Pope will not reconcile Kenyans. Ethinicity is home-made

I have read, with utter disgust, two of my colleague writers on Standard's Ureport, that the Pope might reconcile Kenyans and help end the ethnic hostility. These two articles, "Let the Pope reconcile Kenyans" by Nelson Mandela and "Kenyan woes may be solved by the Pope" by Kamweru James, are with all due respect-- utter ridiculousness. Here is why.

Ethnic hate has been with us since independence. Over a span of over 50 years, Kenyans have tended to it religiously and as a result, it has grown to full bloom. Today, largely speaking, it is passably fashionable to hate or discriminate along ethnic lines. Negative ethnicity is deeply embedded in our circles. So much so that we view everything that happens in society with ethnic lenses. The national fabric, if we ever had it, is threatened to the core. Across all spheres and statuses, ethnic hate is the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.

That is not to say that negative ethnicity cannot end. No. It will someday. But since it is 'inborn’, only we can put an end to it. Much as we revere and ever remain indebted to the founding fathers of the Kenyan nation, it is time we admitted that they planted the seeds of ethnic hate and intolerance. We need to admit that we who live in post-independent Kenya are to blame for the hate we continue to monger with every opportunity we get.

We need to do an honest mutual self-examination as a country and decide to make off forth with the yoke of yester years. The realisation that ethnic hate is an unnecessary burden that only makes the journey to making Kenya a better democracy bothersome is all we need.

We cannot hate, incite, insult, discriminate against a neighbor and expect someone, whatever their rank, to journey all the way from Vatican to reconcile us. Suchlike frenzy is what we had prior to Obama's visit. Some of us thought that Obama was coming to transform Kenya into a Shangri-La overnight. The government was quick to impress him and the opposition even quicker to tell on the government perhaps with the hope that the Obama administration could straighten up all the things we had deliberately zigzagged.

Granted, the Pope is the foremost leader of the Catholic Church. His coming promises well for Kenya for he brings a message of peace, fight against poverty and political tolerance. It will be historic and then historical in not so long a period of time. But our peculiar ethnic intolerance and all related prejudices will remain haunting even more.

It takes you and I to realise the dire need for national cohesion and work towards achieving it. It takes an honest political goodwill to provide avenues through which hatemongers can be fairly prosecuted. It takes an impossible-to-compromise judicial system and police. Simply put, it takes Kenyans to solve Kenyan problems.

Those of us privileged to write on whatever platform should never deviate from the narrative. Negative ethnicity is homemade. Solutions to it must be homemade. This is what we ought to tell our people. Messing up our country and expecting some 'big brother' to come and put it in order is a lie writers should save us from.