Collectively we are the Wananchi, the people, made up from millions of Wanjikus, each and every woman and man that walks the streets and pathways of our nation: the collective flock and the individual sheep. But are we being led astray? An article in today’s Daily Nation argues that we are and the Kenya Forum, at least in part, agrees.
‘THE ENEMY WITHIN’?
A Ms Jennifer Shamalla, apparently ‘an advocate in the High Court and a founding member of the National Conservative Forum’, fired a thunderous broadside from the pages of the Nation at ‘the enemy within’ in an opposite editorial headlined, ‘Leftist politically-correct group taking Kenyans where they do not want to go’.
‘There is an enemy lurking among us’, she opened up. ‘Its agenda is to destroy us militarily and economically’, Shamalla continued, and that, ‘It is tearing away at Kenya’s social fabric, destroying our cultural structures and imposing an international left-wing liberal ideology’.
OPERATION LINDA NCHI, THE KDF AND TREASON?
Jennifer Shamalla argues that ‘prominent opinion-makers’ have attacked ‘Kenya’s security organs while at war’; that they are suggesting the ‘war’ in Somalia ‘belongs to one of the security organs’; that the criticism will extend to the Kenyan Defence Force (KDF) engaged in ‘Operation Linda Nchi’; and that the ‘insinuation is that Kenya has no government or commander-in-chief’. These ‘grave accusations’, wrote Shamalla, ‘can lead to civil unrest and are tantamount to treason’.
Powerful and provoking stuff: but who is this ‘enemy within’, what is their agenda, and ‘whose interests are they serving’ (Shamalla’s words)?
This ‘emerging interest group’, she says, has an insidious plan to ensure that another centre of power under the guise of political correctness is created’ and that in ‘pursuit of their agenda, they are now clamouring for a civilian to head the Police Force’ having attacked the security forces and weakened them ‘in the court of public opinion’.
A LEFT-WING POLITICALLY CORRECT AGENDA?
Well perhaps Jennifer Shamalla is right, although the Kenya Forum might have chosen a different example of the agenda followed by this ‘group of the politically correct’ (again, Ms Shamalla’s words), the judiciary perhaps, and its probably going a bit far to suggest they wish to destroy us ‘militarily and economically’ but that aside her general conclusion we feel speaks of a truth in Kenya today.
‘This emerging group continues to attack our society by steering a politically correct agenda’, she suggests, ‘a dictatorial agenda whereby one simply cannot be politically-correct and conservative or advocate conservative Christian values’, a ‘ploy by the international left-wing liberals and their cohorts to shut up any conservative force’, left-wing liberals who ‘advocate free speech as long as their agenda is effectively put in place’.
Here the Kenya Forum believes Jennifer Shamalla really does have a point but we would cite the example of the new constitution and the manner in which it was introduced (although there are a number of other examples we could have considered).
DISHONEST, HYPOCRITICAL AND DAMAGING
The Forum has said before that it was broadly in favour of the new constitution and we have not changed that opinion but we also realise that in some ways its introduction, the manner in which it was sold to Kenyans, was in part fraudulent.
For those of you who thought that the new constitution banned abortion, it doesn’t; for those of you who thought the new constitution banned marriage between homosexuals, it will not; for Muslim Kenyans who thought that women would not be presiding over Kadhi Courts, think again; and for all of you who thought it guaranteed your right to own land, sorry, it doesn’t. But that was what we were told before the referendum and no view suggesting otherwise was allowed to be heard.
It is not that the Kenya Forum takes a particular stance for or against abortion, or gay marriage, for example. What we object to and see played out day-in-day-out through the nation’s media, whereby so often the activists of our so-called ‘civil society’ (often supported by Western embassies and international organisations) promote a hidden agenda, or indeed a particular politician or political grouping, while attacking anyone that questions them as an ‘anti-reformer’, a ‘conservative’, or collectively places them as part of the infamous ‘forces of impunity’.
Such behaviour is dishonest, hypocritical and damaging to the creation of truly free and democratic state to which we aspire.