On August 29, a Kenyan TV’s programme called truthmetre captured a rare-but-true truth. In one clip, President Uhuru Kenyatta tells the youth: ‘Vijana, msidnganywe…sisi tuna madigrii kwa kuwadanganya…tutawadanganya, na badaaye, tunakaa pamoja kando…watoto wetu wanasoma pamoja!’ The most bitter truth of the year.
For non-East Africans, what Kenyatta is saying is that as they do external bickering, our politicians are simply deceiving, hoodwinking, and using the youth.
After this public show, they meet as buddies, and their children attend the same schools! This is the bitter truth that is the stick to strike all of us out of our slumber.
The bickering in our politics should be seen for what it is: a class question, a class struggle, hidden in whipping up and hyping tribal sentiments.
If we need a lesson, the post-election killings and maiming in Kenya is enough. While thousands languished in camps (some could still be there), their respective leaders on both sides, and their children were in another world altogether.
Poverty, disease, backwardness, hunger, and other malaise have no tribe and all peasants face the same fate, regardless of whether it is their ‘tribe eating’ or not.
The eating is class, the poverty is class and these cut across all tribes, variations notwithstanding.
And if we needed the truth, we have got it from the horse’s mouth! It is high time the African third estate saw itself as a class. Only then will it define the source of their plight and its remedy!