President Kibaki has perfected his discordant refrain of a “working nation”. His proposal of a working nation assumes that “work” is simply the working of people’s muscles. In this case workers respond as automatons once an executive directive is received. What this assumption fails to acknowledge is that “work” presupposes liberty, responsibility, and consciousness. It means that people use their brains and their hearts before putting their muscles into action in the effort to generate wealth. Equally important is the fact that people must first be brought to the full understanding of what belongs to them: that they are the real owners of the nation’s resources and wealth. This very simple fact of a “working nation” seems to elude politicians and the middle class elite. It does not surprise that even as Mzee continues to recite his refrain and as the government continues to paraded data in front of the local and international press about the growing economy, Kenyans are stilling waiting for the magic touch that will turn their toil into gold. Peasants in rural Kenya and urban workless community continue to toil from the rising of the sun to sundown, working themselves to death. However, this toiling never move them an inch, economically speaking. Can somebody explain to me how on earth the real owners of the country's wealth resort to begging food that they have produced? Or why would people scramble for a jerry can of petrol at the risk of their very life?
A number of Kenyans, mostly in the bourgeoisies and middle classes tend to gravitate towards Kibaki’s notion of a “working nation”. In most cases those who have embraced this exhortation, argue that since Kibaki served in the Finance docket during the heydays of Kenya’s financial glories, he must know what he is talking about when he calls the nation to roll up its sleeves and work. However, what this myth obscures is the fact that while the economy was blossoming in the 70s’, Kibaki was mortgaging the country’s future by signing for colossal debts borrowed from and encouraged by former colonial powers. The 70s were also the days of “black gold” and the thriving “black market”. Those were the days when “mũkwanjo” (Gĩkũyũ sjambok) ruled the cabinet. It is also during those days that Kenyatta encouraged his cahoots to eat to their fill exhorting them to be sly and slippery for if caught in the act of thieving, he would not defend them. This was long before Moi inherited the eating culture which he happily embraced and perfected. In other words, Kibaki cannot escape the blame, for he took part in perfecting and solidifying the eating culture which birthed the modern ruling elite. It had to take one of their own J.M. Kariuki, at the risk of his own life, to call to attention the emerging republic of ten millionaires and ten million beggars. Reality has surpassed Kariũki’s prediction.
Sadly, the unpreparedness of the ruling elite, their intellectual laziness, and will to imitation bother every right thinking Kenyan. As willing tools of capitalism and corruption this class has completely lost touch with the struggling mwanchi. In their understanding, wealth, as Frantz Fanon articulated long ago, is not the fruit of labour of one’s hands but the result of organised and protected robbery. Instead of investing and making themselves willing servants of the people, they offer themselves and the country to the highest bidder. They will, unsolicited, sell their birth right at the bourgeois table, making their own fortunes if that will serve their desire to up a national system of robbery. Their preoccupation is to fill their pocket as quickly as possible. In the mean time they hide country’s economic stagnation and regression, in commission and board reports. Growth is computed in terms of new building springing in the unplanned city, or roads rehabilitated and shameless spending on prestigious expenses such as the ones we have recently witnessed in the country. In the meantime Kibaki’s lieutenants continue vomiting and belching unashamedly in front of a hungry nation.
The ruling class has equally made parliament a useless institution. As a class parliamentarians have proved incapable of building viable, coherent and lasting social relations. Instead, standing on its principle of domination as a class, it fails to reassure its citizenry but multiply individual anxiety through vulgar tribalism built on fear and mudsling which have become the order of debate. In the mean time the national economy continues to depend on unsustainable intermediary services and overburdened farming economy. What we are witnessing forty six years after colonisation is lack of invention of new social relations. Instead unfair advantages that have their foundation in colonialism continue to mark out the state of affairs in our country. Foreign companies continue to control the nation’s economy while the bourgeoisies seek to have contracts pass through their hands: A very lucrative role with kick backs and bonuses. That is why, without the blinking of an eye, the ruling elite gobble a whole reserve of the nation food bank in front of Kibaki’s very eyes whose refrain of a “working nation” (by now) has picked a frenzy tempo.
I challenge Prof. Anyang’ Nyongo, James Orengo, Martha Karua, Mutava Musyimi and other comrades to wake up from their intellectual slumber and ethnic alliances and lead the masses from the front. It is about that time when the selfless spirit of Koitale, Gakaara, Kaggia, Elijah Masinde, inspire these patriots. They should not allow the capitalist system to suck them thin. Time is now when they should redeem their image before it is too late. I hear the rumbling; the storm is gathering; spears are being sharpened and knifes are being brandished. Hear me Oh yeah revolutionaries of yester years. Nobody should underrate the intelligence of Kenyans. The poor may be without economic muscles that you parade every day while holding Kenyans hostage. Know that the last laugh is with the ignored masses. Soon the peace-loving Kenyans will arise from their dreamy state and for once roar like a might lion demanding its rightful place in the affairs of building the nation. When that time comes, decisions will no longer be made in the comforts of parliament cosy offices but in dilapidated hovels of the rural people where the true spirit of Uhuru languishes. The true owners of the country will soon be knocking at your doors. When they come knocking, there will be no time for you to barricade. The will of the Kenyan people will bring all those doors of greed, aloofness and apathy down. At that time Jaramogi’s dream of true Uhuru will be transformed to reality. Make no mistake about it.