“Moving on” is a phrase I’ve heard bandied about a lot of late.
It irritates me as much today as it did the first time I heard it, cleverly slipstreamed into conversation around the imbroglio we as Kenyans find ourselves in.
You hear it used like this:
We need to move on as a country and go about our business.
Or like this:
Yes, the process was flawed. But we need to move on.
Or like this:
So Kibaki appointed a cabinet before the coalition talks. The country needs to function. We need to move on.
Excuse me, but “moving on” is about the most absurd thing we can do now. Patently so.
500+ people have been killed. 300,000+ have been displaced. Businesses and homes have been destroyed. Friends have turned against friends. People have been chased from their homes in the middle of the night. People have lost everything. Some people have lost everyone.
In light of the above I am of the opinion that NO, we FUCKING CANNOT MOVE ON!
The wisdom in “Moving on” is questionable indeed. Are we to forget the dead, the burnt, the destroyed, the shearing of Kenyan society as we know it? Are we naive enough to believe if we don’t address the causes that led to this situation they will pack up like good little boys and bid us adieu?
“Moving on” is precisely what got us into the situation we are in today. For 44 years we have been moving on, paying scant attention to the underlying problems that have befallen us, in the fond belief that “we are a peaceful people” and “Kenya is an island of peace and stability”. We moved on in the face of disparities of education, opportunities, wealth, camaraderie and class.
I would not be in the least bit surprised to hear some of the political elite, upon hearing that Kenyans are going hungry, wondering, like a woman not too long ago who lost her head, why they “didn’t eat cake”.
Moving on will only ensure that come 2012 we will be writing blog posts and newspaper articles precisely like the ones we have been doing the past fortnight. Moving on will just give another set of us the opportunity to be “shocked and saddened” that this happened on our land. Moving on will just ensure that our children (if we survive to sire them) will merrily and ignorantly make the same mistakes we did.
Have we learnt nothing from the past 2 weeks?
Indeed, stupidity is doing the same thing twice and expecting the same results.
We need to find out the reason our country exploded and take steps to correct them, so that our future generations will be spared what we have gone through. We need to find out what the problem is now, and address it decisively. Before we get peace, we must have justice.
So no, dammit, we FUCKING CANNOT MOVE ON! 44 years ought to have shown by now that moving on doesn’t bloody work!!!
Oh, and for those of limited imagination, let me remove all ambiguity. Justice does not mean throwing stones and destruction and violence!
By saying we can’t just move on I am not saying we should not go back to work and get on with our lives. I’m not saying you stay home and await developments! Au contraire! What I am saying is that we cannot go back to the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil business as usual that we have been at for the last 44 years.
It’s not Kibaki and Raila throwing stones and wielding pangas and burning houses. It’s me and you. I am not naive enough to believe that the sight of Raila and Kibaki shaking hands and hugging will magically stop the fighting and people can move back to their homes from which they were chased. Because that is not about to happen.
Working and going about our business as usual will not address the issue of why friends have butchered friends. And until we find out exactly what circumstances led to that and correct it TODAY we shall be reliving this experience perpetually.
Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Life as usual is not an option.
Alfred Mutua, our resident Oompa Loompa, always manages to take my breath away with his effortless ability to introduce rocking chairs into a room full of blind cats. Every time the grinning Proudfoot Hobbit has his earnest face behind a camera, the osmotic pressure of the external environment causes his grey and white matter to seep from the areas of high concentration within his cranium, leaving behind doesn’t matter.
It takes an exceptional type of foolishness to say the following with a straight face while 400 of your fellows have been killed
“They [Kufuor and Kibaki] are age-mates and friends and Kufuor is coming to have a cup of tea with him,” Mutua said.
Bloody hell. Kufuor flew all those miles for a cup of tea. Villages looking for that special member of their community can contact me