Four things Kenya’s ex-CJ Willy Mutunga told the BBC about Kenya’s politics
Kenya’s former Chief Justice, Dr Willy Mutunga is one of those guys you can listen to for a long time without getting bored – that is, if you like those debates about Kenya’s struggle for democracy, political freedoms, and if you want to make sense of the political razzmatazz.
He has been there, done that. And when he came out on the other side, he concluded that Kenya is a bandit economy.
That view hasn’t really changed, and he still thinks the country’s elite is playing a “very very dangerous game”. He actually says that Kenyan leaders are captives of imperialist and neoliberal forces.
Four things Kenya’s ex-CJ told the BBC about Kenya’s politics
1) It is a 'class problem'
‘We are in an environment of gossip, fake news, great great polarization that I have avoided being partisan about these issues. The position that I have taken very clearly and publicly myself is that, I blame the Kenyan elite, and I don’t buy the argument that either of the factions is the lesser of the two evils. I think the problem is squarely a class problem and the two factions are to blame for this. My call has been very clear, that since they are the problem, Kenyans should think of a future without them giving the vision of the Constitution some life”
2 2) 'Kenya is ripe for a revolution'
The fact that people resist the systems that deny them jobs, quality education, universal health,food, the systems about stark inequalities…
3 3) 'Politics of division and cunning of ethnic barons’
‘We all come from ethnic communities. Whenever I go to Kitui and I try to talk to young people about Kalonzo Musyoka for example, and basically say we don’t need politics of division… they don’t listen,”
‘The fact that a Kikuyu peasant who probably has no shoes, has torn clothes can believe that he is in power because President Uhuru is the president of this country reflects serious sickness, serious irationalty in the minds of our people’
‘There are all these discussions happening, secession, swearing in, violence being discussed… it is a very very dangerous dialogue, because the followers are waiting for their barons, the commanders to basically say, this is what we should do’
4 4) On violent crackdowns and extrajudicial killings
“…In Kenya, I have participated in a lot of demonstrations they were always peaceful when the police did not teargas people, did not make people run, and when the police actually arrested thieves who would come in there to steal and create problems”
Listen to the full interview here
So, his point, is that, Kenya needs to go “back to the politics of issues, showing that poverty cuts across communities, that quality education is needed for the rich and the poor, that healthcare is for all”. And if you thought you were done because the country has a new Constitution, sit back, the struggle continues.