The booing of President Uhuru in London by Kenyans residing there have been roundly condemned by those I believe are ‘overzealous’ supporters of the handshake.
I support the handshake too but as I have always stated, the handshake was not the panacea for all our problems as a country. The handshake did not solve or resolve our problems and upto now it hasn’t.
What I see as the role of the handshake is: it offered us a chance to relook at these problems and attempt resolving them.
There are Kenyans – and they are many – who are yet to accept the new political power arrangement in the country. Many are genuine in their apathy. Some are not.
Be that as it may, making Kenya a progressive democratic society where rights are respected and responsibilities honored is ‘work in progress’ and it requires that each time, every time, anywhere, those in power are reminded of their responsibilities.
Booing and heckling President Uhuru by the London crowd was a good thing. It reminded him – and us – that Kenyans still want him to WALK the handshake TALK.
“Walk the talk, Mr. President,” that’s all I saw.
And more than the handshake, Kenyans want President Uhuru to obey the constitution. To respect the rule of law. That includes those who work in the wing of government he leads – the executive wing. The Joseph Boinnets of this world. The Fred Matiangis of this world.
Uhuru is the titular head of the security agencies so when the agencies are misused, it is Uhuru to take responsibility, and flak.
It is sad that here in Kenya at this point in time no one can demonstrate or picket directly to the president. To hold him to account, right in his face. We have been reduced to ‘robotic timidity’ so much so that we can’t bring some discomfort to him. Nearly all public civic areas have been ‘securitized’ and ‘militarized’.
I honour the crowd in London. They know they have a platform we don’t have. They know they can wait for the president in his throughway and show him their ‘placards of sentiments’:
“Obey the law”, “respect human rights”, “respect the rule of law”, etc.
Even more important, they know doing so in Britain will not lead to death, injuries or deportation!
Until we can do here what they did there, we must remain greatly indebted to these people.
Thank you, countrymen.