Kenya: Looming class clashes

I predict the death of tribal clashes in Kenya and the birth of class clashes. Come 2012 (or even before), Kenyans will not rise against each other on the grounds of their tribe.

Since 1990, Kenya has faced socio-politically motivated tribal clashes. A few individuals have used differences that communities have held over the years to instigate¬† violence. But in the near future, Kenyans will be dived into two – three quarters representing “the have nots” and a quarter representing “the haves”.

Wealth or the lack of it will be the center of division in the country. And all signs and indicators are clear though none of us seems to be reading them right.

Kenya is one of the country where the gap between the rich and the poor seems to be widening daily. Basic commodities such as food and energy have spiraled beyond the reach of many. Meanwhile, a few individuals (in politics and business) are enriching themselves in the process.

Some big-bellied men decide to smuggle maize out of the country and the price of ‘ugali’ hits an all time high. And then the government embarks on some endless investigations yet there are intelligence reports on the matter.

Some businessmen decide to hoard fuel and the price of everything from electricity to food stuff skyrockets.

Then MPs appoint a tribunal to review their salaries (upwards). Rumor mills have it that they already have a proposal – they be paid a higher salary and they will pay tax. Those in the know indicate that MPs have indicated that they will pay taxes once they get Sh1.4 million in salary and allowances.

And we all thought that the 9th parliament was the worst that this country ever had.

These are the reasons why a new kind of war is shaping up in Kenya ahead of a referendum sometime later this year or early next year and the 2012 general elections.

Meanwhile, any sober Kenyan will agree with me when I shout that we are a very irresponsible lot.

We lack responsibility in our thoughts, deeds, reactions, planning… name it, if the events that have both surprised and shocked us over the last couple of weeks are anything to go by.

The fire tragedies that claimed over 150 people have shown us how irresponsible we can be with life.

Even the guys who perished in Molo indicated that they were aware of the dangers posed by flammable substances such as the petrol they were busy stealing.

It would not be surprising to learn that some may have perished in the Nakumatt fire as they tried to find their way to free goodies.

Total cases of negligence!

Over 45 years after independence, Kenya has a police force that cannot control a crowd of onlookers. The country is served by a small number of emergency response personnel using limited facilities.


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