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Subsequent to United States issuance of ‘travel ban’ to key personalities in Kenya, the local leaders hastily responded to President Obama’s threats by invoking the sovereignty clause which explicitly elucidates the unsurpassed political and economic boundaries that demarcates individuals nations or states thus reinforcing their internal politics and domestic policies.

Although I do appositely support the move, it’s paramount for the Kenyan society to pose the inherent question-whether all is well with our nation’s institutions and leaders! The move was precipitated by the nearly stagnated efforts to give fresh impetus to the reform agenda. On a critical look at the current state of affairs in our beloved country one wonders where in God’s name we went wrong. To the extent of that we can even arrive at a consensus on modus operandi orders nearly leaving our country disintegrated.

The political trends since independence assert that this countries woes are not to be blamed on a given individual or regime in the country rather the entire wobbling institutional framework which many concur that’s clogged. Deluding Kenyans by blaming a section of leaders will only lead to exacerbation of internal wrangles and intensification of ethnic balkanization whereas conversely blemishing diplomatic relations with the developed countries. These aver does not prop the existing lopsided global relations where countries in the south continue to serve as a buffer to those in the North. Indeed development experts concretely state that some countries mainly developed ones economically empower themselves at the expense of those at the periphery.

This begs the cardinal question, does the US and other post-modernized nations have the moral and to some extent the legal last utterance to keep pricking at other nations noses? Bearing in mind the gargantuan ‘contribution’ of the developed countries to 3rd world countries one wonders whether indeed this blanket condemnation of African government is informed by scruples or sugar-coated ideology of hedonistic accumulation of resources by the West to further capitalism.

Every nation has skeletons in its closet; the US for instance is grappling with a plummeted economy which is rated as the worst economic recession since World War II. As a result of the penetration of Chinese, India and Japanese in traditional American economic spheres, the Americans are now questioning the notion of globalization and market liberalization which they applauded years ago since they stood to comparatively reap from other nations whose economic take-off was tantamount to a white couple giving birth to a black son! Get me right I have nothing personal with the US though the truth is that they still have issues to gnaw at home which to the rest of the world carry more weight than the entrenched culture of impunity in the 3rd world countries which strongly deems a man eats where he works.

To exemplify Americans mind boggling issues, think about the Guantanamo Bay and fiery human rights contestations by Human Rights International an institution they fund, war in Afghanistan, ousting of Saddam, contested Bush race for a second term and though subtle to the 3rd world countries the Iran nuclear program.

Coming back to our domicile and borrowing from the prime minister ‘the gods are not to be blamed for the rot’ substantiate U.S stand on Kenya. captivatingly the country sovereignty ought and should be unquestionable for a solid resources endowed and beautiful country as Kenya with an array of both self-made and charismatic leaders we can truly determine our destiny . I have no doubt but where in God’s name did we go wide of the mark to warrant such international mortification? A decade ago, Kenya was regarded as a safe heaven in East Africa. Not to mention international community and indeed the US applauding us on the critical role of brokering peace in the volatile neighboring countries. In the present day the sheer mention of Kenya at an international plinth conjures a unenthusiastic reflection. Remember the horror that was witness during post-election violence and the ensuing loss of more than ksh 100 billions not to mention cherished lives of our relatives?

Overtly speaking the US has found a raised stand to comment on Kenyans domestic issues after letting the dogs out and summoning the international interventions after near precipitation of a collapsed state. A number of commissions were later consummated under the patronage of the US and its developed allies. The commissions went beyond the convention in Kenya and came up with far reaching recommendations.
On realizing that the local leaders were ensnared in a zoo they speedily marshaled their foot soldiers to denounce the pronouncements of the Serena league with a high degree sanity and unanimously coalesced their efforts on agenda 1-3 while applying the Kenyan political savvy to shun the much touted big –bang agenda four.
The US feels betrayed following their efforts to salvage the country from going to the drains. The driving force is the need to consolidate its indirect influence on Kenya’s fundamental domestic policies.

Why the US in particular?

A number of reasons clearly indicates US interests- the geographical positioning of Kenya as a gate way to Africa ,in terms of trade Kenya comes as a hub for multi-nationals, the US struggle to win back global confidence as the superpower and its long time stand as the most ‘democratic’ state. To our leaders, its time we intermarry the admirable characteristics of democracy and those of socialism to avert future war of words with the west. Ultimately, having accountable leadership and strong democratic and just institutions will act as a yard stick for democratization thus galvanizing the country from the west meddling with our domestic affairs in addition to resolutely control our soil.
To end with, the Kenya citizenry should indefatigably ensure we elect at every level deserving leaders who will lead the way and not politicians. This benchmark will reverberate far giving the West a narrow cove to keep nosing with the country’s self-governance.

Kariuki D.K. (The writer works with DPMF as a researcher and development connoisseur)
Published: 2009-11-03

About the author or the publisher

Kariuki D.K is a researcher in the field of development based in Nairobi.

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