'Warriors of the mind' and impact in society
SEE ALSO :Bulls inch closer to promotionWarriors of the mind tend to push ideas that may not be conventional although they do reach the public. These include Daudi Tonje for military thinkers, Njeri Kinyanjui for cutting edge thinking in economic geography, Willy Mutunga for legal explorations, and Joyce Nyairo in literary and social expositions. IREN founder James Shikwati, for instance, pricks minds and attracts the wrath and praise of the influential by arguing that free trade rather than foreign aid can pull people out of poverty. This annoys aid advocates. Few Kenyans venture into strategic thinking on national interest, particularly national security, matters. The few include Humphrey Njoroge, Samuel Kobia, Mustapha Ali, Makumi Mwagiru, Musambayi Katumanga, and most important, Daudi Tonje. Having noticed the short-sightedness of many policy makers, Tonje set out to reform the national security outlook. To accomplish that, besides creating new rules of military behavior, he established a regional college for strategic thinkers, National Defence College (NDC), that currently seems to be in re-imaging mode. Every year the NDC churns out roughly 40 potential policy makers for diverse countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe.
SEE ALSO :USIU book semis after win over PiratesTo pretend that judges operate in political vacuums would itself be a form of injustice. He resigned as chief justice but continued to play his role as a rebel in thinking about the administration of justice. He is usually accessible for challenges of the mind. As chief justice, he ranks with Chunilal Bhagwandas Madan as a judicial thought provocateur. Joyce Nyairo, the commentator on society and social movements, considered Mutunga a poor administrator who entrenched the Constitution. He in turn sums her up as having “a deep concern for Kenya”, while laughing at the “worst…endemic follies and failures” of Kenyans. She knows how to bite and puliza intellectually, get into the socio nasties, capture the silliness of Nairobi urbanites and still come out looking good. Even when she misses the point or is short on the historical background, her writing still reads well. She ruffles feathers and receives, in leisurely ways, the expected castigating. One columnist, for instance, was angry with a newspaper public editor for choosing her column as exemplary for other columnists to see. She remains a leading warrior of the mind in the social cultural field. Prof Munene teaches History and International Relations at USIU