Dear Black people of the world 

White people, I will get to you shortly.

Young and old, from the Cape to Tripoli, from the sunny shores of Nam Lolwe to Lagos, you have been misruled, misled and oppressed for too long. I want to call you all to rise up in one voice and say no more to oppression. You will ask, I address you as who. Well, as one of you and as one who thinks. You have been told many flowery things, I will name a few, to enable us begin the conversation and if we all join in, we can chart a cause for ourselves and for our progeny.

1. Rule of law and constitutionalism
How has this helped you? Look at you Kenyans, the political elite kill you with abandon when the law is very clear everyone has a right to life and so many flowery things. South Africans, how is it with Zuma? He seems to have made corruption the 9th wonder of modern world. Soon he may be so corrupt, corruption will not recognize him anymore. Ugandans, look at yourselves. You would not know what a peaceful protest is if it hit in the face. And my Nigerian friends, well, your problems are too many to be enumerated. Those documents haven’t served the people they were meant to serve because it was never about you. They give you rights, but just enough to enslave you. Destroy those colonial relics. Reorganize. Think. Work towards common good without the need for flowery language. I am not advocating for anarchy, on the contrary, I am only stating facts. Your forefathers lived without those flowery documents. You too can. There is no society that has been made better by having many laws.  Basic laws of equity are sufficient to live by. The first thing you must do is to run your presidents and political class out of town, take charge of your destinies. Life went on in Nigeria when Buhari was on medical tour in England. It can go on without the political class.

2. National borders and boundaries
Tear the boundaries. Allow free travel among yourselves. Forget about those divisive descriptors. Oh I am Kenyan, oh Ethiopian, oh Zimbabwean, what do these mean in any meaningful sense of the word? You divide yourselves in silly ethnic conclaves that make it impossible for you to achieve any form of human development. If you must have a passport, have one passport. The African passport only to be useful for travel out of the continent and to make identifying you easy in the event you die. Standardize and reform your education to meet the demands of your population. Most of all, it must teach Ubuntu. Let brotherhood exist in everyone’s heart.

3. Trickle-down economics
This hasn’t worked in America, in Europe and it hasn’t worked anywhere in Africa. If you continue with this silly idea, only a few of you will continue to get rich while the majority will wallow in poverty waiting for wealth to trickle down. Rethink your economics. Draw from your traditions and from whatever theories you have learnt and build holistic communities that work for everyone. It is not a sign of progress or development to have 1 Dangote and 100 million paupers. In other spheres of life, that would a psychological problem. Don’t venerate mental deficiencies as a sign of civilization. It is backward.

4. Free trade with the developed nations
This is a lie as white lies come. Your incompetent leaders sign trade deals with these nations that keep the rest of you poor, sick, underfed all in the name of free trade. They developed their nations either with the labour of the black person or with your resources. Speak with one voice. Work towards feeding yourselves. Reduce the imports of luxury items which you can do without. Put in place protections for your nascent industries. Innovate in sustainable energy. Reduce over dependence on fossil fuels. Develop agriculture as you industrialize. Reduce rural- urban migration but urbanize rural areas to reduce pressure in urban centres, to maintain kinship ties.

5. Military expenditure
I am not a romanticizer and I don’t think our forefathers fought less, no, on the contrary, I believe there were wars of conquest and of resources. In my second point I said forget national boundaries. Forget national armies. You waste so much money buying tools of death from the US and from Europe then fight among yourselves. All of you are stupid. Why are we so intent on repeating the stupidities of Europe? They fought 2 world wars, got you involved, for what? If you must have a standing army, create a small transnational army with a limited budget. I assure, you will not need that army in one hundred years. Form strategic alliances with whoever you want. Let the work of defending the territory be theirs. Get the best of any deal and if there is any that does not work for you, kill it.

