The Modular States of Kenya, perhaps

I have this brilliant idea. An idea that would, in one elegant swoop, solve our political difficulties, regardless of how many times our political chameleons change colour. It would render opportunistic crosstitutes (the majority of our MPs) superfluous. Raila would have no KANU to dump nor Ruto an ODM. Uhuru and Kalonzo would no longer be reluctant bedfellows. Eugene would only have to kick Mudavadi’s arse, or vice-versa, and Najib would finally have his day.

The new katiba got it wrong. It’s an excellent document, no doubt, but with one fatal flaw. It doesn’t take devolution far enough. All this fuss about ‘the ICC eating out of Raila’s hands’ and ‘go prove your innocence at the Hague’ is not about being County Governor. It’s about being President of the Republic. Therein lies the problem. I believe in tackling the root of the problem. We need, therefore, to uproot the Presidency. Indeed, the whole concept of the Republic.

I am not proposing the abolishment of Kenya (per se), just of a unitary Republic. Instead, I propose the creation of a loose, modular conglomeration of tribal alliances based on the prevailing flavour of the month. The Modular States of Kenya will not be a state in the conventional sense but a very liberal alliance of convenience. It will comprise several dozen (up to 42 or so) Tribal Homelands based solely on language, to the exclusion of any other language or tribe. Due to its modularity, any Tribal Homeland may choose whichever Tribal Homeland they wish to be allied with (provided the feeling is mutual) without losing sovereignty. There will be more than one alliance at any given time. Whenever one kabila gets fed up with its partner (for example, if a partner takes the wrong stance on an important issue such as the ICC), it may switch alliances on a whim, without raising an eyebrow (its own or others). It may also exist on its own. The principles governing the alliances will be up to the allies themselves. And they don’t have to sign the Rome Statute if they don’t want to.
The boundaries of the modular Tribal Homelands will be based exclusively on language, except for Nairobi, which will encompass the territory within the current city limits (and not the Nairobi Metropolitan Region. That would complicate matters and defeat the purpose) and where the only permissible languages will be English and Sheng (as a bona fide Nairobi invention). All Nairobi residents will be required to use Received Pronunciation and will be given 2 years to get rid of any vernacular inflections. The use of vernacular, including Kiswahili, will result in severe punishment (deportation, for example), as will failure to master RP within the stipulated period. Obviously, as demarcation will be necessary, some compromises will have to be made in areas that are predominantly bilingual or multilingual. Should that not be possible, the area in question will be sequestered and declared outside the law of the MSK or any of the Tribal Homelands. These Badlands will likely have no organised form of government, and those living there will have to fend for themselves. Any MSK citizen found to be preaching ethnic animosity (or anyone speaking vernacular in Nairobi) will be banished to the Badlands.
To facilitate the concept of modularity between non-adjacent Tribal Homelands, a sophisticated Sovereign Road and Railway Transport System will have to be constructed linking all parts of the MSK. The SRRTS will be sovereign territory, akin to a foreign diplomatic mission, and will therefore have to bypass major towns and cities. It will allow the Mijikenda to ally themselves with the Kisii, or the Luhya with the Meru (etc.), without falling afoul to blackmail or the like from those living in-between. Access to the SRRTS will be similar to crossing an international border. No donkey carts blocking traffic. Likewise, Lamu Free Port will serve all the Tribal Homelands of the MSK, without favour. The SRRTS and LFP will fall under and be administered by Nairobi.
Each Tribal Homeland will have its own political, legal and law enforcement system based on tribal tradition (or whatever), but no military. For the requirements of security, there will be a Central Arms and Munitions Repository in Nairobi and a professional Officer Corps, comprising those commissioned officers of the current KDF who opt to live in Nairobi and speak English only (OK, it could also be Japanese, Aztec or Kinyarwanda – whatever – as long as it’s not an indigenous Kenyan language. English seems most practical). In the event of aggression by a foreign power (however unlikely that is), a People’s Militia drawn from all Tribal Homelands will be mobilised, armed with ordnance from the CAMR and placed under the command of the OC. After vanquishing whomever might be foolish enough to take us on, all weapons and munitions will be returned to the CAMR immediately. Failure to do so will result in summary execution. No excuses, no exceptions.
There will be free movement of goods across borders but not of labour. Foreign investment will be permitted, but at one’s own risk. Intra- and inter-alliance customs unions may be formed but, due to the invariably fickle nature of the alliances, might not be worth the bother. A visa regime will exist (except within alliances), the requirements of which will depend on who is allied with whom. This year, for example, you might require a visa to travel from Mombasa to Kajiado but not to Eldoret. Next year, things might change. Visas will be easy to obtain, except for Nairobi, but rules will be strictly enforced. After serving a very lengthy prison sentence, illegal aliens will be deported to the Badlands without due process, from whence they may find their own way home.
Each Tribal Homeland will be fully responsible for its own international relations and will have to foot the bill should it unjustifiably provoke a conflict requiring the mobilisation of the People’s Militia and depletion of assets from the CAMR. Refusal or inability to foot the bill may result in annexation/subdivision of the Homeland and the assimilation of its population. The Badlands will have none of the privileges extended by the MSK until such a time as they are ready to resolve their differences and choose which Tribal Homeland they wish to belong to. Or how they wish to be partitioned.
Needless to say, the Modular States of Kenya will result in an equitable and peaceful relationship between the various communities of what, for the moment, is still the Republic of Kenya. Anyone can do what they want to without stepping on anyone else’s toes. No tribe can finish any other tribe because there will be no other tribes. No one will steal elections because a tribe cannot steal from itself. Only other tribes can. You can send your people to the Hague if you want to, or not. No one will settle or live on your land. Your president, ministers, permanent secretaries et al. will be from your tribe only. Your tribe alone will take the credit for all things beneficial and only your tribesmen will be to blame should anything (hypothetically) go amiss. But that would never be the case. It will be tribal bliss. We will all prosper and be very, very happy.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: