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An open letter to the Kenyan nation - by Kamau Mutua

Discussion in 'Kenyan News and Politics' started by bagamoyo, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. b

    bagamoyo JF-Expert Member

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    I am not addressing this letter to “Kenyans” because such people don’t exist. “Kenyans” only exist in the deep recesses of our imagination. Instead, I am writing this letter to the “citizens of Kenya”.


    Only if the draft constitution passes on August 4 will the “citizens of Kenya” start to metamorphose into “Kenyans”. This mutation should have begun in 1964. But it didn’t because the Lancaster Constitution was illegitimate.


    That’s why Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi treated it as tabula rasa – an expedient blank piece of paper – on which they wrote their despotic wishes.

    The “Kenyan nation” is today a fiction that may one day be occupied by “Kenyans”. That will not happen until “citizens of Kenya” – individuals who have a right to the “paper citizenship” of the state called Kenya – become “Kenyan nationals”.


    My point is that “citizens of Kenya” have no singular immutable identity that sets them apart from the nationals of other states.

    The “citizens of Kenya” are a motley collection of tribes without a common denominator, or unifying psychology. The only thing Kenyans share is the colonial borders.

    They speak diverse African languages. They even speak the official languages – English and Kiswahili – with shockingly different accents.

    The case of Tanzania will underscore my point. It’s true that the two republics are roughly the same age. They shared the same colonial master. But Tanzanians have a deep sense of nationhood. Their Kiswahili is distinctly “Tanzanian”.

    They even speak English with a clear “Tanzanian” accent. I lived there for three years and never once was I asked my tribe. Occasionally, they would tease me as “nyang’au – hyena – when I told them I was a “citizen of Kenya”. ‘‘Nyang’au’’ to them were heartless “capitalist exploiters”. In contrast, they were ndugu – “comrades” – to each other.

    It was this zeitgeist – national consciousness – that made “citizens of Tanzania” real “Tanzanians”.

    Mwalimu Julius Nyerere did for Tanzania what Mzee Kenyatta and President Moi failed to do for Kenya. Mwalimu built a nation. Mzee Kenyatta and President Moi simply held together a country.

    But a country does not a nation make. What’s my point? The draft constitution sets us firmly on the path to nation building.

    The fact that opinion polls show a significant minority opposing the draft constitution is not a bad thing. It means there is real debate throughout the country about the draft constitution. Continue on this link below:
    Daily Nation:*- Opinion*|An open letter to the Kenyan nation
     
  2. G

    Geza Ulole JF-Expert Member

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    Smatta and Nomasana here is a piece of fine article describing you with no nationhood come and give your opinions since you might be Somalis unknowingly yet you yap Kenya this, Kenya that!
     
  3. J

    JokaKuu Platinum Member

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    ..my random thoughts....

    ..kwa mtizamo wangu Kiswahili kinaturudisha nyuma wa-Tanzania.

    ..I wish Nyerere did not impose Swahili as the medium of instruction in primary school education.

    ..still pamoja na hiyo sense of identity yetu hata maduka ya Tanzania yamejaa bidhaa toka Kenya.
     
  4. Bantugbro

    Bantugbro JF-Expert Member

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    Mkuu naona unatoka nje ya mjadala, Mwalimu angeweza kutuunganisha kwa kutumia lugha yeyeote kama angetaka, iwe kiChina, kiHindi ama kiZulu. Namaanisha kwamba Kiswahili sio sababu ya kujaa kwa bidhaa za Kenya kwenye maduka ya Tanzania, bali tatizo ni sera tulizokuwa nazo.

    Sidhani kama kushindwa kwa viongozi waasisi wa Kenya kuunganisha wananchi wao kumetokana na kutopromoti lugha moja (mf. Kishwahili ama Kiingereza). Hakika hiyo haikuwa ni moja ya ajenda katika sera zao kwa sababu wanazozijua wenyewe!

    Kuna nchi nyingi tu hapa duniani ambazo watu wanazungumza lugha tofauti tofauti akini bado wanaweka utaifa wao mbele....
     
  5. RealDeal

    RealDeal JF-Expert Member

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    You missed the point altogether bro. His objective is not to show us how we don't have nationhood but how and why we should follow the right path to achieve it- through the proposed draft constitution.

    @poster, actually his name is Makau not Kamau.
     
