We all have different reasons why we support the leaders we support. We all have things that we feel are important to us, interests that are important to us, needs that are important to us; and all these factors guide us in the leader we support. He is a leader that we feel will be able to meet most if not all of these things,interests and needs. This is the reason why we tend to vote along tribal lines, hence I ask, does that makes us tribalist? I don’t know.
Let us not be so harsh on Kenyans and be quick to judge and tag them as tribalists before we understand why they support who they support. We are all individuals born in a house, a house that is part of a village, a village that is part of a people, a people who are part of tribe, a tribe that is part of a country. Therefore we go through stages before we are purely Kenyan. Therefore me being njoroge, am part of my father’s house. I am brought up to defend my fathers’s house and to make sure the needs of the house are met. My father’s house is ganged up with other houses to make up the village. So the next stage is to protect the village, provide security and other needs of the village. This village and the next village are part of a tribe, which in my case is the kikuyu, I therefore have to protect my tribe and make sure that its needs are met. Then the tribe is ganged up with other tribes to form the country and my country needs have to be met. I play my role as a citizen of Kenyan to make sure that we develop as a country. As an individual my natural instincts are affected by all these factors in determining who I will choose to be my leader.
I want a chief who has the interests of my father’s house at heart, a chief who will protect my village from peopled outside my village. I will support the one man from my tribe to who will have my tribes interest at heart. I will support the one leader who will put my country’s needs at heart. Therefore, by nature, as a Kikuyu for example, it is much more difficult for me to support someone not of my father’s house to run my village. Its difficult for me to support say Mr Raila or Mr. Ruto because I do not feel that they have my tribes interests or village interests or my father’s house interests at heart. I do no identify with them the same way they do not identify with me. The same applies for a person from Nyanza or Rift Valley. They may not feel that Mr Uhuru will have their interests at heart.
The question I ask is….does that make me and you a tribalist? Does it mean that I hatE other tribes or is it just my natural inclination to have my Marslow’s Hierarchy of needs met? That is a discussion for another day. For now however we need to realise that the world is a global village. Me being a Kikuyu is so irrelevant in this day and age and this is why, the kikuyu or luo or kamba or meru or nandi is such a small entity in this world it negligible or non-existent in the eyes of those who live outside Kenya. They all deal with me as either as a kenyan or african. In order for me to have a voice I need to have a voice as a Kenyan. The Kikuyu are say 20% of Kenyan people, therefore around 8million. The voices of 8 million people can never be louder than the voices of 40 million people….that means better bargaining power in international trade, better jobs, stronger economy for all Kenyans.
I really hope that the new constitution is fully implemented as it gives all villages a voice, a chance for them to determine their course, it gives the villages more power to provide security for its people and if all villages are stronger, the bigger village that is Kenya is stronger. The Kenyan village will therefore compete against the Ugandan or Nigerian or South African villages.
We therefore need leadership that thinks beyond its tribal affiliations, and realises that, not building roads say in western kenya, because he/she is from the coast puts the coastal village in jeopardy because it needs maize from Kitale, or tea from Kericho or maybe domestic tourists will come down to the coast for holidays due to faster travel brought by better roads. Or destroying the coffee industry in central means less exports, hence less income hence lower service delivery by the government in Nyanza.
DO WE HAVE SUCH LEADERSHIP THOUGH??