Today is the 22nd anniversary of Saba Saba Day.
The first Saba Saba day was marked on 7. 7. 1990 under a hail of tear gas and a violent confrontation between Kenyans tired of the oppressive KANU regime and riot police who were agents of those seeking to protect the regime.
22 years ago Kenya had a dictatorial president who was for all intents and purposes a god, a mutilated constitution, an oppressed media with only one TV and one radio station that were mouthpieces of the regime, it was a one-party state, the intelligence services eavesdropped on all conversations and a wrong word could land you in the torture chambers, one could not freely trade in forex, the judiciary sang to the tune of the president and so on and so on.
Yes, I know for most reading this, they cannot comprehend that kind of life but these and more bad things was the usual life for Kenyans.
Until a group of men and women said enough is enough. They gave up lives, limbs, minds, families, jobs, comfort to fight the oppression. They did not have twitter, facebook or mobile phones but they had a dream of a better day for Kenya and Kenyans.
22 years later, Kenya has a new constitution, a presidency with term-limits, a free and vibrant media, freedom of expression with guys able to even question the president with no fatal repercussions, there are 51 registered political parties, dollar accounts are common place for many, there are ongoing reforms in the judiciary and so on and so.
Kenya has come from FAR.
Blood, sweat and tears were shed by very brave men and women to gift us this free and democratic space we by and large take for granted.
In an ideal situation, Saba Saba Day would be a national holiday: a mega celebration of Kenyan heroes and heroines – an acknowledgement of the strides taken by Kenya in the last two decades.
However, as is the case in many revolutions, those were get the spoils are those who sacrificed the least. Thus Kenya is still by and large controlled by people who were part of or directly or indirectly supported the oppressive KANU regime.
A flamboyant celebration of Saba Saba Day would therefore also be an indictment of their complacence during Kenyans dark hour of need and of the fact that they are enjoying democracy and freedoms they fought against.
A tree with no roots withers and dies and so does a country with no history.
I choose to remember Saba Saba Day. I choose to celebrate Saba Saba Day. I choose to give thanks this Saba Saba Day.
I remember all the 2nd liberation heroes and heroines who gave up lives, limbs, minds, families, jobs, comfort to fight for Kenya’s current democratic/free space.
I celebrate all the 2nd liberation heroes and heroines who gave up lives, limbs, minds, families, jobs, comfort to fight for Kenya’s current democratic/free space.
I say thank you to all the 2nd liberation heroes and heroines who gave up lives, limbs, minds, families, jobs, comfort to fight for Kenya’s current democratic/free space.
GOD BLESS YOU!
GOD BLESS KENYA!