We are a generation that seeks closure yet the death of a father figure only seems to have opened an old wound that we thought had healed. As the father figures collapsed at the private front, his political masculinity shrewdly dominated our hunger and fascination with fatherhood. From the article "Nyayo: The Passing of a Father Figure" written by Oyunga Pala.
We need to break these father ties we have with the ruling elite. Politicians are not our fathers. They are not family. They are representatives who asked to be elected (or pretended to be elected) to serve us.
An assessment of South Nyanza’s politics suggests that President Moi owed his long rule partly to the Luo elite’s internal divisions and rivalries. The Moi era is also a study on how authoritarian leaders sustained their grip on power during the Cold War.
The Goldenberg scandal did not just negatively impact the Kenyan economy, it also left in its wake damaged and destroyed lives. Central Bank of Kenya employees who raised queries about the massive fraud were quickly sacrificed. These individuals and their families have hauntingly traumatic memories of Moi and his government.
We are a generation that seeks closure yet the death of a father figure only seems to have opened an old wound that we thought had healed. Therefore, we are called upon to engage in an honest introspection of the Nyayo era in order to understand what it takes to initiate the exercise of healing and reconciliation.
The backward looking accounts, the-good-Moi-bad-Moi debate being waged on social media, and the yaliyopita ni ndwele nostalgia of television talk shows are peripheral to the new challenges of the reorganisation phase. Kenya’s reorganization is at an early stage. It will subsume a new set of challenges and opportunities that will require not only updated political skills, but also a sophisticated understanding awareness of the forces in play.
Much has been written about Daniel arap Moi, and his death has uncorked a litany of previously hidden details and insights into the Shakespearian drama he presided over while in office. But how do we evaluate the legacy of Moi’s agency during his time in office?
Moi’s misrule neutered parliament, turned the courts into his puppets, and the bureaucracy into his handmaid but if his life leaves behind a lesson, it is in the codification of the Kenyan constitution so that the country need never again be subject to the whims of one person.
DAUTI KAHURA recalls what it was like living in the Moi era.
In the cemetery that is the collective Kenyan memory, the tended graves and monuments are reserved for the powerful, the corrupt and the wicked. Now Kenya’s elite are using President Daniel arap Moi’s death to whitewash history.
With the colonial ideology of order, but without a tribal elite to implement it, Daniel arap Moi maintained the exploitative state by crushing alternative spaces of imagination in the same way his predecessors had done, but with more cruelty. As the saying goes, every time history repeats itself, the price goes up.
Kenyans are passionately split into two constituencies: those that remember the late former president Daniel Arap Moi as vile and reprehensible and those that remember him as a benign Baba. But it is our duty to critique him, to hold him accountable for his wrongs, and to allow the stories he suppressed to be told. This is necessary as it is also cathartic, an exercise that can be the beginning of an exorcism that this country’s troubled soul so desperately needs.