@TheEastAfrican

Being ostriches will not save our democracies

10 months ago, 2 Jan 14:17

By: Muthoni Wanyeki

Another year is over. The trajectory for Kenya and its neighbours is not good. Yes, the government of Somalia is reassuming the responsibilities of a state, including, most recently, control of its airspace. The African Union Mission in Somalia is winding down, even as “targeted” (American) drone attacks on Al Shabaab increase. But neither move seems to have affected Al Shabaab’s ability to execute its attacks. A couple of weeks ago, they detonated a bomb in the capital’s police academy. Ethiopia finally ended a state of emergency imposed in the wake of protests that spread from Oromia to Amhara and the Southern Nations and Nationalities Region. Many Ethiopians were detained and “rehabilitated,” but the reforms promised alongside those punitive measures have not addressed the political and economic grievances fuelling the protests. Then there is South Sudan, where both the region and the rest of the world are unable to bring the government to account. State-sponsored violence continues and the ruling party continues to fracture. The peace agreements brokered by the region are neither respected nor implemented. There is no end in sight. Uganda has been praised for its refugee-hosting model, while its own politics go to pot. Having succeeded in removing constitutional term limits for the presidency, the latest battle has been for the removal of age limits. There is no universal standard for an optimal presidential stay in office or the age at which presidential reason can be determined to have departed. But in countries like ours, where the Second Liberation against post-Independence, kleptocratic, one-party and military dictatorships was so hard-won, these limits are a check against the possibility of that happening again. Yet here we are, marching blithely back into the lion’s den. Which is not to imply that the manner in which kleptocracy is being fought in Tanzania is OK. We have lost count of the journalists, opposition politicians and supporters detained, not to mention “missing.” Media houses have been arbitrarily closed for innocuous “offences”; the gay community has been openly harassed for organising, even on health grounds; and Burundian refugees are being told it is safe to return when it is obviously not. The news from Tanzania is surprising, given that, until recently, its only obvious state heavy-handedness was in respect of the Union. Now it seems to be with everything that moves. And then there’s Kenya, where supposed nationalism is one of the guises for the crackdown on non-Kenyans in the civil society. Even non-Kenyans in the private sector are complaining of a “most favoured nation status” problem in obtaining entry (work) permits. We have gone through yet another election in which all the safeguards on the electoral process were thrown out. We have perfected the art of enabling the vote and compromising it. We have got better at closing our eyes to the violence that accompanies our elections. Let it never be said that there’s a dearth of hand-wringing and calls for dialogue on our “inter-communal tensions” while ignoring the elephant in the room. ...
Read More


Category: topnews news oped opinion

Suggested

1 hour ago
@CITIZENTV - By: Benjamin Muriuki
Fruits of handshake: Uhuru, Raila to be feted in British Parliament

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga are set to be honoured at this year's London Political Summit for their much-publicised handshake on March 9, 2018. ...

Category: topnews news
1 hour ago
@CITIZENTV - By: Geoffrey Mwamburi
All set for weekend’s Madoka Half Marathon

Philadelphia Half Marathon champion Panuel Mkungo will lead other elite athletes in the 13th edition of the Safaricom Madoka half marathon race on Saturday ...

Category: topnews news sports
1 hours ago, 16:02
@StandardMedia - By: Cyrus Ombati
Keino turned to witness as Wario and two others set for prosecution

Wario arrived from Vienna on Wednesday evening ahead of the session with police. Keino was also away in Mexico. ...

Category: topnews news
2 hours ago, 15:10
@StandardMedia - By: Standard Reporter
Kenya Publishers Association defend primary school illustrations amid social media pressure

The agency chief said the media blew the matter out of proportion and ignored facts. ...

Category: topnews news
10 minutes
@TheStar - By: Melanie Mwangi @m ...
'Tuheshimiane', Sonko tells Wa Iria on Ndakaini water standoff

Governor Mike Sonko has reiterated that Ndakaini Dam belongs to Nairobi.He said on Thursday that the county had acquired the dam and has documents to prove."Tuheshiamiane, lakini sina shida na  Wa Iri ...

Category: topnews news
32 minutes
@TheStar - By: Patrick Vidija @v ...
Uhuru to sign avocado deal in China next month

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to travel to China next month to sign a deal for exportation of avocados, mangoes and cashew nuts. Uhuru briefed the Cabinet on the intended deal during a meeting ...

