As we were growing up, many of us were taught that for anyone to succeed in anything, one has to maintain a high level of discipline. Those who will be honest will admit the fact that they have tested, experimented and found this to be true. Indiscipline brings with it failure not only at the personal level but even at the level of an organisation. There is in fact a point at which even a society can become undisciplined and this can only bring with it failure at the societal level.
Looking at the things that have been going on in this country for some time now, one gets the impression that, indeed, our society has problems with discipline at very many levels.
If we critically analyse the year that has just ended, we can document a lot of indiscipline at various levels. Look at all the strikes – were they related to the political competitions that were going at the same time? How about the riots and chaos that arose out of the political heat?
One could even say that a section of the political class did not quite demonstrate such a high level of discipline during the political rallies.
In this regard, one has only to look at all the anarchical behaviour surrounding the protests against the “Independent” Electoral Commission.
Not much discipline was to be witnessed in all this. Come the time of the two elections and again some amount of indiscipline was to be recorded in various places. Mark you a lot of these things were happening in the name of democracy.
In the month of December last year, a different and rather dangerous kind of indiscipline was to be witnessed. Here I am referring to all the accidents on our roads that killed so many of our fellow Kenyans.
If only our drivers in the public transport sector were a little more disciplined, may be we would not have lost some of those people.
If only our police were just a little more disciplined, perhaps we would have saved a few lives. The same can be said about the users of public transport. If only they were a little more disciplined and refused to be driven by careless drivers, the story would probably be different.
The most recent events are what shows the extent of our indiscipline. Government decides as a matter of police to transfer principals of secondary schools to serve Kenyans in other locations. Some local leaders don’t want to accept this and students in those schools have been incited to riot to refuse the incoming principals or to protest the departure of their current ones. Some schools are now closed. Where is our democracy going?
The writer is dean of students at the University of Nairobi [email protected]