Those of our readers who keep track of the column Future issues are aware that the present number of WAJIBU was supposed to treat the subject Human resources. However, the journal had to be suspended for some ten months (see below) and in the meantime some rather drastic changes took place in our country. We are talking, of course, about the 2002 general election and the swearing in of a new government early this year. We felt that we at WAJIBU would be amiss if we did not take the opportunity of this first issue for 2003 to comment on these recent events. We are therefore concentrating in this issue on the road the country traveled to arrive at this very important election as well as on the lessons we have learned and, hopefully, are continuing to learn from the events surrounding it and the history behind it.
Since the 2002 election was different in so many respects from any previous election, we asked one of our contributors to look at this event in depth. Macharia Munene took up this challenge and has ably compared the situation in 2002 with that pertaining in other election years, prior and since independence. He has distilled six valuable lessons from this study.
Maria Nzomo looks at how women have fared in politics since independence and especially in the 2002 elections. She laments the fact that there has been insufficient unity of purpose among women and gives many suggestions on what needs to change if they are to take their rightful place in parliamentary representation in the future.
In a well-researched article, Karega-Munene gives a short history of how, ever since independence, our leaders have used ethnic groupings to polarize Kenyan society. In this way, instead of using our diversity as a strength, it has been used to set groups against each other. He expresses the hope that our new Government will turn over a new leaf also in this respect.
Peter Wanyande details some of the major challenges the new government is faced with. Chief among these are: keeping its promises and maintaining the coalition.
Justus Mbae details some of the positive measures the Government has taken since it took over early this year and sees this as a good sign. But, reminding us through the use of Plato s well-known Allegory of the Cave about the basic selfishness of human nature, Mbae calls for a more basic change, a completely new perception of our role, both as leaders and as citizens of this country. He calls to our minds the words of President Kibaki during his inauguration speech: I am willing to put everything I have got into this job because I regard it as a sacred duty.
What a difference it would make in the lives of Kenyans if we would make these words our own motto, if all of us were to put our talents to work for the good of our neighbours and of our country.
The constant revelations in our newspapers about the extent of the evils perpetrated in our country during the last regime may make us pessimistic about the possibility of the thoroughgoing change Mbae calls for. However, there is no question that there have always been and always will be persons whose basic motivation in life is not gain for self but service to others. Read about such people three men who are actually blood brothers in our feature Making a difference. It will warm your heart!
G. Wakuraya Wanjohi
NOTE TO OUR READERS:
What we feared has come to pass: the media bill was signed by the President in June. This law effectively does away with freedom of expression an makes a mockery of the right to information. Its effect is that we have to halt the publication of the journal, at least for the time being.
We do hope that the new government which will be sworn in after the elections (expected at the end of the year) will reverse this drastic action so that we will again be able to publish WAJIBU. But for now this is the last issue of the journal you will be receiving this year. However, we would appreciate if you could furnish us with your latest E-mail address so that we can remain in touch with you about further developments. If you have access to the Internet, also check our website from time to time. We have appreciated your support throughout the year and trust that this will not be the end of our joint endeavour to raise awareness about issues of social and religious concern.