Kenya is in the eye of the storm. The false calm hides a greatly disturbed horizon that is closing in. The distrust in institutions and the tossing around of institutions to justify grip of power reveals Kenya’s weak foundations. Kenya lacks a galvanizing grand strategy and interest that can whip the political class and its attendant elite to order. Global interests are proactively taking advantage of this to strengthen their foothold in the region. International and local interests to win tenders, raw materials and hegemony-politics find Kenya’s traditional ethnic exclusionary politics a fertile playing ground to amplify their contests.
The forces swirling around the East Africa region take advantage of nation-states whose foundations were less informed by geography but more by fiction. The challenge of managing nation-states that were literally handed over to Africans is picking up on the continent. The East Africa region is unsettled. Scenes of parliamentarians fighting in Uganda over the presidential age limit, squeezing of freedom of opposition politics in Tanzania, Burundi’s surrender to the president and Rwanda’s intolerance to dissent are likely to divert attention from confronting external interests.
Africans and elites that protect political power should revisit the lie that formed the nation-states in the continent. Political impunity only serves to agitate populations to go back to geography. To calm the storms brewing up in Kenya and the region, the siege approach to governance must be dropped and governance processes made inclusive to replace the foundations of nationhood that were bequeathed by colonists to political elite with ones that enjoin each citizen to the assets of the country.