Friday, June 01, 2007

Happy Madaraka Day

Dear Kenyans,

It is with mixed emotions that I, through this blog, address you all on this very Madaraka day, 2007. Madaraka means freedom and freedom spells joy, possibilities and planning. But freedom comes with that other thing called responsibility. Madaraka is all these things and more, wrapped together with the aim to keep ALL Kenyans happy.

Today we remember Dedan Kimathi and crew, Kenyatta, Waruingi, endless list of knowns and unknowns whose blood we thrive on in Kenya. As the economy boosts to 6.1% growth, we must remember that we owe that possibility to these people. They lived, were tortured and some died so that we had the possibility that is the vision 2030 and more.

So I write with the awareness that the headlines are about Mungiki and a country that cannot agree on how to handle this menace. Let's all get to the responsible part. Where every Kenyan has the right to freedom of movement and business opportunities free from harassment from any and all. And that the court systems and the police crackdowns are butting heads over this issue. This is not amazing nor surprising. The menace that is Mungiki in its fervor right now is a new concept. Gang violence aided by weaponry such as guns is a new concept to Kenya. And as much as Kenyans sing about how Ali should do what, and Michuki shouldn't do what or whatever it is they say, truth be told, no one quite knows what to do. The obvious truth is that something must be done. And whatever must be done is going to require changes to old laws, new gun laws created, new gang laws and new right of questioning and hold times accorded to police for suspected gangs and terror groups. Instead of pointing fingers and issuing blame, let's collectively meet at a conference table, admit to new, ugly beginnings and seek a solution so that all deserving citizens may live and continue to prosper in peace. To be fair to Ali's team, his people, his employees are dying in this effort to end this menace. Imagine them watching these charges, on the implied purporters of this madness, be dropped. They need a lifeline. Something to believe in. New crime, new casualties, new end results all call for new laws.

It is unfortunate that like every garden, every batch of planted seeds has to deal with the menace that are weeds. Kenya as a growing or freshly planted nation is no different. But every weed, has its weed killer. All we need is to sit back, analyze what weeds we really have and then find solutions. The Mungiki, Mt. Elgon clashes and incessant tribalistic bashing by our very own elected officials are just some of the weeds to which we need solutions.

All is not lost. The economy is doing better. People are much more hopeful now than they used to be and I believe that many do see a light at the end of the tunnel now. Education is more affordable than it ever was and investment possibilities have been made a reality to majority of Kenyans via loans and stock markets. While Kenyans struggle with the difficult issues, they must not forget to look and see the things that are going well. Keep a balanced perspective. It's my opinion that less speculation and more interest in facts rather than emotional biases will lead Kenya to find solutions to its issues faster and more effectively.

So as Madaraka day comes and as it goes, let's dwell on hope. And earmark ourselves as individuals to be conduits for the real Madaraka to be passed on to every individual. By being better citizens in productive ways, actions, speech and intentions.

Happy Madaraka day na Mungu aibariki Kenya!


Stella said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

Human rights - human rights start with human life we have rights cause we live. without life there are no rights. So the most important right is the right to live.

i for one do not subscribe to the notion that mau mau were freedom fighters - for me its like saying mungiki are freedom fighters just because its convenient for them to claim certain political positions at a certain time.

i think kenyans will be forced to deal with issues they have not delat with before.

All this activists will have to rethink their positions when Human when human righst stops being an academic subject but a reality - the LSK have fired the first shot by asking for the declaration of emergency.

its 1952 all over again. we refused to learn from History no here it repeats itself again

Mimmz said...

@ Stella, Thank you dear!

@Anonymous. Interesting perspective. I personally see a galring difference between the Mau Mau and the Mungiki. To me it's like comparing apples to pineapples, forget oranges. But to each his own. However, we all agree that something needs to be done. And that's what matters.