November 28th, 2017, the president was sworn in for his second and last term. In his first comprehensive speech after being re-elected, the president made some interesting statements to the applause of the crowd ferried from far and wide to witness the swearing in. Here is an excerpt from the speech:
“As a mark of our continued commitment to you, our Brothers and Sisters in the East African Community; from today, you will be treated like Kenyans. Like your Kenyan brothers and sisters, you will need only your identity card. You can now work, do business; own property, farm and if you wish, and find a willing partner, you can marry and settle in Kenya. And this commitment we make with no conditions for reciprocity but driven by our desire for deeper regional integration. As l welcome you l remind you that equally, you shall be subject to the same rules and laws as your Kenyan brothers and sisters.” Uhuru Kenyatta on 28/11/2017. Read the entire speech here
Listen here, folks. Advanced democracies are building physical walls along their borders; we are opening ours and allowing visitors equal rights in Kenya. Tanzania, our immediate neighbour, auctions animals belonging to Kenyan herders because they ate their grass. Unthinkable. Even grass is vital to them.
Xenophobia in South Africa meant that foreigners had to leave because they were never welcome anymore, locals felt that they took their jobs and opportunities and leaving them in abject poverty and unemployment. It appears this is the legacy president Kenyatta wants to leave when he departs office in 2022. But to others looks like a political and social problem that he is creating for us to solve many years to come.
BREXIT is the new word in town. Britons, regarded as the master colonisers, people who wanted the entire earth for themselves, do not want their country subject to their regional block rules and regulations. They want out no matter the cost. They are committing billions of pounds to move out of the EU despite the immense benefits of the EU to Britain. Multinationals headquartered in London and operating in EU member countries are considering relocating, and they don’t care.
Immigration shapes political discourse in the United States. POTUS, Donald Trump, even with his inexperience in public service, was elected partly because of his unorthodox solution to illegal immigration. The USA is now fighting immigrants, plans to build a wall on the Mexican border to keep illegal Mexicans from accessing United States resources including opportunities. Whether the move is viable or not remains a debate for another day, but the problem is evident, American do not want illegal Mexican immigrants and wants a solution to that.
This is one of the reasons Donald Trump won. Why is the political class creating a political problem that they will promise to solve in the next two or three decades? The promise of equal rights to anyone entering Kenya is good for visitors but in the long run, dilute the rights and benefits of being Kenyans.
Unemployment was/ is a problem in this country even before we open the gates to every East African. Although Kenya boosts of comparatively better literacy levels, allowing Members of East African States will further add salt to the already dangerous situation. Cheaper labour will move in making the market worse for labourers. Just like America-China labour importation challenges.
LAND perennial issue in Kenya
The land is still an issue with thousands of settlers spread across the country. The idea to allow everyone one in this country will further widen the social gap between the rich and the poor. The corrupt, capitalistic wealthy African class will tend to regroup and form a social class in Kenya leaving no place for the low-income Kenyans. You know what happens after they regroup? There will be social inequality, a situation where the society will be structured in hierarchies based on class, race and gender and possibly broker access and rights to those resources. Those with money will have more.