“The other day we saw Matiang’i claiming he had only deported six Chinese nationals yet we have hundreds in here. We are giving the government 24-hour ultimatum to deport them failure to which I will lead the locals in storming their shops and ejecting them. We are not talking about six Chinese nationals. We are talking of hundreds of foreigners who work here (Kenya). I give the government 24 hours to evict these foreigners lest I, being a representative of this area, go into their shops, beat them and send them all the way to the airport” (Charles Njagua Kanyi MP in a viral video on the 25.06.2019)
The singer turned MP, Charles Njagua Kanyi MP aka Jaguar stated these words yesterday. Not as a clever wordsmith nor a brilliant politician, this is just cheap gimmicks to win the hopeful of the Republic. The sort of populist approach that will gain in the short term, but hurt in the long run.
If Jaguar MP thought this was wise, well, it wasn’t, first the Tanzanian representatives and ambassadors reacted, the government had to dismiss it in a statement and government spokesman Cyrus Oguna had to come out denouncing the whole thing. There are no victor here, except for the ones who gets hope out of these utterings.
There is nothing good coming out of this, neither for Kenya, for Jaguar MP or for the East African Community. The MP is only putting more fire into dry grass and hoping it doesn’t burn the whole savannah. Certainly, the aftermath is not going according to schedule. I don’t know if the Jaguar MP thought this was winning formula. How to get new comrades and get new followers in the midst of turmoil and lack of positive legislations. However, his shown ignorance and lack of courtesy.
The MP could have found other ways to address unemployment, as the state is the ones that opens the borders, wants free-trade and wants to expand. It is the result of years of trade and transfer of goods, that leads to this. The troubles he was addressing.
That Jaguar MP got arrested today on the steps of Parliament. Shows more the disgression of the state, that they are trying to cover the issues and also show loyalty to foreign partners like the Chinese. However, that might not win them many favours by the unemployed in Nairobi, but the elite of Nairobi. That is who they represent anyway.
Alas, here is the real dilemma, the way Jaguar MP addressed this wasn’t right, he uses a narrative, very common all-over the world. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make it right. The state isn’t right with arresting him either, it just amplifies what he says to some parts of society. What is needed to address the lack of safety-net and work for several parts of society, while the foreign importers makes jobs for themselves and their kin. This is a common a practice, but becomes more hostile, when the locals cannot eat of the spoils. That is what Jaguar MP is casting his net and hoping to gain popularity from, by the bias and by that crowd of people.
This is nothing new, it is ancient on the political scene. Its been used and steadily being used by politicians all-over the globe. That doesn’t make it right, but they do and they get voters by doing so. We could laugh or condemn it, but then we give him power. We give resonance to his ideas and his belief, that deportations and xenophobia is the way to go. Instead of showing the true reality. That if there is no movement of goods, people and trade, there will be no development too. Than, the ones you wish to get hired and get these jobs in the shops will not exists, because there are no products to trade. That is the irony in it. Isn’t it?
Jaguar MP might not get it or understand it, he has most likely never considered it. Just like the one of the biggest trade is because of movement in Kenya. Tourism is key to many and hires a lot of people in various sectors of society. I wonder if these foreigners are a problem to Jaguar MP or if they are dandy?
Well, that is a discussion for another day. Jaguar MP and his fellow men better think straight. They not making the Republic nor Kenya greater by this, only making it for the one-track minded. This will not make it better for him, unless there is a lot undying support for this. Which would seem strange, as it is not a sign of strength deporting people. That is a sign of weakness and also of lack of tolerance. Something that no one wins anything by doing. Peace.