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What is saba saba day in Kenya

Actually, Saba Saba day is more of the United Republic of Tanzania than a big celebration in Kenya. It is the celebration day for TANU, the party that won the independence under its founder, President Julius Kabarage Nyerere. Seventh July is an important day in Tanzania as it is also the day both Zanzibar and Tanganyika came together to form a United Republic of Tanzania in 1964. In Tanzania, Saba Saba is a celebration, instead in Kenya, it is the day protesters gathered in Kamkunji to demonstrate their anger against ONE Party Regime in 1990. Saba Saba in Kenya has been seen as the day of the Opposition. Thousands of opposition supporters usually gather around their leaders to protest against the government. Some of such gatherings on the Saba Saba day turn violent and usually the government ensures that there is sufficient security in the capital. In some parts of the country, Saba Saba day creates tensions and fear. Schools and businesses close in fear of looting and other sorts of violence. It is about pro-democracy protesters in Kenya, a day that creates tension between the government and the opposition.
This weblog is more interested in debating on how Saba Saba day has made Kenya be what it is today. Most of those who enjoy power in Kenya are beneficiaries of the Saba Saba. For instance, the time President Moi declared Kenya a One Party State, no any other Kenyan could speak ill about the government. Many Kenyans were detained arbitrarily and some were killed. Nyayo torture chambers were constructed to discipline and block the oppositions. Many opposition leaders including the father to Hon. Raila Odinga, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga was put under house arrest at his advanced age. Rubia, Matiba, Sikuku and many other prominent sons and daughters of Kenya were persons to watch by the government CID and the National Intelligence Service (NIS). Journalists were not free. No Kenyan had the freedom of speech and of opinion. It is the time some Kenyan scholars had to go into exile due to their freedom of expression and of opinion. The late Prof. Ali Mazrui and Prof. Ngugi wa Thiong’o were personalities under siege. Hon. Raila served his time in detention while his wife lost her job as a teacher in the government school. The State was powerful and citizens could not form associations or meet freely. Speaking against the President was considered treason and any charge of treason would amount to capital punishment. Just as the say goes, even immagining the death of the President was a capital offense.
Saba Saba made it possible for Kenyans to wield power against any despotic regime and in 2002, the Narc Government won against KANU. The same Saba Saba brought about what Kenyans are now enjoying as democratic space. The opposition managed to squash the government constitutional draft and ensured that in 2010, Kenyans got a new constitution. Saba Saba in Kenya is translated into a day of remembering the democratic space though not yet officially recognised. It is still related to some predicaments that the governments are not ready to allow.
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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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