  6. J

    JokaKuu Platinum Member

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    Bantugro,

    ..mi najionea tabu tu hapa Bongo.

    ..naona kama nchi inajiendea tu kwa miujiza ya Mungu.

    ..hata hicho Kiswahili kutuunganisha ni miujiza ya Mungu pia. inalekezwa kwamba TANU waliweza kutumia Kiswahili ktk kampeni za uhuru kwasababu tayari kilikuwa kimeshasambaa Tanganyika nzima.

    ..ni umasikini tu ndiyo umetuunganisha wa-Tanzania and nothing else.

    ..sasa kama wa-Kenya hawana sense of identity na hawajaungana lakini economically wanatuzidi, je wakiungana na sisi kuendelea na mwenendo wetu hali itakuwaje?
     
  7. Bantugbro

    Bantugbro JF-Expert Member

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    Mkuu ni kweli kuwa Kiswahili kilikuwa kikizungumzwa karibu nchi nzima kabla ya Mwalimu! alichofanya yeye ni kukipa msukumo na kukifanya offical language..

    Tatizo letu ni sera lakini kubwa zaidi nai uwajibikaji mbovu wa viongozi waliokuwa chini ya Mwalimu. I mean hata kama tulifuata sera za kiJamaa bado hatukutakiwa tuwe na uchumi mbofumbofu kama huu!. Kwa mfano angalia nchi nyingine kama za ulaya mashariki ambazo nazo zilikuwa na sera kama zetu bado hazikufikia hali mbaya kama yetu na pia baada ya kubadilisha sera zao zimepiga hatua kubwa za kimaendeleo ndani ya muda mfupi..
     
  8. K

    Kituko JF-Expert Member

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    Tofauti kubwa ya Kenya na Tanzania ni kiuwa Tanzania ni nchi huru wakati Kenya bado iko chini ya waingereza (Kama Zimbabwe tu), Almost tabia zote unazoziona Kenya zipo Zimbabwe hivyohivyo,
    na Kwa sababu Kenya haikuwa nchi huru, waingereza walikuwa bado wanatumia system ileile ya divide and rule, na hiyo ilifanikiwa kwa kutumia Viongozi waliokuwa madarakani, Sidhani kama Kenyata angeweza kuwaachia nchi Wajaluo na hata KWa upande wa Moi pia ikuwa shida
    Tanzania ilikuwa nchi huru na Nyerere alikuwa ana uwezo wa kuishape Tanzania katika form yoyote, na kwa bahati nzuri hakuwa Mbinafsi, Mdini, Mkabila, kama Nyerere angekuwa Mkabila basi Tanzania ingekuwa ni balaa kuliko kenya

    na Kwa kenya sidhani kama itakuja kutokea hiyo nchi wakawa wamoja
     
  9. RealDeal

    RealDeal JF-Expert Member

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    I would apprecaite if you clarify that.
     
  10. n

    nomasana JF-Expert Member

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    gezaulale, kazi yako ni kupayuka ovyo ovyo kama mbwa.

    mr.makau is entitled to his opinion but if he wants kenyan identity like the fruties have in tz then he can move to tz cuz kenyans arent into that type of BS. If by a kenyan identity he means that we become a socialist and poor state like tanzania and impose swahili on everybody then he can keep on dreaming or become a tz citizen cuz kenya will never be a socialist state.

    what matters is that people fought and died for me and other kenyans to have the right of calling ourselves kenyan nationals. i am kenyan because that is my birthright that was fought for and handed to me by my fore fathers and that is enough identity and natiolism for me. hayo mambo mengine ni siasa tu!
     
  11. Fredwash

    Fredwash JF-Expert Member

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    An open letter to the Kenyan nation


    This open letter is a closing argument for the draft constitution.

    I am not addressing this letter to “Kenyans” because such people don’t exist. “Kenyans” only exist in the deep recesses of our imagination. Instead, I am writing this letter to the “citizens of Kenya”.

    Only if the draft constitution passes on August 4 will the “citizens of Kenya” start to metamorphose into “Kenyans”. This mutation should have begun in 1964. But it didn’t because the Lancaster Constitution was illegitimate.

    That’s why Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi treated it as tabula rasa – an expedient blank piece of paper – on which they wrote their despotic wishes.

