The complexity of the war on corruption
SEE ALSO :Esther Passaris to sue Nairobi GovernorTribal loyalty Locally, individual politicians established constituency-wide loyalties among villages that in the past had been rivals. This way, kinship was enlarged locally and through the local party affiliation, a quasi-national loyalty emerged. This was conditional. If the party was in the minority, members of the party defected or realigned or coalesced to form a majority party. The realities of political life militated against national loyalty. In every case, national loyalty was dependent upon local advantage. To illustrate this, an elderly man a councilor, speaks in favour of Odili in A man of the People thus: “The village of Anata (Chief Nanga’s Village) has already eaten, now they must make way for us to reach the plate. No man in Urua (Odili’s village) will give his paper (vote) to a stranger when his own son needs it.” Because most parties developed along kinship – constituency – regional lines, they encourage re-existent ethnic concepts. Cultural stereotyping abounds and flourishes. Politics, having inadvertently helped to create stereotypes then proceeded to capitalise on them, to whatever extent stressing them would secure votes. Elections are competitive leading to rivalry. The quest for votes demands the organization of the electorate along whatever lines available. Since no stronger loyalties than kinship and lineage exist, organization along extensions of these loyalties is inevitable. And as elections approach, ethnicity has to be stressed, both positively and negatively.
SEE ALSO :Waititu grilled again over graft claimsPerceived enemy Kenya, they will shout, has to be protected from being taken over by the Kikuyu or the Kalenjin or the Luo or the Luhya and voters will vote based on their fear of the perceived enemy and support of their perceived brother. As a result, politicians can cynically manipulate the masses even when the parties have demonstrated their moral and ideological bankruptcy. In short, tribalism has become a major support for the gross corruption of the Kenyan public life. The politicians for the most part see their mutual interest served by keeping the system stable. Political thugs, having tasted their power, will not just disband merely because the elections are over.There is another election to fight for five years down the road. Thus the country becomes the open prey for those who have erected politics as their new faith.
SEE ALSO :Governor: Please unfreeze my accountsHowever, there is ground for hope – the Kenyan soul will outlive the crisis and shine bright like the morning star. Men and women who believe that the present is to be endured for the sake of a future will rise. Mr Chesang is a historian
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