@TheStar

Beware Hustlers versus dynasties

3 months ago, 11 June 00:25

By: James Rege

One of the most profound and documented dreams of Kenya’s founding Father President Jomo Kenyatta was to mould a unified nation out of the multiple ethnicities, races and regions that formed post-Independent Kenya.

Five decades later, the quest for the presidency has been in the centre of a cycle of unending animosity, dividing Kenya along ethnic lines. Add to this a leadership schism.

As the country reeled from political uncertainty following the elections, mock swearing-in of the People's President and the consequent standoff, the handshake entered like a cloud of rain.

To those of us considered political dissidents for supporting Jubilee, the handshake was a sign from the gods to my community that backing the government was not a crime against humanity.

What stood out in the joint statement issued by the nemeses-turned-brothers - President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga – is that they were alive to continued deterioration of relationships between ethnic communities and political formations.

These relationships are often characterised by aggressive antagonism and competition, on which a strong nation cannot be founded. The two urged political leaders and formations to compete without ethnic profiling or promoting disdain.

A few months after the handshake, even before the building bridges task force gets down to work, a leadership schism called ‘Hustlers versus Dynasties” is threatening to destabilise Kenya yet again as 2022 talks gain momentum.

This tug of war is compounded by careless talks by some politicians and opinion leaders hell-bent on weaving the narrative that one side of the Executive has turned into an ogre eating its very own.

The schism, whether real or mere propaganda, is unhealthy for a country that only a few months ago was on the edge of a precipice, courtesy of an election.

Unbridled political disquiet has a history of spilling over, with a heavy toll on lives and the economy. We've been there and do not wish to go back. The handshake was meant to cushion the country against that.

Someone has to be the voice of reason. Call it fence-sitting but it is simply having the courage to state that Kenya belongs to all of us—the dynasties, the hustlers, the bureaucrats and everyone else.

Jubilee won by popular vote but the elite’s power tussles connote a moral loss for the party. With the leading Opposition figure on his side, Uhuru has been given a shot at creating a profound legacy. He has managed to stifle the loudest dissenting voice by bringing him and his brigade on board for Kenya's greater good.

The dynasties vs hustlers war boils down to ethnic and factional politics, which is divisive. If the country is to move forward and catch up with its peers in Africa in regards to democracy and development, then the next general election and subsequent ones should not be hinged on such monikers. Elections should be multi-ethnic, inclusive of all factions and hinged on values, integrity and leadership abilities. Anyone who possesses these qualities should have a shot at the presidency—whether he or she is from a dynasty, ...
Read More


Category: topnews news oped opinion

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@TheStar

Beware Hustlers versus dynasties

3 months ago, 11 June 00:25

By: James Rege

One of the most profound and documented dreams of Kenya’s founding Father President Jomo Kenyatta was to mould a unified nation out of the multiple ethnicities, races and regions that formed post-Independent Kenya.

Five decades later, the quest for the presidency has been in the centre of a cycle of unending animosity, dividing Kenya along ethnic lines. Add to this a leadership schism.

As the country reeled from political uncertainty following the elections, mock swearing-in of the People's President and the consequent standoff, the handshake entered like a cloud of rain.

To those of us considered political dissidents for supporting Jubilee, the handshake was a sign from the gods to my community that backing the government was not a crime against humanity.

What stood out in the joint statement issued by the nemeses-turned-brothers - President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga – is that they were alive to continued deterioration of relationships between ethnic communities and political formations.

These relationships are often characterised by aggressive antagonism and competition, on which a strong nation cannot be founded. The two urged political leaders and formations to compete without ethnic profiling or promoting disdain.

A few months after the handshake, even before the building bridges task force gets down to work, a leadership schism called ‘Hustlers versus Dynasties” is threatening to destabilise Kenya yet again as 2022 talks gain momentum.

This tug of war is compounded by careless talks by some politicians and opinion leaders hell-bent on weaving the narrative that one side of the Executive has turned into an ogre eating its very own.

The schism, whether real or mere propaganda, is unhealthy for a country that only a few months ago was on the edge of a precipice, courtesy of an election.

Unbridled political disquiet has a history of spilling over, with a heavy toll on lives and the economy. We've been there and do not wish to go back. The handshake was meant to cushion the country against that.

Someone has to be the voice of reason. Call it fence-sitting but it is simply having the courage to state that Kenya belongs to all of us—the dynasties, the hustlers, the bureaucrats and everyone else.

Jubilee won by popular vote but the elite’s power tussles connote a moral loss for the party. With the leading Opposition figure on his side, Uhuru has been given a shot at creating a profound legacy. He has managed to stifle the loudest dissenting voice by bringing him and his brigade on board for Kenya's greater good.

The dynasties vs hustlers war boils down to ethnic and factional politics, which is divisive. If the country is to move forward and catch up with its peers in Africa in regards to democracy and development, then the next general election and subsequent ones should not be hinged on such monikers. Elections should be multi-ethnic, inclusive of all factions and hinged on values, integrity and leadership abilities. Anyone who possesses these qualities should have a shot at the presidency—whether he or she is from a dynasty, ...
Read More

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