Break free from the shackles of tribalism to make Kenya great


One Kenya Alliance Principles Gideon Moi, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula in Matungu constituency for a political rally where they were campaigning for ANC candidate.[Kipsang Joseph,Standard]

Despite Kenyans agreeing with the fact that communities are an important aspect of identity, it is time we broke free from the chains that bind us because of our identity.

Chains here mean that because one is from a certain community, then they must be led by someone from their community; or if one’s tribe is not elected to the top, then they feel that they are not represented. 

Why should we go back to where we’ve come from? Why go back to a past where tribalism ruled our country?

Gone are the days when leaders were elected based on where they come from. We all come from one tribe, and despite us coming from different tribes, unity should be a tree to cling to whenever the waves of tribalism sway us.

This does not necessarily mean that there should be no inclusivity of other communities in leadership, no. Rather, it means that instead of electing leaders because they are from one’s community, it is important to first assess the leadership qualities of the contestants and vote in the one with the best qualities. We all agree that we could use a leader with good qualities other than the one with no leadership qualities but who hails from one’s community.

To this end, maybe we can have a rotational presidency which would give a chance to every community to lead. However, we should not put emphasis on rotational leadership and forget about leadership qualities. 

Kenyans, let us elect our leaders on the basis of their qualities. Ask yourself what they will bring to the table. Will they work hard to unite us? Will they make Kenya greater?

Not until we overcome the chains that bind us because of tribalism; not until we all agree that Kenya is greater than any one of us and that in unity we can thrive, will we be able to reap the fruits of our independence.

[Wilfred Onchari]


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