Moses Kuria’s action reflects the habits of the political class
SEE ALSO :DP top brass disown Kuria bidBut why would a politician like Kuria incite the youth in his constituency to violence? Well, two reasons quickly come to mind. First, Kuria knows that in Kenyan politics intimidation wins. So by displaying his gang of panga-wielding supporters in broad daylight, he is showing any potential challengers in 2017 what awaits them if they dare try to take his seat. Second, and perhaps more importantly, Kuria is creating a circus to distract his hungry constituents from his failures. One of the more astonishing things about this country is how we continue to remain blind to the ineptitude of our leaders and massive and unjust inequalities it generates. If our narrative about ethnicity and ethnic politics is correct, Gatundu South should be a paragon of economic development. So should Baringo. And Bondo. And Mwingi. And Eldoret North. And Othaya. Yet these specific locales are not any richer than the rest of the country. The peasants in Gatundu suffer the same fate as their more neglected counterparts in Kerugoya Kutus. The ethnic favoritism that we cry and fight and die about begins and ends at the elite level. The likes of Kuria know this fact very well. And so every now and then they never miss the opportunity to provide pangas (not tractors, not jobs) and then remind “their people” of the nemesis that is the “jamaa wa vitendawili.” Forget the fact that Kuria has no idea of how to transform the livelihoods of his constituents, or the whole country for that matter. What he stands for is the sharing of looted state property among elites. And whenever they are caught, as is currently happening at NYS, they quickly resort to the canon fodder. They give them little distractions and then remind them of the enemy. This keeps a lid on the embarrassing fact of the singular failure of Kuria and his ilk. This brings me to the question of alcohol abuse in central Kenya. The phenomenon is certainly not restricted to central Kenya. It is a countrywide epidemic probably brought about the by the lack of gainful employment for millions of young men; and social issues related to the changing structure of the Kenyan family and way of life (the sociologists should know better). It is also important to note the scourge is not limited to rural areas. Nor is it a poor man’s problem. Alcoholics are alcoholics, whether they drink busaa in a shack in Kiandutu or expensive liquor in the plush lounge of a city hotel. It is therefore curious that the solution the government has adopted is to cut the supply of cheap alcohol and hope the problem goes away. It will not. If I may hazard a guess, I think the reason why so many of our young men are turning to the bottle is because of disillusionment with the system. The level of inequality in our society continues to soar. Yet all we ever do is give our young men shovels and pangas. This strategy will soon come back to bite us.
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