    The “Kenyan nation” is today a fiction that may one day be occupied by “Kenyans”. That will not happen until “citizens of Kenya” – individuals who have a right to the “paper citizenship” of the state called Kenya – become “Kenyan nationals”.

    My point is that “citizens of Kenya” have no singular immutable identity that sets them apart from the nationals of other states.

    The “citizens of Kenya” are a motley collection of tribes without a common denominator, or unifying psychology. The only thing Kenyans share is the colonial borders.

    They speak diverse African languages. They even speak the official languages – English and Kiswahili – with shockingly different accents.

    The case of Tanzania will underscore my point. It’s true that the two republics are roughly the same age. They shared the same colonial master. But Tanzanians have a deep sense of nationhood. Their Kiswahili is distinctly “Tanzanian”.

    They even speak English with a clear “Tanzanian” accent. I lived there for three years and never once was I asked my tribe. Occasionally, they would tease me as “nyang’au – hyena – when I told them I was a “citizen of Kenya”. ‘‘Nyang’au’’ to them were heartless “capitalist exploiters”. In contrast, they were ndugu – “comrades” – to each other.

    It was this zeitgeist – national consciousness – that made “citizens of Tanzania” real “Tanzanians”.

    Mwalimu Julius Nyerere did for Tanzania what Mzee Kenyatta and President Moi failed to do for Kenya. Mwalimu built a nation. Mzee Kenyatta and President Moi simply held together a country.

    But a country does not a nation make. What’s my point? The draft constitution sets us firmly on the path to nation building.

    The fact that opinion polls show a significant minority opposing the draft constitution is not a bad thing. It means there is real debate throughout the country about the draft constitution.

    Robust debate

    The legitimacy of the draft constitution – unlike the imposed Lancaster Constitution – is embedded in this robust debate. The “ownership” of the constitution by the people lies in healthy disagreement.

    My view is that the ‘Yes’ camp should thank the ‘No’ side. The constitution would be a thoughtless document if it was passed without dissent.

    Progress comes from contradiction. As they say, if two people always agree with each other, one of them is not necessary. Democracy is about dissent.

    A constitution made without dissent would not be worth the paper it is written on. Once the people decide, it will be incumbent on the ‘No’ camp to embrace the people’s democratic choice and for the ‘Yes’ camp to reach out to the ‘No’ side.

    On August 5, there must be no sore losers or ungracious winners. The victors and the vanquished must embrace each other.


    My Take:


    Mhhhh! eeeer... well no Comment at all..... at least for now lol ahhahaa
     
  12. The Quonquerer

    The Quonquerer JF-Expert Member

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    Mkuu hii tayari ilimwagwa janvini..they are desparate..usihangaike na Kamikaze!
     
  13. RealDeal

    RealDeal JF-Expert Member

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    @ poster, i hope u r not serious about that title.
     
  14. Fredwash

    Fredwash JF-Expert Member

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    oooh ok mkuu nilijaribu kuchungulia sikuiona... anyway MY BAD....... ila sijai fancied hata kidogo mi naona wote sawa tu hawa jamaa wanajifanya ndio wao marekani ya EAst africa
     
  15. Fredwash

    Fredwash JF-Expert Member

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    Oooh YES I AM ..... certainly....... haaaaaaahhaaaaa
     
  16. The Quonquerer

    The Quonquerer JF-Expert Member

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    If wishes were horses, even them beggars could be riding!
     
  17. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

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    Ahh Fredwash, get your copy pasted hogwash (see what i did there) from this forum, obviously you didn't understand the article, I blame your education system though.. And FYI, you cant compare Tanzania to Kenya, nyie vilaza, nchi Tajiri lakini nyie ndio maskini wa tatu toka mwisho, that's plain stupidity from your government and the people of Tanzania, how can you tolerate that BS, it beats me how you survive in that country while foreigners (including your truly) exploit y'all fruits.
     
