happy Jamuhuri Day!

It has been 45 years since Kenya attained independence from the United Kingdom in 1963. In the 45 years we have avoided the descent to civil war that has blotted the histories of nearly all of Africa’s states. We nearly descended into chaos in 1982, 1991-2, 1997 and 2007-8 but we did not. The Kenyan people were able to stand firm against those who were pushing the country towards anarchy for their own selfish ends.

That said, we still have a long way to go. Sometimes I even wonder whether our biggest achievement as a nation thus far has been to merely maintain our borders as they are. Our economy is still largely 12th century or before that. Our politics is as tribal as it can get and our socio-cultural progress has been dismal to say the least. We are yet to forge an all-encompassing nationla consciousness. There is not yet a myth of Kenyanhood.

As we celebrate our independence from arbitrary rule by foreigners we should renew our vigilance against arbitrary rule by Kenyans. God bless Kenya!

ps: I think as a Jamuhuri day gift to all of us President Kibaki should veto the media bill just passed by parliament. Press freedom is the real test of a nation that claims to be a liberal democracy. We cease to be a true democracy when information is not easily shared. It is no secret that whoever contrlols information flow possesses power.

will someone please take this mad man away

Robert Mugabe is a delusional mad man bent on destroying himself and his entire country. Ok, may be I am overplaying it, but what do you make of a man who is denying that there is cholera in his country while hundreds continue to die and flee into other countries? A man who continues to cling to power when the economy of his country is a total mess with super-hyper-inflation and no prospect of recovery? A man whose strongman rule and outright thuggery has sent an estimated more than three million people fleeing to neighboring countries and beyond? What do you make of this man than to conclude that there is something seriously wrong with his head?

12 million human beings should never have to suffer because of the selfishness and greed of one man. Humanity has failed and continues to fail in allowing Robert Mugabe to continue being the president of Zimbabwe. It is time someone in SADC or the AU or the UN or the EU or NATO grew a pair and sent this old man a serious message with details about his departure from the helm. Previously, I was of the opinion that he should be accorded amnesty in some country somewhere, far away from Zim but not anymore. This man should be arrested and tried for crimes against humanity. The international community should stop pretending and see the Zimbabwean political, health and economic crises for what they really are  – tools of war being used by this mad man Rob against his own people.

Why is Mbeki not being as serious as he ought to be about this? Where is Kofi Annan? Where is the UN on this? Enough with the toothless resolutions. Do something. Innocent people are dying.

And I am not being delusional myself. I am not in any way insinuating that the departure of Mugabe will be the panacea to all of Zim’s problems. Far from that. The damage has been done and it will take a generation or two to fix it. But the departure of Mugabe will definitely be the beginning of the end of the many ills that have plagued Zimbabwe since the mid 1990s.