EDITORIAL: Either the becoming of ego-centric political interests or radical and ideological alternatives

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The country is still in a political tragedy with feuding politicians still jostling for their egocentric interests. There is nothing that is markedly different among politicians who are divided more by their material differences rather than any values or visions for a transformed society. Arguments about the dynasty versus hustlers’ class differences or between the trickle-down and bottom-up economics are just gimmicks to continue hoodwinking the gullible masses steeped into poverty, deprivation, silence, and apathy. The feuding politicians belong to the same class of exploiters who have been coercing the people into tribal and chauvinistic mindsets for eons. Exploiters who are only seeking to intensify oppression upon acquisition of political power. Their end game is therefore political power to accelerate wanton exploitation of the masses while mortgaging the country to their egocentric interests and imperialism.

The mass movement that can build alternative political leadership and clear ideological positions is still in a state of belonging, being, and becoming. Efforts have been made, and are still being made, to marshal the discordant voices of alternative politics into a mass movement against the current crop of egocentric politicians. However, these efforts are painstakingly slow and lethargic thus frustrating painfully hopes of alternative political leadership and compelling the masses to align with either crop of ogres.

Building an alternative mass movement is all about seizing the moment; timing and unifying popular struggles; fronting radical ideological positions and alternative political leadership in a manner that would emasculate the current crop of egocentric politicians. This mass movement needs to happen urgently, now. Otherwise, times and new generations will continue lamenting wasted opportunities and being crucified forever on the altars of guilt as expressed in the poem by Otto Ren Castillo, the Guatemalan socialist revolutionary and poet who was executed by the Guatemalan Army on March 19, 1967.

Apolitical Intellectuals

One day
the apolitical
intellectuals
of my country
will be interrogated
by the simplest
of our people.

They will be asked
what they did
when their nation died out
slowly,
like a sweet fire
small and alone.

No one will ask them
about their dress,
their long siestas
after lunch,
no one will want to know
about their sterile combats
with “the idea
of the nothing”

No one will care about
their higher financial learning.
They won’t be questioned
on Greek mythology,
or regarding their self-disgust
when someone within them
begins to die
the coward’s death.

They’ll be asked nothing
about their absurd
justifications,
born in the shadow
of the total lie.

On that day
the simple men will come.

Those who had no place
in the books and poems
of the apolitical intellectuals,
but daily delivered
their bread and milk,
their tortillas and eggs

Those who drove their cars
who cared for their dogs and gardens,
and worked for them and they’ll ask:
“What did you do when the poor
suffered, when tenderness
and life
burned out of them?”

Apolitical intellectuals
of my sweet country,
you will not be able to answer.
A vulture of silence
will eat your gut.

Your own misery
will pick at your soul.
And you will be mute in your shame.

Ukombozi Review is invested in the collective mission of forging ideological political alternatives by connecting and amplifying people’s struggles. The articles in this edition, the 6th one so far, continue with this mission through reflective and analytical articles, poetry, short stories, heroic accounts, and other associated features. The Mashujaa feature in this issue is on Waiyaki wa Hinga.

Enjoy reading through this issue and share your feedback. Keep looking up on the submission guidelines if you would like to make a submission for consideration in subsequent issues of this publication.

Ahsanteni sana!
In solidarity
Njuki Githethwa
Managing Editor

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