As you know, I have for a long time signed of with “Peace, Love and Unity,” reflecting three virtues I hold true and believe are essential in our lives, if we are to rise as a nation and excel beyond where we have been.
I even get occasional jabs from folks who ask why would I take this mantra from the Moi era which he and his regime sang but never practiced and my answer has always been the same and that is, just because Moi said but did not practice something does not mean no one else should.
An example I give is, Moi was sworn several times to uphold the constitution, which he never did but that doesn’t mean our presidents should henceforth not be so sworn just because of Moi having sworn to but failed to uphold it.
On further examination of these three virtues, however, I have come to conclude two are actually the same or an intricate subset of one another, depending on context and these are “peace and love.”
If you are a loving person, peace comes naturally or with little effort at worst.
I am therefore changing my sign-off to “Peace, Unity and Progress.”
I know progress is not a virtue but we cannot experience true peace and unity without progress for all.
In this post-PEV period of our history, we are each called upon to re-examine ourselves and answer the question, what is is I can do to bring about peace, unity and progress for all in our country?
Whatever that is, just do it regardless of what you think others may say or think about it.
The biggest obstacle in this simple request is, of course, hate and tribalism, the two vices that are deeply rooted in our history and culture but they need not be inseparable with us to the future or forever.
We can overcome both, if we want to.
I know fully it’s not easy for some but the easiest way to do that for those afflicted with it, is simply to forget the past and think about the future.
Harboring hate and tribalism over issues that are deeply rooted in our history and culture will only leave us divided, unhappy and certainly incapable of tapping the full potential of our country as a nation.
Many are looking to the ICC to bring closure to PEV but I have maintained this is wrong as ICC will never do such; ICC will be a mixed bag no matter the outcome.
There will be those who will be happy with the outcome just as much as there will be those who will be unhappy.
There is no outcome that is going make everyone happy.
In fact, it is more likely the outcome will make more people unhappy than happy.
Indeed, blogging on this issue recently, I said the following:
You are right and I agree people need to wait for the actual ICC verdicts. We also need to make sure they public is not led to believe an outcome of one kind is forthcoming when, in fact, the other is the more likely. I think if acquittals occur when people are expecting hanging at the Hague, we may end up being thrown back to where we started.
It’s a delicate balance but it must be done within reason and sound mindedness.
If there is one thing Ocampo said at the Koinange interview that I thought was apt, it is his urging Kenyans to be prepared for whatever outcome the ICC produces.
I have been a lone wolf in my position but I now see more and more analysts agreeing with my position and more so I hope they can join in supporting my proposal to put in place a system to allow for civil penalties, even for those acquitted at the Haguge because being acquitted does not mean one is innocent of being most responsible for PEV charged on the lesser standard of common murder, manslaughter, or destruction of property which are different from “crimes against humanity” with the latter requiring a higher standard of proof I doubt Ocampo will meet as per my analysis.
This may be the only way to bring closure to this sad saga in our history.
I still firmly believe in this and thus my appeal to those who were directly affected with PEV to simply forgive and forget while looking to a future without that much pain and suffering.
For those still homeless as a direct consequence of PEV, the government must step-up its efforts to resettle them and now, not later.
Ditto for the root cause of PEV, namely, land.
Early this year, I said the following in another blog on this issue:
As I sit here reading and reflecting on this issue on this Sabbath Day, I am seeing three solutions to this highly charged, thorny and complex issue of land and IDPs in Kenya: First, the IDPs should be resettled to the very places from where they were chased or run away from and do so for as many of them as can prove they actually did live and had a livelihood there. A new law should be passed to facilitate this, thus, if you were previously homeless but are now comfortably living in an IDP’s home and operating another IDPs kiosk as your own, it is time to get back to being homeless or finding another solution to your previous problems.
Second, if IDPs must be resettled elsewhere, then a law to provide for such resettlement must be passed to include among other things, making resettled IDPs under it ineligible to vote in those areas until at least after the next election circle or after there has been a complete re-examination of our land policy to ensure equity and fairness for as close to all as possible, whichever occurs first.
Three, a special land reform assembly must be constituted to address the question of land policy reform. This assembly should be comprised of elected leaders from each tribal area (and this is about the only time you’ll hear me suggest tribal consideration as a factor), so an assembly of approximately 40 members with an eminent non-Kenyan as its President (Kofi Annan or someone similar comes to mind) with a deputy elected by a super-majority of the members.
Parliament shall implement whatever recommendations the Special Assembly on Land Reform comes up with without delay, debate or amendment.
I wrote to the Minister for Lands back then and shared this with him but I doubt much will happen with anything along this thinking in the current administration even though we can all agree something must in the end be done to address this issue once and for all, my proposal being one means of doing just that.
Once we deal hate and tribalism behind us, Kenya would become a paradise we always believed it could be because the other vices, namely, corruption and impunity must correspondingly be eliminated or reduced out of necessity for a united country is greater than a few, powerful and untouchable they may think they are.
Conversely, a divided country will never successfully tackle any of these vices.
The choice is clear and starts from our own individual choices: Do we want to be a united country or not?
If so, what can I as an individual do to make that happen.
Whatever that is, just do it.
If that happens and we are honest about it, the outcome would be a second re-birthing of our country and this time propelling upwards to the skies in terms of opportunity and progress for all.
That’s my prayer.
Peace, Unity and Progress