Why this secession talk is such a dumb idea to even entertain

Friday October 13 2017

Lawyer Peter Opondo Kaluma

Lawyer Peter Opondo Kaluma making his way to the Supreme Court, Nairobi, on August 29, 2017. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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When I heard that Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma had taken up the cudgels in the cause of secession, I had a strange wish. I wished that he was one of my favourite lawmakers, such as former Ugenya MP David Ochieng, who, I think, the House will miss because he is such an engaging, genuine and clever fellow.

Then I would probably have called him and tried to explain, like a father since he is a young man, what a dumb idea secession is.

Mr Kaluma is expressing electoral disappointment by reacting the same way people like David Mwenje did in 1997 when President Daniel arap Moi, fairly or unfairly, walloped Mwai Kibaki.

They argued that Moi had lost legitimacy because he had stolen his way back into power and that Central, which they thought was the engine of the country’s economy, would go its way and become a spanking new country.


Many Kenyans can’t tell the difference between the country and the government. The government is tear gas, is tender deals, is Kiems, is algorithm. The government is ministries, taxes, policemen and judges. The country, how do I explain to my brother what it is? Country is romance.

Let me first suggest that he listens to a Country tune from my boyhood, Kenny Rogers’s Evening Star:

If you never rode West of the Arizona border
You can turn the other way boy but you never get far
You be living a lie if you wanna see the wonders of the age
You must follow the evening star

Evening star
Shine a little Heaven
On a stranger with no dream
Where you are

You can see the loneliness I mean and if I gotta fight
I can never play somebody else’s game, I can follow the evening star
Starlight, you never need somebody else’s name
If you follow the evening star

Have you ever known a sunset when the sky’s on fire
How you end another day boy you’ve been searching too far
Like the desert I rode on any memory is lost in the restless wind
I just lie beneath the evening star

Evening star
Shine a little Heaven
On a stranger with no dream
Where you are

Have you ever held a woman in the California moonlight
Put your money on a good night if you never been there
It’s a sight for sore eyes if you wanna see the wonders of the age
Making love beneath the evening star

Some of the intellectuals fomenting war and talking about the bleeding of peasants for the glory of the maggot elite, are soulless and stupid people. They fail to understand that while the government is in the head, the country, our beloved country, is in the heart. It is a feast for our senses, a celebration of our being, an explosion of our Negritude, the authenticity of our race.


I want to ask Mr Kaluma, have you ever seen a sunset at Kimende, when the sky is on fire and the world is laid out at your feet like a carpet, and you say to yourself, this is my land?

Have you been in the Mara at sunrise, when a forest of creatures is out feeding, and there are multitudes upon multitudes and you said to yourself: Dear Lord, where did you find the time to make them all?

Have you danced to Benga in the dead of the night in Kisumu, when the humid air, the strobing lights and the explosive melody frees the soul in utter madness and time slows down to a thick, viscous sweetness, like a good single malt, and scrawny office knees rise to the occasion to meet the challenge of the dancer with buttocks like a series of earthquakes?

Have you hung loose in Watamu with your legs so far up in the air they seem to touch the sky, half-awake, half-asleep, with a cool breeze between your toes, silence in your ears and a Tusker so cold it has a stone in it and you wondering how bloody wonderful it is to be alive? 


Have you been to Karama in the early evening when the heavy, cold mountain air cascades down like sheets of water, where the mélange is short, succulent and soluble in your mouth, driving your heart faster than your VX and your blood pressure higher than Nyambene, so high that you become prescient, the first prophet in your clan; you take authority over the world’s problems, cure cancer, cure Aids, end poverty, unite and rule Africa, your eyes like orbs?


If you dismantle Kenya and create Bantustans to suit your transient political tastes, where shall we ride West of the Arizona border? Where shall we find the evening star?

This whole secession melodrama reminds me of those CU folks in high school who missed the dances with the girls from Nthagaiya Girls, who didn’t fall in love with Mrs Githuka, who never went out to steal mangoes, who never swam in the flooded river and who never tried to get drunk on kimere.

Shut up, man! Kenya is fun.