As Kenya prepares for the next general elections, to be held in the coming year of 2013, many many are taking-in deep breaths, many are having butterflies in their stomach, many are getting saddened, many are getting worried, many are apprehensive. Many are not sure what is going to happen. The reason is, the images of the 2008 Post Election Violence are still fresh in our minds, the effects of that violence are still being felt by the people who lost their homes, who lost their land, and up till now, do not have a home and live in tents. They feel forgotten by the very government officials who are now asking for their vote, for a bright future and a Kenya full of opportunities. One is left to wonder, if they cannot solve the problem of the IDPs, how then can they take Kenya into the next level? How honest are their pledges, manifestos and promises? The Kenyan politician has no shame….no shame at all.
The issue of tribalism, is big in Kenya and over the continent. For we are made up of many tribes, and were grouped together into a country by our colonial masters. Yes we are independent but its funny how the decisions they made on our behalf, in the 50s and the 60s still haunt Africa to date. Do I blame them, HELL NO! Does that surprise you? The reason I do not blame them is because we have had atleast 45 years to correct those injustices, to make things right, but unfortunately the leaders who took over from the colonial masters just went on to be the same as the colonial masters.
The violence Kenya witnessed in the disputed presidential elections was so unprecedented, I still do not believe to this day, that there were Kenyans who were killed in a church? The thing is, that the violence was not really due to the election fraud that happened, it was just the match that lit the dry grass. The grass was dry, it had been for so long, the violence was as a result of years of pent up emotions, emotions of frustrations, emotions of feeling hurt, emotions of broken promises, emotions of being taken advantage of, emotions of injustice, emotions of poverty, emotions of lack of opportunities, emotions of families sleeping hungry, emotions of betrayal and many more that were pent up and bottled up. This emotions were all directed towards one community, that is considered to be a source of all these pent up emotions. It was tribal hatred, deep hatred. Tribalism is not only confined to Kenya but is an African problem, so how do we solve it?
Tribalism implies the possession of a strong cultural or ethnic identity that separates one member of a group from the members of another group. It is a precondition for members of a tribe to possess a strong feeling of identity for a true tribal society to form.
If you have read this far, you are therefore waiting to know what solutions I have to this demon called TRIBALISM. I am here to tell you that tribalism will never end. Disappointed? Here is my reasoning, the moment you are born, you become a member of a tribe, or society, which will teach you from birth, what to think, what to do, what not to do, the language, the values, the culture and the system of that tribe you have been born into. As we have seen as the definition of tribalism, it is hard to erase the tribal teachings that are a part of you.
The thing is, unfortunately Africa had thousands and thousands of tribes, confined in small countries and forced to live and work with other tribes. However, I dare say, it is not an African problem. Can you imagine a situation where the english, germans, italians, spaniards, portuguese are confined into one country and asked to be nationalist? Just think of the chaos that would ensue from all that. At this point, you might ask, is all hope lost? My answer it NO, there is more HOPE than we can handle.
MY SOLUTION, drum rolls please, is THE LAW. The only way to make sure that everyone on each side is happy is the full implementation and respect of the law, and there should be no one above the law. Let us look at the American experience, there is a strong divide amongst the races, white, black and latino. These races have no love for each other, and no I do not mean everyone, but the racial divide is there. Just look at how Obama is treated, and how the elections were done and you will know there is something wrong. I will not go into details. However the only reason the United States does not spill over into chaos and anarchy is the LAW. It is not perfect, but it keeps all sides sober and in check. Trust you me there are those who would love to have an opportunity to destroy the other race, and there are usually skirmishes here and there but considering, the LAW has kept everyone in check.
Going back to Kenya, there reason all there are many tribal frustrations, one against another, is mainly due to INJUSTICE. The feeling of injustice and unfairness is the biggest problem in Kenya. If the LAW was respected in Kenya, and those who exploited, stole, took advantage of their power were brought to justice, the feelings of hate against each other would be reduced heavily, it would not be perfect but it would be a move towards PEACE IN KENYA (AND AFRICA AS A WHOLE)