, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 25 – Retired Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has urged the youth to avoid vices adopted by the leadership and generations before them, that has hindered efforts to instill a spirit of nationhood among Kenyans.
Speaking during the first anniversary for the Victims of Torture and ill-Treatment during the Colonial Era at Uhuru Park, Mutunga said Kenya’s governance will improve if young voters refuse to be drawn into tribal battles, but instead choose leaders who preach nationhood.
The Retired CJ listed ethnicity, tribalism, clanism, region, religion and class as among issues that have caused divisions in the society and made it very difficult to build a nation.
“I am telling this particular generation, if you want Kenya to be a nation, not to die then you must make sure, just like the Mau-Mau you fight for the nation. Don’t follow our footsteps, the footsteps of the ruling elite in this country which is very, very divisive and you know it,” he said, in his message directed at youths aged under 35.
Mutunga spoke as he also sought to assure the Mau-Mau Veterans Association Secretary-General Gitu Wa Kahengeri that future generations will not betray the national value and character that they believed and fought for.
“What we call spirit is what these people stood for, Mekatilili (woman leader, who led the Giriama people in a rebellion against the British Colonial Administration and policies actively in 1913 – 1914), Koitalel (the supreme chief of the Nandi people of Kenya, who led the Nandi resistance against the British colonial rule) and others, they are dead but their spirits move us. So I was telling Shujaa, not to worry that spirit of the freedom fighters will depart with them. Even our generation we must make sure that we have a part of that fighting spirit,” he asserted.
British High Commissioner to Kenya Nick Hailey paid special tribute to wa Kahengeri and his colleagues at the Mau-Mau War Veterans Association, for their clear focus on the role the memorial must play for future generations.
“Mzee, I salute the way in which you and your colleagues have approached this process, in a spirit of dialogue not confrontation, of friendship not hatred, of building bridges not divide. You more than anyone know that the process of reconciliation and revisiting the past is not an easy one. But in order to move forward, we have to recognise and learn from the past. This memorial allows us to do just that,” said the British Envoy.