiracy in the Western media to continue propagating the terrible picture of Kenya and Africa abroad and to satisfy the warped entertainment demands of a generally uninformed public to continue the historical denigration and marginalization of African-Americans as descendants of barbarians and as people who should thank their gods that “kind” Europeans brought them out of the jungles as slaves for mindless and genocidal exploitation as slaves.
Beneficiaries of the Kibaki system have no business preaching non-violence as a response to a violent, illegitimate, tribalistic, and exploitative Central Province power since they see no violence in social formations characterized by increasing class and social differentiations, where the ownership and control of the means of economic production are clearly reflective of one tribe!
Our duty right now is to come up with an ideology that transcends class and social locations in the production and power relations and to assume the existence of a spiritual or material unity just because it concerns Kenyans. We have to fight to terminate the natural processes of tribalism and class.
The colony of Saint-Domingue, geographically roughly the same land mass that is today Haiti, was the richest colony in the West Indies and probably the richest colony in the history of the world. It was driven by slave labor and enabled by fertile soil and ideal climate. Saint-Domingue produced sugar, coffee, cocoa, indigo, tobacco, cotton, sisal as well as some fruits and vegetables for her motherland, France. Unfortunately, there were classes in that country. The wealthy wanted to oppress the poor forever. When the poor people decided to revolt, things took a negative turn forever!
The past dozen years of warfare in West Africa have led to the death, injury, and mutilation of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions more. It can happen to Kenya too. The Tutsi monopolized all administrative positions in the Central African countries of Rwanda and Burundi for decades. They thought they would dominate the Hutu and the Twa forever. This was not to be the case. When the dominated groups felt that they could not take in anymore, they revolted. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda was just a culmination of events wrapped up in historical journals.
Let me reiterate the fact that the future of Kenya will look a hundred times worse than the dismal present unless Kibaki, Raila, and their followers take seriously the lives of the Kenyans, their empowerment, and the total democratization of Kenya.