Monday, 25 February 2013

Preaching Peace is NOT Enough This Time Round

As any crocodile farmer will tell you, rearing reptiles means you must remember what cold blooded creatures they are and avoid petting them, lest you lose a limb. It’s the same principle that any right minded person would apply when dealing with the press.  Unfortunately, we are not dealing with right minded people when it comes to elections; we are dealing with politicians, a sub-human species that ultimately lacks a single mind to share between the entire genus.  

It’s about time someone just let these politicians understand the long term effects of consistent negative propaganda. The Nazis first used this technique of skewed information dissemination through the media with the distinct aim of alienating, creating mistrust and finally dehumanizing Jews, leading to a public laxity, hatred and eventual collaboration in the horror of the Holocaust. We saw it again, in Rwanda, propaganda used with the sole aim of creating a mass hatred for a single ethnic community. Despite these horrific reminders, our rag tag ensemble of reprobate politicians have never ever relented in the same barrage of selfish and misleading hogwash with the sole intent of isolating and alienating entire communities so as to gain votes from their own.

After doing this consistently for 5 long years, even after the horror of the 2008 post election violence, even after seeing the deaths of over a thousand innocent citizens, even after supervising a clear rift in our societal structure; after shamelessly feeding the public negativity through propaganda, mere days away from the election this sub-human species then decides to hold a “Peace Rally”. 

There is nothing more comically evil, insane and devilish than a praying politician. This is like the crocodile in the Mara River, praying fervently for the safe crossing of the wildebeest.  Praying for peace yet consistently pushing negative propaganda is not just the height of hypocrisy it is a real insult to just about everyone else who has a mind.

Or maybe most Kenyans also lack minds? I’d rather think with the consistent propaganda, most are simply zombies by now, their thinking faculties long deadened and all they are is reanimated flesh. Preaching peace, for two days, verses 5 years of consistent propaganda has the same effect as giving a dead person a blood transfusion.

The level of paranoia to be found among the citizenry is a clear example of just how deeply rooted the false beliefs created via propaganda are set. Yes, set, rooted and rotting within the hearts and minds of the citizenry. 

How can we have peace if we don’t have trust and if we don’t have a unifying national spirit? I suppose to the politician, peace is simply the absence of physical violence. Never mind that their propaganda has violently defiled the psychology of the citizenry, such that what can only be termed as pure racism is mildly peddled as “tribalism”. Tribalism, by the way, is not a word in the English language. It is a word in politician-speak. It means “whatever other people do.”

2008 PEV is a clear example of how quickly the citizens will indeed physically demonstrate the internal violence within them. To the politician, a dead, violated citizenry can adopt whatever they say. This is true; the people indeed will adopt and act upon everything the politician will say, EXCEPT peace. 

There can be no peace when there is no life in the person. To be filled with hatred, with a passion for power at all costs, to dehumanize your fellows in your mind and heart is to be completely dead and decomposed. The people cannot be at peace, they will simply not be physically violent.

This state is only satisfactory to the politician, such that they remain in power with an easily manipulated, spiritually dead populace. So they preach “peace” at a rally, put out music videos about not cutting each other up, and talk about holding “peaceful” elections for a few days prior to the elections so that they are satisfied their zombies won’t kill each other.

Meanwhile, democratic values, nationhood, citizenship and true peace are completely eroded in the country. These elections were already violent, there was already no peace. That is why preaching peace is not enough this time round. 

To my mind, a real message of peace would be simply this: “Vote with your conscience.” I ask Kenyans to vote with their conscience because that introspection is the beginning of real healing of a mind that has been corrupted by hatred and propaganda. Voting with your conscience is the only way, as Kenyans, we can be a peaceful nation, that is capable of holding elections without psychologically and physically being violent, just because of a few individuals. So vote with your conscience, and be at peace within yourselves so that you can also be at peace with your fellow citizen.

Friday, 22 February 2013

When the man of all faiths is also a man of all fears

Dr. Willy Mutunga certainly needs to let go of some apparently ingrained old habits. Well, in their time, during the days of Agenda 4, the habit of public activism and rushing to the media with every minute detail was certainly useful to the cause, but now as a distinguished Chief Justice and nothing short of the Czar of Kenya when it comes to constitutional matters, in a country undergoing a transition, it really is beneath the CJ to rush to the public over what is clearly a misunderstanding of protocol and a badly written “poison pen” letter.  

Perhaps the man of all faiths should avoid listening to those voices in his earring which his faiths tell him are divine. It makes him appear irrational and an irrational Chief Justice is something this fragile country does not need mere days away from a very tense election. It all started in 2011 when Willy M. Mutunga confessed his myriad beliefs during a debacle of a vetting process by the JSC. Right then, we all should have picked up on the irrationality. Let’s face it. Islam and Christianity may appear to have the same roots in monotheism, but add witchcraft to that mix and you will find a very conflicted and disturbed mind.

It’s no surprise then that the CJ temporarily forgot that his nation was in a transitional period, a time when old protocols were yet to be abandoned in light of new constitutional dispensation. So when a hapless immigration agent stops him at the airport while following orders based on a circular, the CJ though rightly indignant at the inconvenience presented should at least have understood that there must have been a miscommunication between the different arms of government. After Major-General Michael Gichangi apologized to him, the CJ surely should have soberly accepted the apology and felt placated and vindicated enough to move on in building the nation. 

