Professor Mutahi Ngunyi coined the word tyranny of numbers from his skills in political science in 2012/3. In what appeared to be a small issue proved to determine the fate of the 11th Parliament where the Majority affiliated to Jubilee alliance turned to be demagogues rather than democrats. The worst scenario is in passing bad bills. On 8th December of 2014, Kenyans were treated with hooliganism in the House due to tyranny of numbers. The unpopular security Bill was passed using tyranny of numbers.
Prof. Ngunyi who is also faced with hate speech cases in the Kenyan law court meant to signify the tribal politics rather than “democracy” as the rule of the people, by the people for the people. It is demagogy in terms of the rule of demagogues, sycophants and hooligans. Any democracy will have a sense of the majority and the minority. But a scenario in which minority’s opinion is rubbished it is arrogance and failure to reason. It is a rule of emotions rather than intellect. Prof. Ngunyi’s theory cannot be defined as philosophy but an ideology or, rather, a slogan. It lacks essential characteristics of philosophy.
Some of the best leaders in the modern democracies have come from minority groups. Where is the tyranny of numbers in the case of President Julius Nyerere, Mandela, Kaunda, whose ethnic groups are the minorities? Such is the “democracy” based on the power of reason and the truth. Tyranny of numbers used by Prof. Ngunyi is meant to decorate tribal politics. Tribesmen stop to reason and support any opinion as so long as it supports their wrong ideology.
In proper democracy, even the voters will never be induced to believe in their own people as the best leader simply because they happen to be of the same ethnic group. The right democracy and philosophy is based on the power of reason. “Tyranny of numbers” has fallen short of rationality and cannot be referred to as philosophy. It is a slogan as any other slogan. It only enhances division and exclusion of others. Such terms as “watu wetu” or “hawa watu” are very wrong and criminal terms used to perpetrate divisive politics. No democratic leader can refer to others as “hawa watu” to mean the opposition. Hate politics in kenya is the unmaking of the Kenyan democracy that has led to demagogy.
President Obama hails from a minority group in the United States, but it is the idea he holds for the people of America that made him succeed. Had it been the tyranny of numbers, Obama would have not won. How about in Kenya? Why do Kenyans believe so much in their tribal numbers as a political game? Why should one think that only one from his tribe can serve him well and not the other? Why not to look at the ideas and vision one has for the nation other than for the tribe?
The bad precedent was created by the founding father of the nation… President Jomo Kenyatta then followed by his successors. Now any Kenyan believe that when his tribe is in power he has more sense of security. This has to change. It is still the tyranny of numbers that should be removed from the minds of Kenyans.
I appraise the article of Mr Gerald Kithinji published in The Standard on Sunday 22, November 2015. Tyranny of numbers is not a philosophy but an ideology based on ethnic euphoria that has mislead the nation. Going on with this belief then no Kenyan from minority ethnic group can ascend to power…this is a wrong precedent.
Read more at: http://www.a.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000182840/tyranny-of-numbers-philosophy-unethical
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