By EGARA KABAJI
While addressing heads of secondary schools from Western Province in Nakuru, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi chose to castigate me over my stand on the ongoing ethnic mobilisation that is being spearheaded by some politicians.
He argued that I am against Luhyia aspirations and proceeded to make other infelicitous remarks. Dr Kituyi also assured the heads of schools that all the Luhyia will this time round vote for one of their own – Musalia Mudavadi.
It is interesting to note that he chose to say this to people charged with the responsibility of cultivating a sense of patriotism among young people who should see themselves first as Kenyans. I am, however, not surprised by Dr Kituyi’s utterances because I suspect that the politician in him has killed the intellectual. I also wonder who elected him as the Luhyia spokesman!
For very strange reasons, Luhyia politicians never get tired pontificating about Luhyia unity. The question is: are the Luhyia dis-united? Who do the politicians want the Luhyia to unite for or against?
Common sense tells me that the Luhyia politicians calling upon the community to unite are betrothed to politics of ethnic mobilisation which runs counter to the nation building project that some of us have bought into.
What is gratifying is that the Luhyia have the ability to read the hidden message behind this call. The call is not meant to galvanise the Luhyia for the common good. If this was the case, then this mundane call would have been heeded.
The truth is that the Luhyia have all along worked together as a people. What some Luhyia Members of Parliament want is to herd the community into becoming a voting machine that they can misuse when they want to. In other words, they want to hold the Luhyia hostage in order to serve their selfish interests.
This unity call should be seen for what it is: an attempt to balkanise Kenya. This is what the community has resisted all along. It is this spirit, among the Luhyia, that makes them very special, patriotic and highly conscious Kenyans.
Quite a number of other Kenyan communities have fallen prey to this balkanisation project that is threatening to turn whole communalities’ into voting machines to the detriment of the nation building project. I wonder why Kenyans forget so soon. Didn’t this kind of politics lead us to the precipice of 2007/2008 post-poll violence?
Do the Luhyia need this kind of unity? This obsessive madness of setting up Kenyans against other Kenyans is a cancer that has destroyed the moral centre of our nation. Come to think of it, I have never heard of war amongst the Luhyia communities.
Go to Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga, Kitale and you will encounter the Luhyia people working together in peace. You will hear them greeting one another by saying “Mirembe” – may peace be with you – as they go about their business. If there is anything that the Luhyia , then that has to be harmony, peace and brotherliness. It is these virtues that we should build on to embrace other communities.