Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Time of Reckoning- By Hana

After everything that has happened in this country, the election of the Speaker for the Parliament and Legislative council was a bit of an anticlimax. The rich ones are still in the fight of the High Seat, and the poor are in the fight for their lives. And yet, the two seem to merge, in that their needs can be considered to be quite similar. If by similar, one can equate life with power. Or food with influence.

It is laughable, really, that the president of a democratic country has lost the respect of his people, his subjects. For what else can one call it, when the members of parliament refuse to pledge allegiance to him. Let us start off with the scenario that took place when a lawyer by the name of Ababu Namwamba was sworn in. He had to make the pledge three times. The first time, he said that we would be a subject of his president, Mr. Raila Odinga, and of the democratic republic of Kenya. Now why he would mention Mr. Odinga, when the president’s name is Mwai Kibaki, is beyond the imagination of any Kenyan whose thought processes are twenty years old. We’re in a democracy now, not a dictatorship, and since Mr. Kibaki has alleviated the freedom of speech, you may do exactly that, wherever you please, be it in the Parliament house.

So what happens there is not exactly beyond our imaginations. After a big hue and cry, said MP was asked to undergo the pledge again. This time, he refrained from mentioning the president completely, and went on to pledge that he would do his best for his country. Another din erupted, as he was now missing parts of the oath that had been laid down by the law for the swearing in ceremony. And then he was asked to repeat, again as is the case. The people of ODM, the opposition were being thoroughly entertained, as opposed to the Presidents minions, who sat there glaring at the ones who dared. And they did dare. Third time around, he pledged to the President, bowed to Mr. Odinga, and continued with it. Since no rules were broken, he was duly sworn in. The trend had begun, though. Eventually, the other MPs who were sworn in omitted the president entirely.

One would have thought that with power, comes respect from the little people. In Kenya, the opposite seems to have occurred. After the big hullabaloo post-elections, matters seemed to have calmed down, and Mr. Raila Odinga even managed to get himself seated upon the Chair of Opposition in Parliament. With little more than his friends to keep him company, he manages to exude a confidence that our president is far from feeling, or if he is, indeed, feeling it, then it has yet to make an appearance on his visage. The power is his, yet where is the respect? Mr. Odinga, on the other hand, seems to have gained the upper hand in this scenario, and garnered the respect and sympathy of not only the citizens of Kenya, but the international big wigs too.

So what if the government is demanding proof of rigging?

One may ask, is it worth it? Is it worth this desecration of life and property? But one will not get an answer. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. In a bid to retain this power, one single man has shaken Kenya’s foundations. Who we were, who we forever will be, is an identity that has been marred by these people; who call themselves Kenyan, and yet do not understand the meaning, the price of being a Kenyan. This land exacts a price on those who live on it, and yet, do not farm their way. Those who eat off the others, and do nothing to deserve the maize that comes their way. Are these the people who should be leading this great country? Perhaps we should incline ourselves to think along those lines.

A seat is, after all, a seat. But when the seat in question is a metaphor of the great power that surrounds it, then it becomes more than a seat. It becomes a status symbol. In the olden days, there was a saying. A leader’s seat should always be hard, made of stone. So that one does not become too comfortable in it. Trials arrive with the winds of change; one must fight fairly, and give in honorably, after defeat is suffered.

Lions are, after all, lions. Call them cats, and it is your loss, as Mr. Odinga rightly said. With lions, you can take that risk, but there is no guarantee that thou shall survive the eventual reckoning in the fight of territory.

Posted by hana at 12:07 AM 0 comments

Source: http://writerpreneur.blogspot.com/

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