I believe my phone is slowly hypnotizing me and turning me into a zombie. It has slowly crept into my morning routine. I wake up and the first thing I do even before my morning prayer is checking my phone. So just like all other days, I log in to twitter to check what is trending and I am hit by 5 different tags all revolving around one person. In case you are thinking that I am talking about Shakira and her super bowl performance then you are wrong.
#RIPMOI, #MOIDEAD are just but some of what was on my timeline. Would it have been just one hashtag, I would have assumed that it’s just Kenyans reacting to the GSU presence at Lee Funeral Parlor but it was 5 tags some in Kalenjin so I was sure that this time, it was real and that for the second time since the birth of the country we had lost a president.
Rais Mtukufu Daniel Torotich Arap Moi had died! Even as I write this, I am in fear of slandering his name because growing up, I knew that you were not supposed to mention his name in vain or say anything negative about him. However, the country has evolved and if you have ever questioned whether or not Kenya is a democratic country then just log in to twitter and go through what people are saying about Moi and it is then that you will appreciate that Kenya is truly a democratic country.
From the tweets, you are met by a lot of mixed reactions on who he was and what he did for the country. At this time, I chose not to indulge in whether or not he was a good president mainly because it changes nothing but also because I want to remain African and respect the dead least my ancestors start rolling in their graves to come and haunt me for speaking ill about the dead.
I chose to focus on the one principle he repeatedly kept on saying and how it impacted the country; Peace, Love & Unity were Mzee’s mantra and what he had hoped for Kenya.
His successor Hon. Mwai Kibaki proceeded to ensure the country remained united even through his famous sarcastic jokes like ‘mafi ya kuku’ which always kept the country smiling and somehow united. Unfortunately, the 2007 election destroyed what the two great men had struggled to build. The Post Election Violence tore the country in pieces and caused a split that many thoughts would never be joined. Despite the Kofi Anan peace deal and the introduction of a coalition government, the country was still marred with communal conflict, border conflict among many other issues which have repeatedly robbed this country of the peace and unity we all yearn for.
What all Kenyans regardless of our political affiliation, tribal association or religious belief have hoped for is a better Kenya where our children can grow, business can flourish and where we can all coexist harmoniously.
WHAT IS THE MISSING PIECE OF PUZZLE TO GET US THERE?
56 years later, we have finally found a solution to all our problems. A solution that is not forced down our thoughts by the white man or one that we imported and tweaked to suit our needs. This solution is by us, from us and for us.
The solution is the Building Bridges Initiative, unlike all others, it seeks to address all our challenges while providing a solution to the challenges but most importantly it seeks to ensure that ‘Harambee’ which is what we used during the fight against colonialism which means coming together is reinstated in our hearts for a better Kenya. As we mourn the death of Moi as a country, let us all ensure that his mantra of peace, love, and unity lives on as we seek to Build Bridges to a united Kenya. It’s our time as a country to unite for respect and change.