However, the man of all faiths showed us all where Nancy Baraza’s attitude of nose pulling and demanding that “you should know people” really came from. In what can only be termed a rant, the CJ announces to the public that he is indeed being threatened and harassed by the government. It was an alarming announcement to make, one that instead of increasing our confidence in the new dispensation and constitution during this transitional period rather polarized the nation even further.

Why cry wolf? Is the CJ indeed being harassed at all? No, it would seem not. The comedic irony of it all comes shortly after CORD demands the sacking of Francis Kimemia, when the Minister for Immigration himself states that he cannot sack the immigration agent involved as he was simply following orders from the circular. Is the CJ’s life threatened or harassed when he meets junior officials following orders? How laughable. Fear itself can be irrational, but fearing what did not happen is beyond irrational.  To quote Lemony Snicket, “There are two kinds of fears; rational fears and irrational fears.”  Lemony Snicket is the pen name of children’s biographer, novelist David Handler. It’s best to quote those who write for children when writing about the childish.

Maybe we picked a man who lacks the patience and humility needed to head our Supreme Court. It’s no wonder that Nancy Baraza was so arrogant at a shopping mall. It’s no wonder that judges can believe that ostentatious luxury vehicles are a constitutional entitlement. It’s no wonder that these members of the Judiciary who rightly should exemplify the perfection, sobriety and excellence of the law mainly exhibit miserable conceit, a vague grasp of constitutional matters and unworthy claim to liberties that ordinary Kenyans do not have.

It would do our CJ well to note that Kenyans are well aware of his activism days, and much as we appreciate the previous sacrifices he made on behalf of our nation, it would do him well to remain a steadfast, calm pillar of clear and judicious thinking that is not needlessly reactionary.

Let’s face it. Though our media has come a long way from the tyrannies of the Moi regime; we are still in our infancy stages when it comes to determining how to put across information to a mass audience that is semi-literate. The media often makes severe mistakes in this, and it becomes costly to the ordinary citizen, especially during the elections.  

Please your honor; do not help us make a mockery of this Judiciary. Certainly, consider the implications before rushing to make announcements about the different arms of a government in transition. Finally, please just accept an apology and be the bigger man.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

NCIC should be lauded for pointing out the horror of Kenyan Grammar on Social Media

There is nothing worse than a meaningless report and this week the NCIC take the cake for producing the most pointless findings ever to be discovered off social media.  The NCIC have proudly announced that Kenyans have turned to coded language ahead of the polls, codes which may or may not have negative connotations and may or may not be hate speech and may lead to such codes becoming used by future generations. Babbling and baffling? Of course! But I know where the problem is.

NCIC while trolling social media came across Generation XAXA. Believe me, even the lackluster anthropologist Kibunjia and his team of online prefects were certainly discombobulated by Generation XAXA and their “coded” language. It takes the bravest soul to even try and understand a sentence produced by a member of this generation. These young ones are believed to be in their late teens and early 20s, in college and armed with unlimited facebook courtesy of our mobile phone service providers. 

Generation XAXA, so dubbed because of their use of the letter X to replace S, are not, as Mzalendo Kibunjia and the NCIC believe,  hate mongers, though they certainly have decimated the English and swahili languages in a hateful and malicious manner. Take this statement for example, “Tnx 2o8 Goni”. No, it’s not code for “I hate a certain ethnic community” this means, “Thanks.  Tuonane jioni.” (Thanks. Let’s see each other in the evening).

With whole social forums filled with such “codes” from Generation XAXA it’s no wonder that the NCIC were alarmed that the language being used could or could not be hate speech.
Of course really the blame for such utter confusion lies with a body that has too much money and too few brain cells between them such that they can actually undertake to administrate or is it prefect and monitor social media.

 Mark Zuckerberg and his fine team of experts already created the “report group/page” function, specificly installed to curb hate pages, groups and offensive material online. Unlike the NCIC, once a page is reported a (real) analysis is made of content and feedback is given within 24 hours. Also, anyone will a passable understanding of how social media works will note the “leave group" button, and also the “block” option. In short. NCIC decided to waste 3 months doing what face book is already doing. 

Let’s face some real facts about NCIC. Firstly, they have no idea what hate speech means. Ok, who would expect an abysmal anthropologist to understand a legal term anyway? Secondly they are great at utilizing public funds in pointless endeavors while real hate and fear mongers take to the airwaves daily, preaching all kinds of ethnic and tribal drivel. I think Mzalendo Kibunjia has perfected the art of being not just deaf but certainly dumb in this regard.

Social media is a preserve of urban youth, aged between 16 and 35. This forms the greater population online. So it begs the question of how NCIC found 1,233 users of social media from a total of 39 counties a suitable sample to conclude that indeed, codes were being used and possibly, maybe, could be, might be for negative reasons but also maybe for positive reasons.

I think the only thing that NCIC should be congratulated for is noting that there is indeed a horrific special language online that is perpetuated by Generation XAXA that needs urgent and immediate attention. I dare say they may be right in arresting the twit who conjured up “Tnx 2o8 Goni”.