Sunday, February 10, 2008

Maiden Post

Like many other kenyans I have joined the blogging community more so at this time because of the calamity facing us. Some Kenyan blogs are quite spot on the unfolding events. I ll be recommending some soon. It is in such times that one stops to think about himself/herself and reflect on the plight of someone just like you back home. Granted, we are naturally “selfish” in peace times. How many times have you insulted or felt like kicking a street boy who was disturbing you? How many times have you passed a beggar without any thought about the person, or even had this gut feeling that this guy was simply blackmailing people emotionally? During peace times we did lots of not so good stuff to each other. But what the heck? At least we did not see people going around killing each other. Even thugs would "give you a tisa" (strangle) but would be careful that they didnt harm you much. (Ok i dont want your crime stats now, at least you get my point).I know you dreaded going to town at times because of the dust and the madness of matatus. But that now has been replaced by a fear of the worst- especially in far flung areas outside the relative stability of Nairobi. Now we wish for the dust, and the rough journeys. Remember the talk we used to have.."the road to Coast ni good upto Voi and then you had bumps" or "how I dont know the road to Eldy is good and then a certain stretch is .." There were many versions anyway. Now no one is talking about such stories.

Which brings me to the question of whether we are to blame for allowing this to happen to us. For a long time we have blamed politicans for all our pitfalls. It had become something of a natural response whenever we had no solutions to the problems facing us. Its almost like the game that we used to play as kids. Nyama nyama. Usually the leader of the game would ask a group of kids (ok adults too can play) which meat was fit for consumption. He/she would prompt you with such examples as goat, chicken, fish and before long something like a snake. If your mind had wandered a bit you would jump in affirmation, and that would make you disqualified.

I suppose a similar state of hypnosis is what has made us think that politicians(after failing us in building roads, creating jobs, a new constitution etc) made ordinary folks take arms against their neighbours. I beg to differ. From a purely moral standpoint I find the assertion that politicians are solely to blame wanting. Because it is one thing for one to tell you to kill, and another one if you actually go and do it. Thats not to absolve political players from blame. Legally of course one would be held accountable for instigating violence. But we need to realize that many of these goons are adults and who are conscious or should be made to know that impunity of any form cannot be allowed in a civilized society. As much as a comprehensive legal and political process is key to resolving the tension, Kenyans must at all time be guided by morals.