Youth dictate separation agenda
12 months ago, 1 Jan 13:50
The country is at a tipping point. We have a generation that listens more to sing-along lyrics such as “those who are already dead”. Should you dare threaten them with dire consequences for their transgressions, they proudly proclaim themselves the ‘walking dead’ to whom the pain of punishment doesn’t exist. The ‘walking dead’ have lost all fear. They see nothing worth living for. They may as well dispose of you just as they would an alley cat. They are seething with anger at their miserable condition and are dying to vent their anger on those who have condemned them to a life of squalor. Millions of young people have lost hope in life. Whether in urban or rural Kenya, hordes of youth prowl with no other intention than to rip something off someone, and if the head is the prize, then the better. The current dithering on national dialogue isn’t making things any better; in NASA-leaning areas, the feeling of neglect among the youth runs deep and its expression is palpable. The youth bulge we often caution about is a time bomb of a different kind. Without a miraculous upturn in the economy to guarantee youth incomes, government PR pomp won’t deter them from violence as a means of eking out a living. I found the latter particularly attractive to youth when I traversed Western during the holidays. And the government is the easy target. Anything symbolising Jubilee is easy prey for assault. This is what Water CS Eugene Wamalwa encountered when he arrogantly gate-crashed the annual Maragoli Cultural Festival. The youth couldn’t stand him as a symbol of Jubilee. They would not allow the proceedings to continue unless Wamalwa left and consequently ejected him from the meeting. Pleas for calm from leaders went unheeded. Now Wamalwa may, as he has done, turn his rejection into an inter-Luhya feud. He would not even admit the patron of the festival took personal responsibility to ensure he safely got out of the venue. Jubilee’s impunity surfaced when Wamalwa’s trigger-happy guards opened fire on the crowd, even when their charge had safe passage. The fact is the youth had nothing personal against Wamalwa. The offence was him as a symbol of Jubilee come to mock them at their most sacred of rituals. But more terrifying is the encounter with the truth that youth have taken two things as crusades. Without a quick fix to the economy to create jobs, youths have taken exclusion out of the mouths of politicians and internalised it as a problem only they can solve. Hence, barring any intervention, secession has become the password for youth in the region. They don’t support secession as merely divorce from Jubilee exclusion and exploitation, but as a means of economic empowerment. Whether this rationalisation is fact or wishful thinking is not their concern. But it ought to be terrifying enough that the youth are virtually dictating this agenda. The second crusade the youth have taken to heart is a derivative of secession. ...
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