What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

Malcolm X’s second name was Little, but there is nothing little about the great efforts he put in towards Black liberation during the dark days of racial segregation in the USA. However, sometimes, in some unfortunate cases, a name could bear relevant significance, especially if the name is a clique of some young and restless individuals calling themselves the KKK.

I am not referring to the notorious white extremist group in the USA, the Klu Klax Clan, though we could draw parallels with this particular group, but a new emergence cropping up within the political confines of the Kenyan succession race. KKK is a tribal outfit supposed to represent the Kikuyu, Kalenjin and Kamba ethnic affiliations.

Now for a little background. The Kikuyu group is led by deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta. Son of the founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. The Kikuyu, if last years national census is anything to go by, is the largest ethnic group in the country. The present President Mwai Kibaki is from the same region. It is widely believed that Hon Uhuru is his preferred heir to the throne.

The Kalenjin are represented by Hon William Ruto. Self styled Rift Valley Kingpin. Hon Ruto is an excellent communicator and schemer, having crafted his way up the political heights over the years. He served faithfully under the former President, self proclaimed Professor of politics Daniel Moi. Citing this, we assume that he learned from the best. He has served in this Government as a Minister for Agriculture and a Minister for Higher Education, before being forced to step aside over corruption charges.

The Kamba are represented by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka. Hon. Musyoka is the oldest man in this group, at 58. He is the longest serving member of this group, having been in Parliament since the early 80’s. He has been Minister of Foreign Affairs for the longest time.

Of the three, Mr. Uhuru and Mr. Ruto have been included in the now famous list of the six individuals seen by ICC Chief Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo as being the most responsible for the 2007/8 political violence that rocked the country following disputed election results. Whether they go on to be charged and sentenced or not, it will take a long time indeed, definitely longer than we will take to wait for President Kibaki’s successor before those two individuals can wash their names from the current murk they happen to find themselves in and prove themselves worthy of the country’s top leadership.

If there is one thing the name KKK should stand for is KANU, KANU, KANU. KANU is the political party that came to power after the country gained independence from the colonialists. The initials KANU stand for the Kenya African National Union. From the year 1963, the party was used to plunder the country, relegating it to the deepest end of third world misery, stripping the party of any nationalism and union as it’s name seems to want us to believe. These three individuals are former KANU loyalties. With the KANU name having been hitherto defamed after decades of bad governance, only a miracle would change that name to one that would not raise a lot of skeptical questions.

The Honorable Kalonzo while denying involvement in the formation of tribal alliances says that the only name he draws from the so called K’s is Kenya. The name of our beloved country. And if indeed that was so, we would heap the man with lots of great acclaim and admiration for his patriotism. But for a man already associated with a group calling itself KKK, only lexicologist can help him now.

One thought on “What’s in a name?

  • January 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I like your article, Felix. It also helps those of us who have interest in African politics to have a bit more “inside info” on the inner workings and dynamics of Kenya’s political climate.

    I’d like to propose that you write on the Mungiki. I once watched a documentary about them, focusing on Maina Njenga’s killing. I think it’s another group that adds to the whole political dynamic, with talks of Mungiki being used by the president during conflict/riot periods.


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