Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 6(9), pp. 683 - 694
DOI: 10.13189/sa.2018.060901
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Utado?! Bad Manners, Incivility, Impunity and the Legacy of Autocracy in Kenya

Dickson Ombaka *
Department of Sociology, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya


All over the world today many people are complaining of increasing displays of bad manners and incivility in society. It seems that good manners and civility are fast disappearing from social interaction not just in interpersonal relationships but in public affairs as well. Whether it is in the United States, the Philippines, or in Kenya, political leaders today are more likely to feature in the news not for the positive life-changing things they intend to do for their people but more likely for their invective against perceived foes. This paper argues that the bad manners and incivility that are being witnessed from Kenya's leadership today are a necessary precondition for the acts of impunity that are occurring with greater frequency. These acts of bad manners, incivility and impunity are best expressed in the Sheng word: utado?! This word not only describes an attitude but also defines a whole culture in the conduct of public affairs in Kenya. These sundry acts of bad manners and incivility far from being accidental are deliberate and are a precursor for the increasing acts of impunity. These acts of impunity demonstrate the dearth of civility whose ultimate outcome may be to turn away from a new-found democracy to authoritarian governance of the past.

Utado?!, Incivility, Bad Manners, Impunity, Autocracy, Authoritarian Rule

Cite this paper
Dickson Ombaka . "Utado?! Bad Manners, Incivility, Impunity and the Legacy of Autocracy in Kenya." Sociology and Anthropology 6.9 (2018) 683 - 694. doi: 10.13189/sa.2018.060901.