Since colonial times to post-colonial and current times of evolving political cultures and social structures, tribalism has been adamantly prevalent in Kenya. This vice has adversely affected the development of the country leading to economic discrimination to unmerited employment opportunities. Under and overrepresentation of different tribes in the civil service is evident.
Politics has heightened tribalism. Almost all political outfits are tribal in nature, the conversations of ‘mtu wetu’ meaning our person, formation of political parties based on ethnicity are the order of the day.
The devolved system of governance under the 2010 constitution is a great step forward to ending tribalism, ensuring there is adequate development and allocation of resources to every corner of the country.
However, to completely erase the issue of tribalism, Kenyan citizens must be in the forefront in enhancing the culture of tolerance, respect and appreciation of the diversified natures of our society.
The country will be much stronger and connected when our diversity is embraced and celebrated.
Tribalism has been one of the major factors of conflicts not only in Kenya but the world over. Therefore we must be deliberate in dealing with the issue.
“I refuse to believe that this country must run on the wheels of negative ethnicity where one’s ethnic extraction is the touchstone of ability that is a veritable tower of babel but worry least I have a recipe for national cohesion, let us combine the energy of the Luhya with the entrepreneurship of the kikuyu with a dose of Wakamba and Mijikenda humility the Maasais zeal and zest and the Luos quest for perfection and the beautiful qualities of all Kenyan nations and what looks like the tower of babel will be the power of Babel” PLO Lumumba.