BBI is coming to Mombasa [Op Ed]


Waswahili wasema, “ukimpigia mbuzi ‘guitar’ wajisumbua bure, maana hatoweza kucheza”.

The mind of a goat cannot comprehend what a musical instrument and music is all about.

Similarly with Kenyans, they cannot comprehend developmental and political issues, taunted with ethnicity. We remain a passive and yet a very selfish society. Do Kenyans really care about inadequacy of water supplies, affordable/inexpensive health-care, low levels of education standards, infamous security, lack of jobs for the youths, poor infrastructure, and not so conducive business environments which burdened by taxes!

A clarion call was made to Kenyans during the launching of BBI somewhere in Nairobi, spear-headed by none other than the President of the Republic, that each and every Kenyan must read the BBI document by himself and make an informed decision whether to support, amend, or reject it. Kenyans were asked to discard weak notions “eti ‘fulani’ amesoma inatutosha”!!

I have not seen mass circulation of the BBI document until today. I may be wrong on this, but even if it was circulated, statistics point to the sad fact that Kenya’s illiteracy levels, people who cannot read or write, averages across the Country to about 38%. I will not dwell on percentages of the poor people in this Country as this is another vulnerable group, open to manipulation, in Kenya’s politics.

This figure is well known to our politicians as it can easily be referenced to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and respective UN Agencies. Whether they can do something about it is a matter best left for another day. Is this percentage of our population expected to comprehend the BBI and make an informed decision? Kenya’s political and leadership failures start here. Who is manipulating who?

And yet it is this latter group that will turn out in large numbers to the BBI rallies which are now organised across the Country, Mombasa coming up next, presumably the group believes that they can be educated on the whole BBI saga and they would derive some understanding and benefit therefrom.

But alas, our Politicians plan only one thing during the rallies. To overwhelm and wow the crouds with lengthy introductions of heavyweights seated on stage, praise hand-shake, condemn ‘tangatanga’ and declaring the host Region as BBI zone!! The letter and spirit of the BBI is hardly explained in these rallies. The poor and illiterates are highly emotive, and this is where our politicians will zero in during the rallies- loud music from disc- jockey, Mbosso, lights- Confirm this by re-watching the videos of past 2 mega rallies held in recent weeks.

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With all these follies, it is this group (38% illiteracy) of Kenyans who will turn out wholesomely to vote in the elections- be it in a referendum or general elections. The learned amongst us will shy away. The teachers will not vote as they will preside over elections, professionals such as doctors, lawyers, bankers will take a deserved holiday with their families at secure Cottages, top businessmen will take a trip (for their families safety) to Dubai or even neighbouring Countries.

Kenya’s destiny is left into whose hands? We are our own worst enemies.

That is why it is claimed only the forest changes in Kenya’s political and development strategies, but for as long as the monkeys in those forests remain the same, and will not adapt to changing times, it will boomerang, going round in circles. First, it was change to allow multi-party politics that will bring about a united, cohesive Kenya. Then, we agitated for a new constitutional dispensation which was to ensure equity and equitable distribution of resources, and inclusivity, now BBI, and still there will be no guarantee that when a person loses the Presidential elections in 2022 there will be no qualms over it as no written law will supersede the fear of the Almighty God which is missing with Kenya’s politicians.

Kenyans do not care. The water in the BBI River is flowing very fast. If you try to jump into the river to try to stop the flow of water, only the amount that will wet your shirt can be trapped, and if you are not careful, the water can cause you havoc as it can drown and throw you downstream. Probably we must sit on the river bank and enjoy the sounds of the water flowing across the rocks, and those of the birds playful on the tree branches!! God save Kenya.

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