Friends, ladies and gentlemen, please lend me your ears -and your eyes for that matter. You and I come from different ethnic backgrounds whose cultural diversity lay the foundation for our beautiful nation. No man, no woman knows better than you do that God made us one and equal despite our ethnicity. Over the years we have been seduced by the monster called tribalism. Some call it negative ethnicity.
This monster has always lured us into the bigotry of subscribing to tribal cocoons on matters political. It is a monster that has killed and buried our spirit of independence. Because of the monster, our development has been retarded culminating to tribal conflict. The 1992 tribal clashes and the 2008, post election violence are some of the clear-cut mess this monster has driven us to.
Kenya is not the sole country in the world with myriad tribes. However I am being baffled and I am sure you too are being baffled by the magnitude this natural diversity has taken us to. Our unscrupulous politicos have taken this monster as their riding horse. They use tribalism to rise to the top of leadership and when they reach there, they pretend to be solving our problems when all they do is literally emptying our pockets more aggressively driving us from the frying pan into the fire.
We too have a tendency of masquerading to be saints clean of tribalism in public but replenished of it in our offices and homes with our friends and families. This is unfortunately having a cake and eating it too, an instinct worse than that of the wild pig.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a common challenge; we know that tribalism begets corruption and other vices which subsequently spawn more tribalism. We should stop bragging about our history and start thinking of who we are. Our history and our future are important but dependant on whom we choose to be. What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.
Our destiny is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice; it is not something to be waited for but something to work for. Today, today my friends today my brothers and sisters-let us arrest the monster. Let us hung it in the cross like it was unjustly done to Jesus Christ two thousand years ago.
I talk to you today my friends that despite the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, we can kill tribalism. Go back to Eastlands Nairobi, go back to Westlands Nairobi and go back to your homes and villages knowing that you and I can kill tribalism. It is our responsibility to dig the deepest grave for the monster and certainly the obligation of our politicians to disown it, force it to hurtle down the grave like the meteor that consigned the dinosaur family extinct sixty four million years ago.
And my friends let us join hands; we should always join hands to sing the beautiful words of our national anthem-“Ewe Mungu nguvu yetu…...” Then, and only then shall we banish tribalism from our national fabric and be able to say that change has come to Kenya.
(This speech was delivered at the “Kenya We Want Forum” to a live audience at the Boulevard Hotel Nairobi on 4th May 2009 by Duke Kosprin Mwancha.)