Elusive Peace: Why it is becoming difficult to nurture it in Kenya

By Vera Shawiza / November 8, 2017

Elusive Peace: Why it is becoming difficult to nurture it in Kenya

A peaceful country leads to a stabilized and growth of the economy, which in turn builds the living standards of its citizens.

Peace is key in every aspect of a country together with its people. When peace prevails, there is freedom, and with freedom, there is unity.

Kenya has for a long period of time been known to be peaceful. Unity prevailed across communities, on our borders and even beyond.

Since the start of 2017, Kenya has for the better part of the year been about politics and politicians. The whole world was and is still looking at us and waiting for the outcome of the just-concluded elections, which seemed not to have satisfied all candidates who participated in, especially for the Presidential position.

For the country to be peaceful, our politicians need to reconsider their priorities. Most of them have put their selfish interests first instead of those for the country. With this, citizens feel left out and thus lack of unity results.

Instead of politicians leading in preaching peace, they are on the forefront bringing about more and more divisions amongst the people.

Currently, President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga are the faces of Kenyan politics. They have in their own ways made the country divided as each one of them is not ready to have an agreement on matters that will help move the country forward.

Tribalism is a thorn to the economy of Kenya. The country, having a total of now 43 tribes has been struggling with tribalism. This comes about when some tribes tend to view themselves as more powerful and reserved than others. Leadership seems to have been left for specific communities of people, and fight for power and other leadership positions makes the tribal gap to widen as time goes by.

Tribalism in Kenya is a major stumbling block to democracy as well as socio-economic development. It persists since it provides an avenue via which state goodies and favors trickle down from those in power to their tribesmen. Therefore, loyalty to a tribe is given ever greater relevance than loyalty to the country. Tribalism is thus used to withhold or provide preferential services and resources.

Thanks to tribalism, Kenyan people keep questioning calls for Peace, Love and Unity. This is because they are not sure whether peace is a necessity when there is no togetherness. They think that when peace prevails then certain groups of people will benefit while others keep suffering.

Tribal clashes/ethnic violence is a common occurrence in Kenya. There is animosity, distrust and hatred amongst various tribes so that even intermarriages among some tribes are strongly discouraged by the older conservative generation as well as the rural folk. 

Tribal clashes occur from the thought that a certain group of people are marginalized. Currently, there is no peace in the areas of Laikipia County between the pastoralist communities. This has led to loss of property and animals are being killed.

For a long period of time, Kenyan communities like the Maasai treasure community land. The land was considered to be sacred and a property that was owned by the whole community and not individuals.

The communal land was respected as it symbolized togetherness. A time came when greedy individuals holding powerful positions took upon themselves to grab communal land. This trend has so far been picked up by even more and more, which in turn leads to lack of unity among people.

About Vera Shawiza

Vera Shawiza is Soko Directory’s in-house journalist. Her zealous nature ensures that sufficient and relevant content is generated for the Soko Directory website and sourcing information from clients is easy as smooth sailing. Vera can be reached at: (020) 528 0222 or Email: [email protected]

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