Monday, May 30, 2016

It is not a government Madaraka

What is troubling is the symbolism of an Opposition party holding a parallel rally on a national day. This is akin to the desecration of our pride as a nation; the desecration of our national values; the desecration of our heritage as a nation; the desecration of our hard-fought freedom and independence. As much as it might feel aggrieved on other matters of national importance, CORD's plan is ill-advised and serves to ratchet up the political temperatures for no reason.
First it was the National Security Council, the highest institution when it comes to the security of the nation, that accused the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy's leadership of treason for persisting beyond all political reason with their Teargas Mondays, a moniker slapped on the Monday demonstrations against the IEBC. Now the Standard media group is accusing the CORD leaders of desecrating our national values, heritage, freedom and independence, and that CORD should let things be and that Kenya should be more like the United States which celebrates its Fourth of July as a sacral day because we hold the USA "in high regard."

Kenya was not an imperial power when it gained independence from Great Britain; it was the victim of sixty years of colonial oppression, racialised government and a culture and tradition of obsequious deference to the government without question. The Constitution of Kenya that was ratified in 2010 is a repudiation of all that and more. It declares unabashedly, and longwindedly sometimes, that "We, the people" are sovereign. 

We do not answer to another sovereign, not the Governemnt of Kenya, not the President and not your precious Madaraka Day, and in our sovereignty, we decide when and where we will remind our Government of its obligations to us, not the other way round. On a public holiday, such the one two days hence, we have the perfect opportunity to remind the Government and the ruling alliance that we, not they, are supreme. No, that is not a treasonous statement; it is Constitutionally factual and true.

One of the most important aspects of Madaraka Day that even the Standard seems to have forgotten is that it took not just the application of violence by the Mau Mau, but also the resistance of hundreds of thousands of Kenyans who were held in concentration camps we still insist in calling "native reserves", in which great acts of inhumanity were perpetrated because free-born Kenyans refused to bend to the will of the colonial government that relied on an interpretation of the law that insisted on the subjugation of Kenyans akin to bondage or slavery. Kenya's first and second presidents attempted to perpetuate that system beyond all reason, but in 2010, "We, the People" finally nailed that coffin finally shut. If we want to celebrate our Madaraka by cavilling against the Government of Kenya, that is exactly what we will do, desecration or not. The Standard had better get on board with the new national order: the people come first!

And just so the Standard knows, Kenyans do not know enough of the United States to make an informed decision about holding it in high regard. The hagiography has been excellent. However, once Kenyans learn that the the Fourth of July celebrates the independence of white settlers only but perpetuates the enslavement of an entire people for a further seventy years, Kenyans might have pause to consider the regard with which they hold the USA. But once Kenyans are fully aware of the way the descendants of Black Africans are treated in the USA and how Black Africa is viewed by the white United States, that regard might turn to an emotion that is substantially apposite: unremitting hostility!

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