6. Foreign debt
How was this debt acquired? Take the case of Kenya. The colonialist came, stole land then at the time of leaving, gave us a loan to purchase our land back. Become radicals. For each year under colonialization, calculate amounts that should be repatriated. By the time you are finished with that, Europe and America will be owing Africa. Demand payment of these monies immediately either through cash transfers or machinery or whatever that is useful to your economies. Use this money to rationalize your public sector. Don’t pay one fool so much and then pay the next intelligent person a meager salary. Pay each one sensibly. Eschew luxuries. You will be happier and live longer.

7. Religion: Christianity and Muslim
These two religions have been responsible for religious conflicts in many places around the world since they showed themselves on its face. If you must still practice them, make religion remain a private affair. Don’t fight religious wars. No one can arbitrate which is the right god or the right manner of worship. It is not in the province of reason to mediate on such metaphysical subjects. Pray all you want, but keep public spaces and discourse secular. Have robust debates but do not use violence to settle difference of opinion. Instead, develop better arguments with which to respond to your interlocutors.

Dare to dream.

What is the artist, the scholar, the journalist to do?

I am no artist. Not in any sense of the word. I am an architect. I modify space or rather create living or livable and sometimes unlivable environments. I am not a writer either, but I do write. But I wouldn’t for the life of me keep quiet at a time like this. Silence would mean a tacit approval and acceptance of things as they are. I am a cynic. A thorough-going pessimist and a realist. The world is as is. Things are and they exist in different layers. Nothing is black or white and truth, to the postmodernist, varies or depends on who is telling it.

What is it I will not be quiet about?

Women being violated in their homes.

Children being shot by police.

Men being killed by police.

Homes and business being destroyed.

Nurses, doctors and other professionals being taken for granted.

Attempts to grab power from the people.

Arithmetic being insulted.

Lies being told as truth.

Ethnic profiling by the state.

State sponsored violence.

Our constitution being seen as a book of suggestions.

But as I told my friends when we started this conversation, that I am conflicted and have many thoughts on this. Hope, in a way is the greatest of all evils. It prolongs human misery. The hope that things will be better, especially when there is much against this hope, is to prolong our misery. Herein is my first conflict. I am agitating for change. I hope change is possible. But I also believe such a hope prolongs my misery. The cycle of violence seem to me to have no end in sight. On the country, it does look like it will only get worse. The state has, by convincing the populace of Al Shabaab and other external enemies, militarized the population. And the most unfortunate thing is this has happened at the level where critical thinking is a luxury. In the police, the army cadre, the National Youth Service, guards and so on. They search you at a local mini-supermarket and as you get into a church (the irony- even those who pray for god’s protection are not sure they can depend entirely on god).

In my brief study of history, I have come to the conclusion that historical events do not have a single cause, but that their causes go back decades in an unbroken continuum of cause-effect. What are we to do in such a scenario? What can each of us do to affect the cause of history or rather to improve the present? Are we to watch helplessly as history unfolds before us? How do we become participants in changing the course of history, to write a different history? These and many more questions are what we are called to reflect upon.

In his book, If the War goes on, Hermann Hesse, writes

At the same time we scholars and artists joining in the outcry against certain belligerent powers. As though today, when the world is on fire, such utterances could be of any value. As though an artist or a man of letters, even the best and most famous of us, had any say in matters of war.

He continues his lament,

Others participate in the great events by carrying the war into their studies and writing bloodthirsty war songs or rabid articles fomenting hatred among nations. That perhaps is the worst of all. The men who are risking their lives every day at the front maybe entitled to bitterness, to momentary anger and hatred; the same maybe true of active politicians. But we writers, artists and journalists- can it be our function to make things worse than they are? Is the situation not already ugly and deplorable enough?

Here then, is first a question of what our effect will be and a secondly a challenge to not make an already ugly situation ugly and deplorable.

As I have said elsewhere, and some have disagreed, the real battle is that with the self. That is the first battleground of history, of fate and if each of us can win the battle against hate, greed, we may as well be on course to writing a new history for mankind.

 

As I conclude my ramblings, I live you with this poem by John Bell for reflection.

If the war goes on

If the war goes on and the children die of hunger,

and the old men weep, for the young men are no more,

and the women learn how to dance without a partner,

who will keep the score?

