Friday, 23 November 2012

Of Warlords and Landlords, The Gods Of Kenya

Last week, 42 policemen were led into an ambush where 400 militiamen mowed them down in a hail of bullets. Kenyans reacted in shock; I mean how can 42 policemen be killed by “cattle rustlers”? What didn’t shock Kenyans is how an Asst. Minister and MPs from the region can publicly declare that the “rustlers” responded in self defense.

More surprising news, 3 military men are killed in Garissa, and then Kenya Defense Forces respond with excessive force. Once again, the public is subjected to a fiasco; the Ministry in charge of KDF claims to not know under whose orders KDF responded.  Quietly, that story dies.  KDF apparently does not need orders from the Minister to crush people. 

There is a Kenyan reality that underlies the fabric of our society. Superficially, we assume that we are one nation, under one flag, democratic and governed. But in truth, this is a fractured country, and not just fractured politically along ethnic lines, which is the meme that our political class would rather we believe.
This country surely has warlords. How can 400 militia men be assembled at one place, with sophisticated guns, and military knowledge enough to massacre 42 policemen? This is a display of military might, organization; these were not just cattle rustlers. More to the point are the statements by the political leaders. “They were responding in self defense.” Excuse me for a minute here. When did resisting arrest, assault, and murder of policemen become remotely justifiable in a civilized nation?  

The words of the MPs are not just horrific; they are representative of a new reality in Kenya, a reality where government itself is under attack and from within. Some people in this country have established fiefdoms complete with personal armies and our nation at the moment is really no better than Goma the DRC, only we have far fewer deaths. This is the only possible explanation for the massacres in Tana Delta, Baragoi, and Garissa.

This is a country that has been sectioned up, divided and shared out, and the police and the machinery of government are inconsequential to the greater equation. This is why, your soul as an ordinary citizen is so easy to trade off. We die like flies, just like our policemen died.  Wise young men now refuse to be recruited into the police; a recent recruitment exercise had a very low turnout. 

While we idly indulge in meaningless tribalism and ethnic divisions, our leaders, nay our gods, which we worship, are busy amassing wealth and armies to ensure that we remain mere serfs.  We live on their land, we live in their houses, we pay rent to them, we work for them in their businesses and we also pay taxes to maintain their kitties. To top it off, we vote them into parliament to ensure that they remain in power, perpetually, as our gods. 

Let us pray. That is the first response that people had when an explosion was set off in a bus in Eastleigh, Nairobi. People automatically resort to prayer whenever there is violence, never realizing that the gods they worship called MPs do not answer prayers, nor will they ever turn Kenya into heaven, only hell. I pity a religious republic that refuses to abandon its irrational belief in its oppressors in the name of democracy.
When the Minister for State of Defense says he does not know who gave the order for KDF forces to respond in Garissa, you know then that something that was hidden for years has unfortunately surfaced. A behemoth of frightening proportions wields the power in this country. There are the superficial power positions in Ministries, and then there are the real power wielders, shadowy characters who have at their disposal our nation’s resources for their own convenience, and there is nothing we can do about it.

The coming elections are an ode to our landlords and warlords, whom we love, desperately, even as they subjugate us and deny us peace or justice. I applaud the IEBC for attempting to pretend to register voters; we know very well that they will certainly not be able to register all voters in all constituencies in just one month. No matter, we also know that we don’t need registered voters, or even elections in this country, when obviously who is going to be President are a boardroom decision and not a democratic choice. 

As our beloved Landlords and Warlords share, divide and sign off on our nation, let us never stop praising them for their violent leadership, and remind ourselves how wonderful they are to allow us to live on their land. In fact, let us pray that their partitioning of Kenya is done peacefully during the next elections, let not our gods, chose excessively violent means of political sharing. Hopefully, as they answer our prayers of not sadistically killing off their own serfs, they will also build some roads and some schools for our children, to ensure that they have a continual production of mindless, religious workers for their industries. 

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