I have unceremoniously been given the boot from NVK, courtesy of brother Shem Ochuodho.
My only sin, is I dared express views not conforming to Shem’s own views and agenda.
I share with you what happened just so I can make several points, which I do below.
This is how it went:
A few days ago, Ochuodho warned me that I risked being kicked from his group unless I essentially conformed to his thinking and views.
In response, I wrote the following:
I obviously need not ask you to unsubscribe me, if you deem my views and contribution at odds with your agenda.
I will continue to express myself regardless for I have never believed or thought I can ever conform my views to suit any particular person or group beyond not being uncivil, petty or irrational.
Should you choose to kick me out of your group, then that’s fine and all I can say is it’s been good for our burgeoning democracy that we have had occasion to exchange views as we have in this forum and will not doubt continue be it in a closed or open environment.
I would also add that, please rest assured if your group emerges victorious at the polls next year and takes the presidency, I’ll be rooting for your success for in the end, it’s our country that matters and to the extent we can have a president elected to finally rid it of the ills that have been impeding development and progress, so much the reason to be merry regardless of who that is.
In other words, I’ll not be like the Big Fat Idiot Rush Limbaugh here in the US who, upon Obama’s inauguration, declared a one sided war of words against Obama with the opening salvage being that he wished and prayed that Obama failed as president, something so counter-intuitive, even he has been at a loss to explain, yet it’s something he and most of his followers truly believe.
In the same vein, I would expect you, too, to root for the success of any president elected in a fair and open election, whether that be Raila or anyone from the PNU/ODM class, which you seem to loath so much.
BTW, when I say “enemy,” I mean that in a figurative sense, except when referring to all manner of vice, especially the top three: corruption, impunity and tribalism, in which case I mean this to be our common enemy both literally and figuratively speaking.
You’ll agree with me, would you not, that these vice are our common enemy, would you not?
I hope so and to the extent you and I are fighting to eradicate these, then it matters not how we get there for the country wins, if we all win but the enemy.
That’s the spirit I leave you with till we meet again, if it’s good-bye for now.
(In his “warning” to me, Shem rejected the notion I have expressed and continue to, that we all have a common enemy and the difference is only in about how we are going about getting rid of it).
This comment was not posted and neither were several unrelated others I submitted since so, noticing this, I requested that Shem unsubscribes me for one sided conversations never work for me–which is essentially he was attempting to have me endure by allowing me to see comments I cannot respond to.
Shem obliged and I am now unsubscribed.
As I reflected on this, several thoughts came to mind.
Is brother Shem within his right to exclude people of differing opinion from his group NVK?
The answer is an unequivocal “Yes.”
The constitution guarantees freedom of association but does not guarantee anyone the right to belong to an association they are not wanted, unless one can make the case such exclusion is discriminatory on prohibited grounds.
Thus, to exclude someone from an association or group because you can’t stand their views is perfectly okay.
Shem not wanting anything to do with people of differing views or otherwise those who don’t tow 100% with him and his agenda, is no different from a political party getting rid of members with antagonistic or opposing views.
The only difference is, in a political party, there is generally a sense of what the offending dissent is, or who the offending dissenter is and why but in a one man show such as NVK, that’s limited to what the man sees or says it is.
The rest, like sheep in a flock, go along.
I am sure, there are many, if not most, within the group who would want to, and in fact, prefer to hear other viewpoints such as yours truly but, again, who are they to overcome the wishes of the King?
This is not a phenomena confined to a group such as NVK.
In fact, this is by definition, KANU politics!
Does anyone see the glaring similarity and irony?
I actually find it hilarious, especially given brother Shem denies having had anything to do with KANU and that he has been fighting it all along.
He may have, but he certainly has taken a page from its playbook: Shut or get rid of those opposed to your agenda.
My take on this, is this, like the KANU we all are, let’s try and at least accommodate some form of dissent within and without.
In the case of a political party, healthy dissent is, in fact, desirable otherwise one may never know when the party is headed in the wrong direction.
Ditto for a closed or one man operation such as NVK.
Interestingly, however, in the case of a joint like Shem’s, it cannot be said that someone like I, is dissenting, because I am not part of the group in the sense that I do not ascribe to their agenda; I may and indeed do agree with NVK’s ideals and objectives but wholly differ with the group’s thinking and philosophy when it comes to the question of who should be our next president, chief being, its dogged determination to oppose any and all presidential candidates from the existing political class.
I think that’s a naïve and untenable proposition to operate from for a number of reasons.