 

If the war goes on and the truth is taken hostage,

and new terrors lead to the need to euphemize;

when the calls for peace are declared unpatriotic

who’ll expose the lies?

 

If the war goes on and the daily bread is terror,

and the voiceless poor take the road as refugees;

when a nation’s pride destines millions to be homeless,

who will heed their pleas?

 

If the war goes on and the rich increase their fortunes,

and the arms sales soar as new weapons are displayed;

when a fertile field turns to no-man’s land tomorrow,

who’ll approve such trade?

 

If the war goes on, will we close the doors to heaven?

If the war goes on, will we breach the gates of hell?

If the war goes on, will we ever be forgotten? If the war goes on…

 

Election boycott KE

Hello friends,

In my last post, I said there would be no election. Well, the clown’s party that controls the election body decided to go on with their party census on our tab. And by doing so, they have sunk several billion shillings down the drain.

That 12 billion shillings could have done a lot. For example this

I would have done you all an injustice if I don’t show you the people who went to cast their votes for the clowns

What happens from here now? No one knows.

Dear Uhuru and Raila

I am sure you have by now received and read the letter addressed to you by ICJ Kenya.

Before, I continue with my letter, I will state my bias. I want to see an end to Uhuru’s presidency. I believe it should not have happened in the first place anyway, but here we are. With that behind us, my letter will build on theirs but also departure significantly from it.

In their calling you to dialogue, they are implicitly saying, we the people have no demands that the two of you can agree on what portions of the cake to take and what crumbs we shall have. I beg to differ. We are the right bearers and are to determine how we shall be led. You can meet over beer or bbq, that’s all good. I however, as a voter, would want to know what iebc has done in ensuring that each vote will count.

While making their ruling, the SCoK observed that the iebc had committed illegalities and irregularities. To date no one has answered to these charges. It is business as usual at iebc. This is unacceptable. The commission must tell us who through omission or commission bungled the election whose end result has been the loss of life.

Uhuru has to rein on the police to stop killing protestors. Picketing is guaranteed by law and the citizens can continue to demonstrate even if Raila called them off. The police have no right to kill people. They can only arrest. And on this matter, you are complicit. ICJ Kenya are not brave enough to tell you the people who have died have been killed on your orders.

A situation where after every election we must have dialogue is not tenable. I demand on my own behalf, that those who bungled the election be made to account. No payoffs as you did with Hassan. This matter must and should be put to rest in a way that serves us and future generations. 

IEBC has to be seen to be transparent. If this means sharing minutes of the meetings, so be it. The elections concern our present and future. They have to be above board. 

Talk if you must, but it must not be to meet your individual goals but must represent the aspirations of the people. The Constitution is clear as to who the power belongs to. And in that document, we must determine how we will be governed. Time, however, is running out and our patience is wearing thin.

No more lives must be lost. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9FLm5wAmIJbUnJjQVJtV0huWk0/view?usp=drivesdk

What is an election?

Those of you following on the drama now know 2 commissioners have now resigned from the electoral body. One did so a few days after the full ruling and yesterday Dr. Akombe quit. This has reduced the commission from 9 to 7. The present composition doesn’t meet the gender requirement as required by law and is in that way unconstitutional.

Yesterday we were treated to a non speech by the commission chair where he said they are ready for election but can’t guarantee that it will be free, fair and credible. He says he has been outvoted by commissioners serving political interests. What this translates to is going to a match where the referee and assistant referees are working with your opponent.

I am here waiting for him to resign. We have plans to picket on 26th October while the chief clown’s party goes to the polls. It will be interesting. If the revolution will not be televised, it will be tweeted and retweeted.

Seconds to disaster

Hey friends.

I think as at this moment, Kenya is seconds away from disaster, not legal but political and no one knows how it will end. I think it will end in disaster and we will be none the wiser.

There will be, like in war, no winners or losers but those who are left. Whoever they will be, they will be so divided they will not be able to recognize each other.

So we wait. The clock is ticking. 26th is the date.

The article below paints the picture in more words than I can generally muster.

Against second rate democracy in Kenya