Assassination a shameful aspect of our politics

Saturday September 08 2018

The front page of the Daily Nation a day after Tom Mboya was assassinated in Nairobi in 1969. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Assassination is a costly method of depriving a country of its best minds.

Since independence, Kenya has lost a great number of special political talents, all of them victims of ethnically motivated political murderers.

But the question is direct: will Kenya ever know who killed especially Thomas Joseph Mboya and Josiah Mwangi Kariuki, and why?

Whether or not any present politician was involved in that heinous activity, the fact remains that murder has become a shameful aspect of Kenya’s political culture. Yet we cannot go on like that.

The probable reason our government has never conducted any proper investigation into our series of assassinations is that an investigation might mortifyingly embarrass somebody in the government.



The assassinations - especially of Mboya and JM - might prove especially instructive in terms of what motivates individuals to enter the political arena — this for the simple reason that any truly objective inquiry might incriminate somebody centrally situated in our government then or now.

Yet that is hardly any reason we should take the issue lightly.

Only when a nation can ascertain the motivation of an assassination as a country’s central method of settling political scores can the country move to take any objective steps to eliminate the causes of such a terrible waste of our young nation’s personnel. How did Kenya ever enter such a ruinous path?

Why is it that so many individual Kenyans continue to think that physical elimination of rivals is the best method of settling scores as popular representatives in Kenya’s central government?

Why does Kenya’s allegedly educated elite behave, never like an elite, but like the tiniest minded ethnic Lilliputians?


Why has our school and university education failed completely to produce any truly detribalised elite motivated only by humanity’s most selfless traditions of service?

Why has Kenya’s elite totally failed to serve as exemplary champions of ideals that pass beyond those of narrow ethnic, racial and religious interests so as to be able to serve fully the ideals of a new whole composed of all those ethnicities and races?

Why hasn’t Kenya produced a truly national elite composed of the best minds and most skilled hands from all of our ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds?

If it has occurred to you, have you asked yourself why you have never bothered to get off your sofa chair, roll up your sleeves and help Kenya to produce a truly detribalised and deracialised elite.


Why do we choose the negative path of depriving one another of the parts that all of us can and must play together in order to produce a generally de-racialised and detribalised society as soon as possible?

After so many decades of racial and ethnic folly — why do we continue to see our country only with eyes terribly jaundiced into ethnic and racial myopia?

If, from its special history, every race and every tribe has special gifts that it can contribute to the whole to sharpen its producer fingertips, thus invigorating the whole nation’s production ability, why do we prefer to allow such gifts to go to waste through mutually disabling ethnic and racial rivalries?

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