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John Githongo at the Okoa Kenya Movement Launch: “Kenyans have Steadily Lost Faith in Our Leaders”

Two Countries One DreamKenyan political analyst and contributor to Two Countries One Dream: The Challenges of Democratic Consolidation in Kenya and South Africa John Githongo delivered the opening address at the launch of the Okoa Kenya Movement last month.

Githongo is a former Kenyan journalist and wrote the preface to Two Countries One Dream, which was edited by Rok Ajulu. Okoa Kenya is a people’s movement to defend the country’s constitution. The movement calls for electoral reforms on their Facebook page.

Githongo said people have lost faith in the country’s institutions: “Increasingly too, Kenyans have steadily lost faith in our leaders and institutions which makes even the best ideas difficult to implement. Indeed, even in important sectors we too often laugh at leaders instead of getting angry with them.”

Githongo spoke about the widening gap between rich and poor in Kenya: “The spiraling cost of living and deepening inequality have turned us into two big tribes – one tiny, rich and isolated from reality and the other, gigantic youthful and angry.”

Githongo said in his opening address that the people of Kenya will no longer accept bad political decisions:

The Okoa Kenya Movement is an initiative I’m happy to be associated with, as it is born out of shared concerns about some of the more pressing challenges facing our country. Put bluntly, the mantra of “accept and move on!” that followed elections in 2013, hasn’t worked out regardless of which party you voted for last year. That’s why we are here. Okoa emerges from the genuine concern that Kenya is embroiled in an existential crisis. Wherever we are, whatever we do, whomever we are, we are called upon to stop the watching and analysing and stand up wherever we are and whenever we can for the issues that are of import to Kenyans and Kenya today – the integrity of our constitution being foremost among these. We acknowledge that the country faces a host of current and historical unresolved issues.

 

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