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“Changing a nation’s ethos from conspiracy to accountability”
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“Changing a nation’s ethos from conspiracy to accountability”

Kenyans need to demand more from the powerful actors in their country if rampant inequality and injustice are to be solved, argues Robert Dabaly Jimma, 23, a Correspondent from Kenya.

According to Kenya’s 2010 constitution, rights and freedoms are enshrined to promote the potential of all human beings. Unfortunately, state policy has not responded to this change and inequality has taken control of the nation’s day-to-day existence.

Kenya’s political culture needs to authentically take root from the country’s oppressed history, and be re-energized by ancestral governance pillars. How?

Most contemporary leaders are not secure enough in their jobs to pursue policies or experiment with ideas or systems that may diminish their own power. Similarly, Parliament has a hands-off policy when matters of corruption arise. Kenya’s police force and prosecutors are poorly equipped to investigate crimes. That’s not a foundation for change.

Power when vested in the hands of the select few produces an environment of fear, which prevents more than half the population from attaining benefits of citizenship.

Activist and politician Jomo Kenyatta, who governed as Kenya’s prime minister from 1963 to 64, and then became its first president from 1964 to 1978, left Kenya a better place than he found it. Harambee, was Kenyatta’s rallying cry. During that time people dreamed of a generation growing up accepting stability, relative prosperity, and good ethnic-racial relations as a norm of Kenyan life. The pursuit of human dignity, and sovereign harmony were never alien concepts to Kenyans.    

Too often the hopes of Kenyans are held hostage to ethnic-political factions, who fight for self-interest at the expense of majority and/or marginalized concerns of the sovereign. Independent institutions are not strong enough to combat such irregular governance pressures. Our governmental ethos is not cohesive enough to endure pressures that are beyond its nationalistic configuration.

The Kenyan electorate, however, must conduct critical investigation of those who govern by interrogating their abilities to experiment with different approaches to governance. The people need to develop firm convictions to cause a change in country’s national ethos from conspiracy to accountability.

photo credit: DFID – UK Department for International Development via photopin (license)

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About me: I am a law student with a passion for digesting the law and examining its applicability within African social confines. I like using interpretative tools to investigate various legal paradoxes that exist within our immediate society.

My interest pertains to whether autochthonous constitutions have served their role in the empowerment of Africans after the colonial regime.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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