The blind worship of wealth obtained at any cost and the bully-display of individualism, no matter its consequences on the collective, are the markers of a public culture at the end of its neoliberal tether. We see it, but we don’t speak about it. Because speaking about it may force us to recognise it for what it is. By RASNA WARAH.
With the suspension of the IEBC chief, Ezra Chiloba, over questionable procurement deals, the Commission’s collapse is now all but certain. Triggered by avarice and resurrecting the ghosts of August 2017, a change of guard at the electoral body will only further delay the search for electoral justice. How then, to deal with the original sin of Executive capture? By KWAMCHETSI MAKOKHA
The uthamaki code, the sense of Kikuyu elite entitlement, has defined Kenya’s politics for 55 years, a history of assassinations, blood oaths and cloak-and-dagger games. Since 1967, the Kalenjin elite have been the other protagonist in this power arrangement, offering land in exchange for a seat at the high table, and taking hostage the Kikuyu diaspora in the Rift Valley in this matrix of fear. How to break the cycle and liberate Kenya? By DAVID NDII
The Deputy President is today considered Kenya’s most frightening political figure. If he is indeed the motivation behind ‘the handshake’, that dynastic rapprochement between the Kenyattas and the Odingas, thwarting William Ruto’s presidential ambitions to protect the merchants of a half-century of impunity may well be the cure that is worse than the disease. By JOHN GITHONGO
Six decades since the wind of change blew across Africa ushering independence for a cast of new states across the continent, Pan Africanism remains more relevant an idea than ever before in today’s globalised era with its multiple challenges and opportunities for the continent argues L. MUTHONI WANYEKI
Although much ink has been spilled on Africa’s dependent position in the global political-economy, and the inability of social and youth movements to take both national and global power into account, one question still remains puzzling: What’s left of the left?’ The biggest question of all. MUTHONI WANYEKI asks.
As media freedoms take a beating around the world, and a culture of authoritarianism creeps across Africa, it was important, says NIC CHEESEMAN about resigning his column in the Sunday Nation, to demonstrate solidarity with those brave colleagues forced to endure threats from the State and censorship from the Board.
As difficult, if familiar, questions emerge refuting the West’s allegations that the Assad regime used chemical warfare in eastern Ghouta, will Syria become the next Iraq - the next theatre for ‘Shock & Awe’? As Russia objects and talk of a new Cold War rocks Big Power relations, RASNA WARAH examines the logic of war by false pretences.
And so, the inevitable has happened. After five years of Jubilee’s astonishing debt-fuelled binge, Kenya is now officially in an IMF bailout programme. As the government struggles to raise Ksh 284 billion for debt repayments this year alone, the austerity knife will make deep, long cuts into jobs and budgets. With private sector investment on its knees, Jubilee’s spending jamboree has already eaten Uhuru Kenyatta’s ‘Big Four Agenda’ children. DAVID NDII gives a sobering prognosis.
The labyrinthine character of the self-preserving and self-perpetuating incestuous commercial and political relationships that characterise the Kenyan elite is playing out like a choreographed Kabukiesque theatre composed of handshakes of and photo-ops in short scenes. This series of normalised taboos flawed Kenya’s last election has entered into a new Act of deal-making and compromises that at once leave the Kenyan audience aghast and mesmerised write MUTHONI WANYEKI
Once the boardroom was willing to trade the newsroom for the next big corporate deal, a cycle of bad news set in, its grave consequences on the public discourse increasingly obvious to all. We left, says KWAMCHETSI MAKOKHA, to make a statement for the values that had once sustained a vibrant media in Kenya.
Withdrawing her column after 11 years, RASNA WARAH refutes allegations made by the editors of the Nation Media Group that she, along with seven of her colleagues who resigned en masse, did it either to increase her notoriety or to score political points. To the contrary, she explains, a culture that increasingly stifled editorial independence and victimised principled voices, has pervaded a once-independent media house, threatening to muzzle free expression.