Category: topnews news

@TheEastAfrican

Being ostriches will not save our democracies

10 months ago, 2 Jan 14:17

By: Muthoni Wanyeki
Another year is over. The trajectory for Kenya and its neighbours is not good. Yes, the government of Somalia is reassuming the responsibilities of a state, including, most recently, control of its airspace. The African Union Mission in Somalia is winding down, even as “targeted” (American) drone attacks on Al Shabaab increase. But neither move seems to have affected Al Shabaab’s ability to execute its attacks. A couple of weeks ago, they detonated a bomb in the capital’s police academy. Ethiopia finally ended a state of emergency imposed in the wake of protests that spread from Oromia to Amhara and the Southern Nations and Nationalities Region. Many Ethiopians were detained and “rehabilitated,” but the reforms promised alongside those punitive measures have not addressed the political and economic grievances fuelling the protests. Then there is South Sudan, where both the region and the rest of the world are unable to bring the government to account. State-sponsored violence continues and the ruling party continues to fracture. The peace agreements brokered by the region are neither respected nor implemented. There is no end in sight. Uganda has been praised for its refugee-hosting model, while its own politics go to pot. Having succeeded in removing constitutional term limits for the presidency, the latest battle has been for the removal of age limits. There is no universal standard for an optimal presidential stay in office or the age at which presidential reason can be determined to have departed. But in countries like ours, where the Second Liberation against post-Independence, kleptocratic, one-party and military dictatorships was so hard-won, these limits are a check against the possibility of that happening again. Yet here we are, marching blithely back into the lion’s den. Which is not to imply that the manner in which kleptocracy is being fought in Tanzania is OK. We have lost count of the journalists, opposition politicians and supporters detained, not to mention “missing.” Media houses have been arbitrarily closed for innocuous “offences”; the gay community has been openly harassed for organising, even on health grounds; and Burundian refugees are being told it is safe to return when it is obviously not. The news from Tanzania is surprising, given that, until recently, its only obvious state heavy-handedness was in respect of the Union. Now it seems to be with everything that moves. And then there’s Kenya, where supposed nationalism is one of the guises for the crackdown on non-Kenyans in the civil society. Even non-Kenyans in the private sector are complaining of a “most favoured nation status” problem in obtaining entry (work) permits. We have gone through yet another election in which all the safeguards on the electoral process were thrown out. We have perfected the art of enabling the vote and compromising it. We have got better at closing our eyes to the violence that accompanies our elections. Let it never be said that there’s a dearth of hand-wringing and calls for dialogue on our “inter-communal tensions” while ignoring the elephant in the room. ...
Read More

Category: topnews news oped opinion

Suggested

1 hour ago
@CITIZENTV - By: Benjamin Muriuki
Fruits of handshake: Uhuru, Raila to be feted in British Parliament

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga are set to be honoured at this year's London Political Summit for their much-publicised handshake on March 9, 2018. ...

Category: topnews news
1 hour ago
@CITIZENTV - By: Geoffrey Mwamburi
All set for weekend’s Madoka Half Marathon

Philadelphia Half Marathon champion Panuel Mkungo will lead other elite athletes in the 13th edition of the Safaricom Madoka half marathon race on Saturday ...

Category: topnews news sports
1 hours ago, 16:02
@StandardMedia - By: Cyrus Ombati
Keino turned to witness as Wario and two others set for prosecution

Wario arrived from Vienna on Wednesday evening ahead of the session with police. Keino was also away in Mexico. ...

Category: topnews news
2 hours ago, 15:10
@StandardMedia - By: Standard Reporter
Kenya Publishers Association defend primary school illustrations amid social media pressure

The agency chief said the media blew the matter out of proportion and ignored facts. ...

Category: topnews news
10 minutes
@TheStar - By: Melanie Mwangi @m ...
'Tuheshimiane', Sonko tells Wa Iria on Ndakaini water standoff

Governor Mike Sonko has reiterated that Ndakaini Dam belongs to Nairobi.He said on Thursday that the county had acquired the dam and has documents to prove."Tuheshiamiane, lakini sina shida na  Wa Iri ...

Category: topnews news
32 minutes
@TheStar - By: Patrick Vidija @v ...
Uhuru to sign avocado deal in China next month

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to travel to China next month to sign a deal for exportation of avocados, mangoes and cashew nuts. Uhuru briefed the Cabinet on the intended deal during a meeting ...

Category: topnews news
Our App