Monthly Archives: July 2013

Time to move on, next time try harder!!

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Recently I found myself reading a book titled “Surviving the Loss of a Loved One” by Reginald K. Brown for no apparent reason. In the book, the author states that in an emotional state of sorrow and grief there are two traps of which the bereaved should be aware of. The first is to pretend that they are over the worst when they are not and the other is to hang on to the grief for too long. Reginald K. Brown continued to state that within the grieving process we have various stages that will help in recovery.

The first is shock and numbness; which is the immediate reaction to the loss and may take several weeks. It’s nature’s way of protecting you from the initial pain and distress. Secondly, we have the denial where one may find himself or herself not believing what has happened and some may think it’s a bad dream. Thirdly, we have blaming self/others. At this stage the individual may resort to a “blame game” on his/her loss to himself or other people.

Fourth, we have depression and disorganization. At this stage one may feel extremely sad and unable to do things they want to do and also unable to enjoy friends; indulge in hobbies or other pleasurable activities. Last but not least is the resolution stage where one makes a mistake of thinking that the solution is to stop grieving. Where as the loss will always be there and no matter what you try to do at some point the memories may still reappear.

After the last general elections we had those who lost and some had to cement their loss by going to the Supreme Court. Some of these individuals are still in the initial stage of grief where they are experiencing shock hence they are no longer in the public lime light nor do we hear them making any public comment or critic the winners (Government).Unfortunately, we are now seeing those who are experiencing the third stage which is blaming self or others exercising it and to be specific the Cord Coalition leaders.

 Immediately after the Supreme Court verdict the Cord Coalition went back to their strongholds to win sympathy from their supporters claiming that democracy in our country was on trial while others spreading innuendo and propaganda that some of the Supreme Court judges had been bribed. Fortunately or unfortunately most the electorates had accepted the verdict and were in the process of healing and those who were angry and bitter, the memory of 2007/2008 post election violence still lingering in their minds forced most of them to sober up and move on.

Currently, the Cord Coalition leaders are back at the blame game and now the target is the IEBC. We all know the IEBC had its challenges and it being the first time as a country going digital on the electoral process, we all knew some technological challenges were inevitable without trying to justify the massive challenges. But starting to attack an institution that is well founded under our constitution and whose commissioners underwent a rigorous vetting process and their names approved by parliament is just simply political manipulations from our political leaders.

The Commission under attack now carried out the successful referendum of 2008 and for a period it was a “darling” to many and especially those who were on the winning side and to be more precise the leaders of the Cord Coalition. Why then change the perception just because the nomination of one of your nominee in the Makueni by- election was declared null and void simply because of failing to do a proper verification on whether the nominee was a registered voter or not .

Losing is part of life especially in a competition. It is something that we are all going to experience just like death and paying taxes. But how we handle and grieve over it is determined a lot by our character. The solution is not to disband the entire commission or polarize the country by saying you are not going to engage yourselves on any election carried out by the IEBC, yet most of your coalition members who won and are now Governors, M.P’s and Senators were declared winners by the same Commission. Also trying to jeopardize the existing government is not a solution because if the government fails we all fail, whether we voted for or against. Its time to move on and for those who lost lets try harder next time.

Article by,

Dennis Mwaniki,

A political Scientist

 

 

 

 

 

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Should we cover our nakedness or expose it to the world?

Recently a US based research organization classified Kenya as among the group of failed states and on top of the list was Somalia. A country that has been faced with violence and war for almost a decade or so, a place where the language on rule of law, democracy, peaceful co-existence, harmony is just but a rumor but the language of iron machetes, guns, grenades and blood is a common phenomena to all. Hopefully, Somalia will relinquish its current position soon due to the newly established Federal Government of Somalia under the leadership of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as president and Abdi Farah Shirdon as the Prime Minister and also assistance from the Africa continent and world at large.

 

But the question that still lingers in my mind is; is Kenya really a failed state? For a country to be classified as a failed state there are various factors that are normally considered such as the Legitimacy of the state, Security, Declining public services, Human rights, Demographic pressures, External Intervention, Uneven Development, Refugees & IDP’s, Poverty & Economic Decline, Group grievances and last but not least Human Flight. Allow me to interrogate most of these factors so as to check whether as a country we are a failed state or not?

 

As a country we do have a legitimate state which was duly elected on 4th March 2013 and thereafter given a clean bill of health by the Supreme Court despite the massive electoral irregularities such as failure of the BVR Kits and the electronic tallying system. Despite the legitimacy of the state, as a country we still face another issue of not being fully accepted by the international community due to the well known ICC issue that surround both our President and his deputy. But can that make us a failed state?

 

Security is a big issue in our country. Actually the President needs to declare it a national disaster. Every now and then we wake up to news concerning ethnic clashes from Bungoma to Tana River and parts of Northern Eastern. People are killing each other as if it’s a new game. Most of our Sundays wouldn’t end without grenades being hurled into churches, bus stops or Mosques. Killer gangs and Juvenile gangs are mushrooming in most of the informal settlements and our young girls are raped every now and then. Our top police officials (Chairman of the Police Service Commission and Inspector General) are still in limbo of who should have more powers over the other. As a result security in our country is still in question and our safety is definitely not certain.

 

Declining of public service is still another issue that we are facing. Under the new government the Ministries have been reduced through merging most of the Ministries that were in the former blotted cabinet. Unfortunately this has not solved any issue because the personnel have not changed their minds or their ways of doing things. This is well articulated when one visits any of the Public Hospitals.  Most of our human rights are not well adhered to fully, such as freedom and security of persons, labor relations, assembly, demonstration, picketing and petition.

 

Demographic pressures are also challenges that we grapple with but they are swept under the carpet by our leaders. We have a large group of retirees who are not able to sustain their living and those whom they depend on, happen to fall under the category of the working class but a large percentage are unemployed. There is also the challenge of external threat from the Alshabab and cattle rustlers from our neighboring countries. There are external influences from certain global financial institutions that issue ultimatums for any assistance they offer us.

 

When we ushered in the devolved system of government we were all optimistic that uneven development will be an issue of the past but lately it seems it’s only going to be a pipe dream if the current budget estimates from our counties are anything to go by. Our leaders have selectively ignored what is of priority such as solving the issue of IDP’s who are still languishing in torn tents, the issue of poverty increase where basic amenities to some people is a big issue and the current wave of industrial strikes.

 

We are told that if you happen to see your father walking naked don’t start shouting and calling the villagers to come and see his nakedness but rather cover him. Unfortunately our father enjoys walking naked and despite our efforts to cover him, the villagers have already noticed his nakedness and now they are exposing us by calling us a failed state. Fellow country men my question still lingers, is Kenya really a failed state? If so should we all join the band wagon and expose its nakedness or should we continue to cover it?

 

Article by

Dennis Mwaniki

Political scientist

 

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