  18. G

    Geza Ulole JF-Expert Member

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    you wouldn't be dying hunger there and having 60% of your people living under a $ a day compared to 37% in TZ
     
  19. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

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    Usiniletee hapa cooked stats, the fact of the matter is that tanzania is blessed with vast land full of minerals but you still keep comparing yourself with a small semi arid country, where only a small percentage of its land is arable, you must have a problem... oops I had forgotten, laziness, illiteracy and stupid superstision,.. long live Tanzania
     
  20. G

    Geza Ulole JF-Expert Member

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    A wealth of data
    A useful new way to capture the many aspects of poverty

    Jul 29th 2010


    WHAT IS poverty and when is a person poor? Most would agree that poverty involves not having enough of certain things, or doing without others that richer people take for granted. But what is "enough", which goods and services really matter, and who should decide these questions-researchers, governments or international agencies-are less tractable issues. Perhaps the poor themselves should have the final word. But this presents its own problems. Tabitha, a 44-year-old woman from a slum outside Nairobi, told researchers from Oxford University that going without meals was "normal for us". Diminished expectations are only one of the effects of dire poverty.
    In the world of international development, most have rallied around the "dollar-a-day" poverty line (or more precisely, the $1.25-a-day measure) and its less acute cousin, $2-a-day poverty. These World Bank measures judge a person to be poor if his income falls short of a given level, adjusted for differences in purchasing power. In principle poverty rates based on these measures count the fraction of people in a country who lack the resources to buy a notional, basic basket of goods.
    Despite the many merits of the $1-a-day measure-not least its simplicity-some argue that looking only at income risks impoverishing the debate about poverty. Such complaints can be overdone. Income clearly matters: it determines how much people can buy and therefore whether they can afford to do the things, like eat enough, that critics of income-based measures think are more important. But rising incomes do not always translate into better health, say, or better nutrition. So there is clearly scope for measures of poverty that directly capture the many different ways in which, to quote Amartya Sen, "human lives are battered and diminished".
    A new set of internationally comparable data put together by researchers at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative at the University of Oxford tries to take Mr Sen's ideas about "the need for a multidimensional view of poverty and deprivation" seriously*. Aided by the improved availability of survey data about living conditions for households in over 100 developing countries, the researchers have come up with a new index, called the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will use in its next "Human Development Report" in October.
    The index seeks to build up a picture of the prevalence of poverty based on the fraction of households who lack certain basic things. Some of these are material. Does a family home have a dirt or dung floor? Does it lack a decent toilet? Must members of the household travel more than 30 minutes on foot to get clean water to drink? Do they live without electricity? Others relate to education, such as whether any school-age children are not enrolled or whether nobody in the family has finished primary school. Still others concern health, such as whether any member of a household is malnourished. A household is counted as poor if it is deprived on over 30% of the ten indicators used. Researchers can then calculate the percentage of people in each country who are "multidimensionally poor".
    Looking at many aspects of poverty at once has several benefits. One problem with considering just one indicator is that some deprivations may be a matter of choice. As Mr Sen has argued in his work on poverty, what matters is not whether a person eats "enough" but whether he eats whatever he does out of choice. Fasting is fine; involuntary starvation is not. Some, for instance, may prefer the earthiness of a mud floor to the coldness of a concrete one. But the number of people choosing to be malnourished, illiterate, lacking in basic possessions and drinkers of dirty water all at once is probably fleetingly small. A person deprived along many of these dimensions surely counts as poor.

    Measure for measure
    By and large, as the chart shows, countries' poverty rates as calculated using the MPI differ quite a lot from those based on their $1-a-day rates. In India and Kenya for instance, many more people lack basic things, as measured using the MPI, than earn less than $1.25 a day. The opposite, however, is true of Tanzania, which is doing better at getting its people fed, housed and educated than its income-based poverty rate would suggest.
    Since the MPI is calculated by adding lots of different things up, it is possible to work backwards and see what contributes the most to poverty in specific places. In sub-Saharan Africa, the material measures contribute much more to poverty than in South Asia, where the biggest contributor is malnutrition. The authors argue that having this information readily accessible makes it easier for development agencies and governments to decide what to focus on. The MPI also does a better job of uncovering long-term trends. Successful reforms in health or education increase earnings only many years into the future but will show up quickly in the MPI poverty rate.
    Much remains to be done to refine the idea. For a start, the things the MPI measures are not particularly useful for middle-income countries, which have figured out how to get their people clean water and enough food but where other kinds of poverty still exist. But the principles on which the MPI is based are simple and easily adapted. An index for areas within a single country could draw on more data and could paint an even more nuanced picture: the Mexican government is already using a variant of the index to help monitor the results of its anti-poverty programmes. Measuring poverty is not the same as alleviating it, of course. But the MPI is a step forward.

    Economics focus: A wealth of data | The Economist
     
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