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.

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