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By defending Omanga, Passaris is inciting women to be ignorant

CLAY MUGANDA
By Clay Muganda | February 7th 2021

Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

That Kenyans are belligerent and impolite is never in doubt. Peace, to Kenyans is just a word and not something they aspire to experience. Kenyans are also adamant, and that rhymes with ignorant because their elected leaders do not want an enlightened electorate.

On Monday, Kenyans and their elected politicians’ love for chaos was in full display at a funeral in Kisii where some two boys, Sylvanus Osoro and Simba Arati, felt their words could not incite enough ignorance and they had to get physical. At the same funeral, another girl, Millicent Omanga, figured that her presence was not being felt, and she had to confront an elderly governor in his county, no less, on a podium just a few metres away from his bodyguards.

The three children, who also happen to be politicians, were just doing what older Kenyan politicians are known for and also proving why they love a poorly informed electorate.

Kenyan politicians want people they can manipulate; voters who do not know what they want, a citizenry whose minds and emotions they can twist because, their main job description is telling lies — and inciting ignorance and violence.

Kenyans loved whatever happened in Kisii. They were happy that their elected and nominated political saviours were showing how well they tackle important issues such as healthcare education and the economy. For a moment there, Kenyans felt the rate of inflation getting lowered together with the cost of living while standards of living and quality of life were going up with everything else that would make them healthy, wealthy and wise. The ailing economy was suddenly improving and lo, and behold, the future was bright as Kenya had achieved what is envisioned in Vision 2030!

Kenyan voters love meaningless drama and the people they vote for like them that ignorant. Together, they deliberately ignore the bigger picture — if ever there was one in Kenya — and get angry at the smallest things, in the end just proving how fickle and feckless they are. As Kenyans were rating the child-like behaviour of the three kids in Kisii, Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris was expressing her outrage. She was not angered by the despicable behaviour of her lot, but at the elderly governor’s bodyguards who sought to protect him from Millicent Omanga.

Passaris took to Twitter to display her equal rights activism and credentials, and let Kenyans know she is out to empower the youth, especially younger women and inform them of what is left of their rights after politicians have taken away all their dignity.

The Nairobi Woman Rep was appalled and condemned in strongest terms the manner in which the Nairobi-based nominated senator was manhandled in Kisii when she, unprovoked, confronted the elderly governor in his own county.

Omanga had ignored the pleas by the governor asking her to go back to her seat and let him finish his speech. She was out to prove that she is no pushover, as she later posted to Twitter.

But Passaris did not see any of that. It was totally out of her line of vision because seeing it, and condemning it, would change her faux narrative of fighting for a fair and just society.

She chose willful ignorance, like Kenyan voters who her lot has numbed to accept mediocrity and corruption as the only ways of life and governance.

No matter how loud Kenyans wail about the state of affairs, they are not blameless. The have continuously swallowed lies of a better tomorrow even when the resources for building the better tomorrow were being plundered as they watch.

Utterances like those of Passaris — and hers were mild — of politicians seeing themselves as victims are thrown at Kenyans every day, and they accept and embrace them. They then complain about the poor state of affairs without considering that they have played a big role in the plunder of the country by protecting politicians who engage in criminality then consider themselves victims.

The Nairobi Women Rep deliberately ignored Omanga’s infractions and instead decided to do a vain thing: Wave the Woman Card. “No matter which side of the political divide we’re on, women’s bodies must be respected at all times,” she tweeted.

If that message was meant to empower women, it failed, and rightfully so because it is not about empowerment, and neither is it about fighting for a just and fair society where all are treated equally and given equal opportunities.

That was a case of inciting ignorance because she was encouraging people, more so women and girls that it is fine to have rough edges, to be selfish, to be rude, to be disrespectful and attack others in any way they can.

Should the victims defend themselves, women and girls can seek refuge in the narrative that their bodies were not respected and allude that they were violated.

That is not just silly, it is criminal. But so what? Isn’t Kenya’s political scene filled with criminal elements anyway?

-The writer is an editor at The Standard.

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