09.07.2024 Author: Simon Chege Ndiritu

400 police to Haiti as Kenya Burns in Lawlessness-The true meaning of Democracy Reiterated by Citizens

Mass riots in Kenya, June 2024

The 25th June 2024, came with the violent protests in Kenya, in which demonstrators broke into the parliament, stole the mace and set the building ablaze, as some of them were shot by the police all across the capital. The author does not praise the protests or the violence but notes the government’s recklessness in provoking public disquiet and failing to effectively police the country, while sending 400 policemen to Haiti, the day before.

Other protests occurred on the 27thJune and were characterized by the military reinforcing the police in scenes reminiscent of the post-1982 attempted-coup period. This article argues that the ongoing protests in Kenya, while regrettable, constitutes the citizenry reiterating the true essence of democracy by demanding that the administration prioritize their needs over posturing as a ‘democracy’ by associating with the US and Western Europe.

Double Irony, Donating Police to Remain in Anarchy

June 25th, 2024, will go down in the history as a day when protestors in Kenya broke into the country’s parliament, and caused the parliamentarians to flee, just a day after Kenya had deployed its police to Haiti. A notable section of Kenyans celebrated the protestors’ courage, while the president termed them as treasonous in a short address filled with rage. Kenya’s situation is ironical in two dimensions, the first being that the president -of a democratic state-had given away police for a US-led neocolonial mission to Haiti, while the remaining police clearly failed to secure the capital, and especially the parliament. The second dimension of irony arises in that the citizenry had decried over taxation in the proposed fiscal budget, referred to locally as Finance Bill 2024. However, the parliamentarians ignored citizens’ sentiments and passed the bill, which invited citizen’s rage to ‘occupy the parliament’, which in turn culminated in the violent protests of the 25th and 27th June 2024. While the protestors do not represent the entire population, it is curious how the legislature failed to respond to such a significant section of the population by passing the bill. The Government Spox noting people’s dissatisfaction also blamed a number of things, including Russia, the US, and even the weather (climate change politics) for worsening public anger. One aspect that is also taking shape as contributing to the protests is a possible power struggle between the current president, and his deputy with the assistance of the former president. However, returning to the second irony noted earlier suggests relooking into what democracy truly is; is it a trademark awarded to countries allied to the US and Western Europe or is it a system of government that progressively seeks to enhance citizen’s interests? Kenyan’s actions show the true meaning is the latter.

What is Democracy? Ask Kenyans

Kenya’s President William Ruto has recently tended to embark on lavish flights to the West, and its allies for instance to the US in early May and to Europe in mid-June, 2024, in which he beseeched his hosts to lower the cost of finance to Africans, in order to defend democracy which is allegedly on retreat. The wisdom of spending so much on these flights to request reduction of interest on loans is puzzling, but the president also billed his trips as bringing back ‘goodies’, a move that only infuriated Kenyans further. He may have wrongfully concluded that his fledging dalliance with the US and Western Europe -in being assigned a Non-NATO Member Ally, or being appointed by the EU to join the war against the Houthis- as opposed to worrying about Kenyans’ feelings about their ever-increasing tax burden constituted democracy, but Kenyans did not concur. The author refers the readers to the article “Tracking Self-styled ‘Democrats’ from the G7 to their Countries” which detailed how Kenya’s president had travelled to the US, South Korea, and Italy in one month and acted as a champion of democracy, only to return home and realize that the citizens were not amused, as they wanted his administration to focus more on lowering taxes. It is clear that the citizens are more interested in seeing their government address their needs.

President Ruto’s loss of touch with the citizens was confessed by his deputy on 26th June 2024, who was puzzled by how a government elected only 20 months ago was facing widespread protests. The deputy president argued that the state, through the national intelligence service (NIS) had been unable to understand what the citizens wanted, which had led to the creation of seriously unpopular policies. Things have truly changed in the president’s priorities, and also achievements, such that on the evening of June 26th, he mentioned some of his government’s attainments which he pursued in the early months of his term, including lowering commodity prices, but which he rarely addresses these days. These achievements occurred earlier in the president’s term, when the government availed free and subsidized fertilizers, even as he called for finding alternatives to the overbearing US dollar, and demanded more respect for African leaders during their travels abroad. However, things would change when he started making company of the Americans and European colonialists and his priorities changed significantly to include endless flights abroad and sending police to Haiti.

The Paradox of Democracies; Being Weak and trying to Rule Others

The central area of President Ruto’s inverted priorities is noted in how Kenyan policemen were deployed abroad despite the country needed policing services. As hundreds of Kenyan police left the country for Haiti to reportedly assist the latter to address gang Violence, the following day saw Kenyan protestors overpowering the law enforcement to invade the parliament, steal the mace and set the place ablaze. This sad reality is attributable to the company the president keeps these days, as seen in the article “Weakened Leaders of the West Gather in Italy to Discuss an Unruly World” which while admitting the west’s weakness also bestows upon it responsibility to rule the Unruly world. This statement was made in reference to the recently concluded G7 meeting, in which president Ruto was present: Mr. Ruto may have absorbed the supremacist undertone of the so called ‘democracies’ that should prioritize ruling the wild world instead of minding their own business. This attitude may have also inspired the Kenyan government to ignore citizens’ feelings concerning over taxation. The president may have gotten comfortable with ‘democracy’ being a badge awarded to countries allied to the US and Western Europe, and ignored the need to consult people at all stages of decision-making. The results of such a mentality are out for all to see in the vandalized Kenyan parliament. The administration seems to have been jolted out of its slumber, and should follow the right interpretation of democracy henceforth.


Simon Chege Ndiritu, is a political observer and research analyst from Africa, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook

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