President Kibaki and PM Raila

When Kenya cascaded into purgatory following disputed elections, hundreds of innocent people were butchered and displaced, thanks to tribal hatred. Kenya’s ever robust economy was pulled back. Myopically, the world attributed this carnage to tribal hatred in Kenya.

Tribalism has never been Kenya’s problem. Instead, corruption and hunger for power are. I once wrote how Nairobi’s rich suburbs do not know tribe but income. The same way, slums accommodate every pauper regardless of his or her community. So whether you are a Kikuyu, Luo or Kalenjin does not count when it comes to where to live.

We still remember how former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan faced a Solomon case in Kenya before he ushered the power sharing pill in. After Annan’s magic bullet worked, Odinga was sworn in as Prime Minister. Many wrongly thought that this would bring Kenya’s troubles-cum-imbroglio to an end. Sadly though, we horribly overlooked and underestimated the problems. One year down the line, nothing substantial has been attained so to speak. Squabbling and bickering are still the order of the day.

This means Annan’s proposal was either inefficient or has been ditched. Recently, Kenya witnessed the felling of innocent Human Rights activists. Sadly, nobody was apprehended! Those that catalyzed tribal killings have never been prosecuted! Why? The government is inept or in bed with some, if not all of them. The game is a foot on who should take which portfolio and other nonsense! Vampiric scandals such as Goldenberg, Anglo-leasing are still under the carpet as the Kibaki-Odinga marriage of convenience proves to be a hoax and burden to Kenyans.

If you ask a common Kenyan whose elections were rigged, his or her evaluation of the power sharing thing, s/he will give you a negative one. They’re in a pickle. How can one tell otherwise if time and money are wasted on power struggles instead of discharging duties? They even don’t know who won and who lost. To them, the loser is a common man in the street and winners are those monsters enjoying all trappings and fanfaronades from their goons.

If Odinga meant to serve the people ( he’s never served them), after finding that Kibaki is indifferent, he’d have gone back to the same people to report. He’d have abandoned the hurriedly cobbled outfit they call the “grand coalition” government.

Methinks, when the power sharing pact was entered, what was meant was nothing but serving Kenyans. Sadly though, instead of dealing with how to deliver, the two folks supported by their stooges are tearing the country down. So, looking at how things are working in Kenya, power sharing is but an anathema. It is like finding yourself between the rock and a hard place.

Another country that evidenced the power sharing wand this year is Zimbabwe. Two arch-foes, President Robert Mugabe and PM Morgan Tsvangirai sealed the covenant of working together. Has it worked? Just like Kenya, the difference is the same. Zimbabwe is still grappling with unemployment, poverty, corruption and such. The common man is totally betrayed. Do you know that life in Somalia (a failed state) is better than life in Zimbabwe? 

Power sharing is an ideal idea for power hungry monsters we call leaders to loot and self seek. To such cabal of vampires, justice is to be in power but not efficient service delivery.

Africa has come a long hard way. Before this anathema-power sharing was devised, the barrel of the gun used to be the means for power hungry monsters. We saw Yoweri Museveni ( Uganda ) Meles Zenawi ( Ethiopia ), Jonas Savimbi ( Angola ), Paul Kagame ( Rwanda ), Pierre Nkurunzinza (Burundi), Laurent Kabila (DRC) and others coming to power by the barrel of the gun. 

After some of them overstayed in power, we wrongly thought that the current monsters supported by hoi polloi, opposing them would be a solution. Nay! They are all the same. To me whoever does not fight graft and listen to the electorate, is as good as any power hungry monster.

That power sharing has proved to be an abracadabra… what should Africa do? The hoi polloi should stop allowing themselves to be used by power barking mad monsters. Instead of pinning hopes onto a wrong horse, people must agitate for real changes. They must use the same popularity they rendered to their traitors in question, to oust them as they strengthen democratic institutions such as the constitution. With civic disobedience, no looter can rule any hank of land in Africa. This is but a new and sure way forward. 

Those laboring under tribal, nepotism, regional malady and such should not forget. Miseries resulting from corruption and political predatory do not know one’s community or region. Importantly, why should your blood and sweat be used to oil the cog our looters use to attain their heinous interests-power and its trappings?

Africans must secure their place in decision making by supporting sound democratic institutions instead of individuals. Instead of fighting for whom you call your leader, fight for transparency, empowerment of the majority and sound constitutions. Experience has shown that those we mistake to be our leaders are but power-hungry monsters that can shack up with whoever assures them to eat with them.

Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a regular contributor to AfroSpear.