A Tsunami of Hope

There’s something exciting happening in Kenya: Heracles is cleaning out the Augean Stables. The new constitution has set loose a tsunami that is sweeping away the culture of unaccountability and impunity. It is bringing the high and mighty to heel. It is felling the tallest migumo trees. It is touching the untouchable. It is beginning to work. Or so it seems.

For some time now, the threat of the Hague has been hanging heavy over the heads of  our most powerful politicos. A mere 10 years ago, such a situation would be unimaginable. We don’t know who they are, or aren’t supposed to, but there are whispers. And the names are big.

But if the International Criminal Court is merely a tool of the West, tasked with whipping us into place where economic sanctions are ineffective, or where they will cause corporate grief in the Master’s own backyard, why does the ordinary mwananchi embrace Luis Moreno-Ocampo as a saviour? Because Señor Luis carries a very big stick, which he intends to use, and no amount of intimidation, threats, brainwashing or hush money can stop him. Suspects are scrambling to cut immunity deals with the Señor and suspicion is rife. Of course, the Señor’s taskmasters could always be impressed upon to pull the plug on the investigation, in exchange for, say, certain concessions. But that wouldn’t go down very well with anyone, except for the obvious. It is unlikely at this advanced stage. It would toll the end of the ICC. But it’s not the ICC that’s exciting. The ICC is old news.

What’s new is that the migumo trees have started falling, and by our own doing. Better still, we have reached this point through evolution, not revolution. Ruto has been shelved. Wetang’ula ditto. Majiwa spent a night in the can, a taste of things to come. Kiplagat is strapped onto an ejection seat. Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing are being exhumed. Mudavadi, Kimunya, Makwere, Kilonzo, Wako, Nyagah, even Charity Ngilu are under the spotlight. The Mandarins, finally, are being neutered. Attention is turning to Parliament, a House no longer at ease nor so August, an infestation of self-serving pests, a few good apples in a barrel of rot. PLO has turned on the ignition and is revving up the engines. The new katiba has released the brakes. The countdown has begun.
There’s only one problem: it sounds too good to be true. I have an innate distrust in the Kenyan politician, a firm belief that they will wiggle themselves out of any situation, cut any deal, sell any grandmother and return to the scene of the crime stronger, wealthier and unscathed. Or try to. They will fight, tooth and nail, to preserve their ill-gotten power and fabulous wealth. Reputation doesn’t count. What we actually think is irrelevant. The sheer absence of any sense of responsibility or morality is astounding. I’ll be back, like Tusker, is a true Kenyan original. Nothing to do with Arnold.
To prevent this from happening, we must be unrelenting. The ICC and the new Constitution present us with a unique opportunity. This lethal combination could very well be the Aspirin that cures our headache. Civil society, the media, Wanjiku, you and I, our neighbours, matatu touts, farmers, shopkeepers, IDPs, golfers, COTU, convicts, McDonlad Mariga, KCs, the jua kali and even our local flavour of Al Qaeda, our laibon, imams, bishops and brahmin, we must all see this thing through. There’s only one kabila here and we all belong to it. This is our future, not that of an undeserving few. We deserve a break and, after 47 years of simony, extortion, corruption, murder, assassination, oppression, derision, pomposity, disregard, malfeasance, desecration and debasement,  they don’t. We have before us the perfect storm. It must not be allowed to pass before sweeping away the filth that has plagued us for so long.
We have our faults, we Kenyans. But we are deserving. This opportunity cannot be allowed to pass. It comes once in a lifetime.
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