THIS IS A PHOTO TAKEN FROM THE KENYA DAILY NATION YESTERDAY. The Headline was -
As Jubilee Party Polls
FLOP in 21 Counties
in the wake of major irregularities.
Generally this is very disappointing, but not unexpected. As an observer of political and other social behaviour since 1969, there has been little change in the way things go. Riots, Civil Strife all seems to end in human rampage in word and action, in the cities, universities and wherever there is need to argue a point. Of course there is an educated strata who refrain from getting involved in politics, and other areas of social fracas. They are not small in number, but seem to shrink from putting themselves forward to challenge the greater mass, who are by comparison less educated and less informed than themselves. This is a great pity. Tribalism, and ignorance encourage dialogue and argument that ends up generating a totally immoderate and inflammatory use of words and personal opinion. Thus finally those vying for power and position do so more from a desire for personal aggrandisement than for the good of the Nation as a whole. And of course 'tribalism' has been and continues to be one of the major hindrances to national unity, and to a common respect for every one IN the Nation. TEN years ago Kenya was shaken by violence during an Election throughout the whole Country; violence basically encouraged and engendered by Tribalism. The suffering caused, and the set back, at that time, to National Unity took time to settle - indeed perhaps it is still seen to be under the surface. That the Ruling Party - the Government - of the day could have taken so little trouble to ensure that we entered this current Election Year (they are scheduled for August) so haphazardly and without due regard to proper planning, seems quite amazing. BUT perhaps the main danger has been the decision, after 2007, to chop the Nation up into Counties; Counties that are quite heavily populated on a tribal basis. Instead of encouraging a National Spirit and fostering the view that we are Kenyan, we still are constantly reminded of our TRIBE, and in doing so are tempted to evaluate each other on the basis of Tribe rather than our KENYAN nationality. After so many years this is more than sad, it very regressive.
These current 'Primary Polls' have not so far produced a lot of hope for a quiet and peaceful year.
The instability of the Voting population, together with a divisive drift in the Country to go away from cohesion towards - in some areas especially - a kind of dispersion, back to ones tribal root and geographical origin. I do not say it is wrong to be aware of ones history and heritage, but surely we are not to expect Peace or UNITY for ourselves as Kenyans when we put out ETHNIC root in front of the NATION being built? I have married a wonderful woman from one of the Tribes of Kenya. She has given me wonderful children who although they have inherited very different cultural genes, have not hung on to being more one thing than another - they see themselves as Kenyan. In the Children's Homes that my wife and I have run here in Eldoret since 1972 filled with children from all over the STATE, it has been our joy and privilege to watch these children learn to cross all boundaries and to live together - more than 13 different ethnic groups (some of them not normally used to each other) as a family, seeing each other as 'brothers and sisters' without rancour. More than three hundred of them. Seeing this, and living in the midst of it, we KNOW that it is possible for ALL Kenyans, indeed all of Mankind, to be able to co-exist together with respect and honour. BUT God needs to be in the equation and the experience. WITHOUT God perhaps it will not, cannot work. God does not see Tribe or Race. He sees Mankind, and HE loves each and every one of them, working for their good, regardless.
Dear Friends I must end this week. I have been battling with a heavy bout of influenza over Easter, and it has truly put me physically down. But I am recovering and already feel much better. God Blessed our Easter time together, and we know many of you will have been praying for us.
We send you all our Love in Jesus Name. God Bless, Comfort, and Encourage you all day by day.
John, Esther and Daryl Green