In my blog While Bloggers Are Busy Fighting Each Other, Masters of Impunity May Have the Last Laugh, I said the following:
Other than individuals who directly benefit from corruption and impunity and their derivative beneficiaries (cronies, enablers, family members, and fellow comrades in crime and vice), all of Kenya is for ending corruption and impunity.
It is naive for one group or another to solely lay claim to be the only ones capable of pursuing this otherwise noble objective of ending impunity and corruption, to the exclusion of everyone else.
We all want to do this, except for the masters of impunity and corruption and their beneficiaries.
The question is, how do we rid ourselves of these dual vices that are at the core of what ails our country.
One school of thought is, let’s get in leadership only those who are committed to ending the vices and have a track record that they can be trusted to do so as required under the criteria set forth in Chapter Six of the Constitution, in addition to meeting other constitutional requirements.
The other school of thought is, let’s get rid of everyone currently in leadership otherwise euphemistically referred to as “the Old,” regardless of their involvement in, or promotion of these vices and regardless of whether they meet the criteria set in Chapter 6 of the Constitution or not.
[Shem and co, want us to believe they belong to the latter school.]
Separate and apart from these two schools of thought, there is a third, not school of thought, but the very masters of impunity and corruption and the beneficiaries of the vice who would fight tooth and nail to maintain status quo for they and only they stand to continue benefiting from the vice.
The logical flaw in [the position taken by Shem and co] is, they have taken an “us v them” approach to address a situation that involves three distinct groups; in other words, in theory and in practice, [they] have reduced everything to two sides (good and evil) when, in fact and in reality, there are three sides to this:
There are those who want to end impunity and corruption by electing new leadership of proven reformists who are committed to ending the dual vices (the first group I describe above), which is Group or Side A.
There are those who want to end impunity and corruption by electing new leadership that is entirely comprised of newcomers regardless of whether they have the experience necessary to lead or not, the litmus test being they are free of the vice (the second group I describe above), which is Group or Side B.
And then there are those who do not want to end impunity and corruption (the third group I describe above), which is Group or Side C.
If I were good in graphics, I would draw 3 circles with two intersecting each other and a third on its own to show these relationships. I am not, so I’ll leave it there.
In the two circles that intersect, Group/Side A and B from above, the intersection represents ending impunity and corruption.
The third lone circle represents masters of corruption and impunity, Group/Side C.
[Shem and others who think like him] are making the implausible and illogical argument that one of the two circles that intersect (A&B) actually intersects with C, when clearly neither of them does.
You don’t even need facts to determine or conclude that there is no connection between Groups A/B with Group C, given the premises and to prove this visually, simply draw the circles as described and you’ll readily see neither A nor B intersects with C, yet this is precisely [Shem and co’s] argument, namely, one of the two groups (A or B) is connected to C and that’s just not true.
In other words, [Shem and others who think like him] are making the argument because one of the two groups that agree on ending impunity and corruption (A and B) is connected to Group C, a group which does not want to end impunity and corruption because [they, Shem and others] disagree with the other group’s strategy or solution to ending the dual vices [and other problems facing the country], when there is no connection between the two in fact and in reality.
They are obviously wrong.
In the good v evil sense, both Group A and Group B are on the one side, and Group C is on the other!
In war parlance, the common enemy for Group A and B is killing the enemy inside the intersection between the two.
To do so, both sides would need to, and must in fact work together for this sole purpose and not to make each other enemies, which, if they do, namely, make each other enemies, the two circles will be killing each other leaving the sole Group C victorious in the end even without as much as lifting its sword!!!!
So, rather than brother Shem using this divisive and counter-intuitive approach and kicking people like myself from his group on grounds we are in support of Group C, or that somehow we must conform to his thinking, merely because he disagrees with our strategy of working with those within the current leadership that we are confident are capable of leading our country out of the malaise we are in, they (Shem and others like him) should instead find ways to work with us to slay the common enemies of tribalism, corruption and impunity.
As I have repeatedly said, no one has a monopoly on this noble quest, unless the talk about fighting same is a charade, in which case those engaged in the latter can have all the limelight for all I care as they in the end must fail as well.
It cannot be the case that, just because one has had a fall-out with any of the current leadership, for personal or other reasons, that therefore by extension that leader or leaders is or are incapable of effectively guiding the rest of the country in leadership, if, in fact, they are capable of doing so.
This is a fallacy that should be proven in the end regardless of whether one is or is not a part of any association, party or grouping.
Peace, Love and Unity