On March 23, 2012, Kenyans witnessed what for many was akin to having a bad dream; a really bad dream worse than a nightmare.
On that day, Uhuru Kenyatta gathered his sycophants and other supporters calling themselves GEMA at a meeting at the end of which the so-called GEMA Declaration was made which, among other things, informed the International Criminal Court (ICC) that there were far more important things for Uhuru to keep himself busy with than bothering to answer to the serious crimes against humanity he remains charged with at the ICC.
One of those things, GEMA declared, is that Uhuru must seek to be president over the same people he is accused of having had their loved ones, relatives and friends killed, raped and displaced from their homes in the tens of thousands.
GEMA felt that a collection of 5 million signatures will do the trick.
If there was any mockery of the justice system, it could not get worse than that.
Fortunately, ICC is one last place such antics will never have an impact other than backfiring on Uhuru.
The Gema gathering was, however, condemned almost immediately by Kenyans from all walks of life who saw it as an attempt to return Kenya to the old when the same organization was used as a vehicle to marginalize and lock out of power all other communities in Kenya.
Politicians from the region with common sense and a spot in their hearts for the country and its unity such as Gitobu Imanyara, Mithika Linturi and Alex Mburi called out the organizers of the Gema meeting as opportunists who were using the occasion to advance their own narrow political and legal interests and not the interests of the communities they purport to represent and demanded an apology.
Other leaders from the region echoed the same sentiments much to the relief of the rest of the country, which began wondering whether we are regressing back to the old GEMA days again.
While one cannot say this with any degree of certainty, it is obvious the Gema ploy has backfired on Uhuru and his sycophants who organized it.
Indeed, judging from how things are progressing in the country, more and more Kenyans are simply being turned off by Uhuru and Ruto’s blatant efforts to divide the country and potentially laying the ground for a repeat of PEV by the manner in which they are basically saying they are entitled to run for president the country or the law be damned.
What an arrogant but reckless attitude!
Meanwhile, our progressive brothers and sisters from the Mt. Kenya have been spearheading efforts joined by others from the country to slay the ugly animal of tribalism that has been terrorizing our country for decades.
Leading in these efforts is the organization Kikuyus for Change convened by Ngujiri Wambugu and like minded brothers and sisters from the region.
On this eve of the group’s Second Convention to be held in Limuru tomorrow, I wish to thank organizers for their efforts and pray for their success at the convention and urge as many progressive minded brothers and sisters from across the country who are able to, to attend.
It is a convention I would definitely not miss, if I were on the ground.
In advance of this convention, Wambugu has published the following article, which I wholly associate with and support fully:
Many things have been written about the forthcoming Limuru 2B meeting this Wednesday. Most Kenyans see the meeting as a public statement from members of the Kikuyu, Meru and Embu communities that we do not agree with the politics of ethnic exclusion and tribal alliances that some leaders are trying to sell to us as the way forward after President Kibaki retires. Others see it as a platform where a new generation of opinion leaders from all over the country congregate to declare that everyone will only prosper when all of Kenya prospers. Others are coming to the meeting with only one message; ‘Kenya Yetu, Si Mtu Wetu’ (Our Kenya is not My Tribesman).
However Limuru 2B is much more than just a rebellion or platform; it is also where we compare alternative visions of Kenya, to the one being sold by what I call ‘separitist’ ethnic outfits. A key alternative vision to be presented at Limuru 2B is the Vision 2030, Kenya’s long-term development blueprint that explains how Kenya can transform from a 3rd world economy to a newly industrializing country in the next 18 years.
If you have interacted with any presentation by the Vision 2030 secretariat then you are familiar with the depiction of the vision in the form of a traditional African Hut; with the ‘vision’ as the roof and three main pillars as the support of this roof over the heads of Kenyans.
The first pillar is the economy and our ‘roof’ requires a sustained economic growth of at least 10% each year. The second pillar is social relations, and this vision calls for us to exist as a just and cohesive society, where there is equitable social development and a clean and secure environment. The third pillar is politics and to achieve this vision requires us to practice issue-based, people-centred, result-oriented politics; and to do so in an accountable democratic system.
At Limuru 2B we will compare the GEMA and KAMATUSA economic policy suggestions as based on what was in existence in their hey-days, with the economic pillar of Vision 2030. The Vision 2030 pillar asks us to focus on 10 key sectors that form the foundation of our nation’s economic growth; i.e. Macroeconomic stability which is a prerequisite for long term development; developments in infrastructure, energy, STI (science, technology and innovation), Land Reforms, Human Resource Development, Security and/or Public Service Reforms.
I cannot seem to understand what the GEMA/KAMATUSA proponents have as a social pillar, but the Vision 2030 one asks us to look at 6 key areas, i.e.: education and training; health; water and sanitation; environment; housing and urbanization; and gender, youth and vulnerable groups
Politically it is quite clear that the GEMA/KAMATUSA ideology is about how to split Kenya into religious, tribal and demographic units, and pit them against each other in some form of divide and rule. Vision 2030 on the other hand tells us to look at what we can do in 5 strategic areas to transform Kenya’s political governance; i.e. rule of law; electoral and political processes; democracy and public service delivery; transparency and accountability; and security, peace-building & conflict resolution.
The foundation of the Vision 2030 ‘hut’ looks at the systems and process that need to be in place for these pillars to exist; what Mugo Kibati calls the ‘enablers and macro-foundations’ of our ‘hut’ that include cross cutting infrastructural development, public sector reforms and macroeconomic stability, etc. The GEMA/KAMATUSA vision does not deal with this at all.
The lowest foundation and fundamental part of Vision 2030, upon which the entire structure rests, is the development of a National Value System. GEMA/KAMATUSA proponents would like us to believe that issues like respect for our humanity are not important; or how else would they find nothing wrong with trying to marshal support behind individuals suspected of having committed crimes against humanity, whilst trying to postpone the processes that could very well find them innocent?. Limuru 2B will look at whether there is need to launch a signature campaign calling upon all Kenyan Citizens to step up, again, and sign up as ‘Kenyans for Kenya’
Vision 2030 on the other hand calls upon us to develop a national value system that will enable Kenya be a globally competitive and prosperous country, with a high quality of life for all its citizens, and a newly industrializing country. Some of the tangibles of this include the Lamu Port Southern Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor; a Great Equitorial Land Bridge that is a multi-aspect transport system literally cutting Africa in half and joining Lamu directly to Duoala. This will be a natural trade route between the Eastern and Western nations of the world; imagine the trade opportunities for Kenya! Then of course there is the ‘One’; Africa’s largest building shaped like Kenya’s National Shield Emblem.
I know GEMA/KAMATUSA sees Kenya as mini-nations, while Vision 2030 speaks of Kenya as one nation with amazing potential. I have a feeling Limuru 2B will opt to go the Vision 2030 route.
Well stated brother Wambugu.
May those with ears hear and with eyes see and act on it for the betterment of our country as we endeavor to truly turn it into a one nation where we don’t see tribes or ethnicity but appreciate each for its cultural values.