Whenever the Kenyan elections draw near, the political rhetoric explodes on social media. A recent visit to one of the facebook forums shows that this year is no different! What continues to amaze me is the nature of the rhetoric among Maasai’s in reference to leadership within the Maa community. There seems to be a constant insistence that leadership be doled out based on clan. Such that If, for example, the Governor is from the irkaputiei clan then his/her deputy cannot be from that same clan as the rest of the clans will cry foul and the same goes for all the other leadership positions within the Maa counties. Why? The one reason I have heard, repeatedly, is equality must be promoted – equality in representation of the entire nation of Maa. Ok. So what is wrong with this kind of thinking? Plenty, in my humble opinion!
What we often see with clan politics is that the community ends up being short changed. Those “anointed” into positions of power are typically not just undeserving but most likely unqualified too. Once in office, they instinctively and swiftly pursue personal power and wealth at the expense of the community, including their own clan whom they used to ascend to power. So is the equality we seek to pillage and plunder equally? Where is the benefit to the community? What we really should be striving for is real representation based on merit and ability to deliver for the maa community at large. What is wrong with electing people based on merit? So what if only ilkeekoyokie qualify for a given position? Clan politics only promotes a divided maa nation in an arena where unity propels other communities to success.
If we as a community are to survive in the national political arena, which is already riddled with corruption, inequality and injustice, we must rethink our internal politics. We need to encourage and build on the successes and inner resources of members of our community. We also need to help those unable to attain such successes and garner their resources. We must come up with workable sustainable solutions. We must think like the ‘old white boy networks’ and we must have the economic powerhouse to back us up!
Feel free to share your idea on possible durable solutions.