Tuesday, January 15, 2008

All in the name of democracy

The justification that the tribal cleansing in Kenya has been given is, those carrying out the killings are defending democracy against a president who ‘stole’ an election. The opposition’s targets are members of tribes that were thought to have given President Mwai Kibaki a significant vote.
“This is not a tribal war”, a man scavenging through the rubble hastens to explain.
“This is a fight for democracy. We believe Kibaki rigged the elections and Raila Odinga is the true president.”
When asked why, then, people turned against their neighbours, who were not in any way involved in the rigging, he says: “But they voted for Kibaki! They condoned the rigging!”
New Vision, Kampala, Jan 9, 2008

We have heard the above statement several times until we now believe that anybody who did not vote for Raila Odinga is guilty of some crime.

ODM Scandinavia released a statement in which they said, “ODM Scandinavia believes that the millions of poor and deprived Kikuyus who supported Kibaki are victims of ‘ethnic brainwashing’ by home guards using them as pawns in a political chess game.”

What ODM Scandinavia is trying to do is suggest that Kibaki received votes only people affiliated to the Kikuyu tribe. This is a line that has been used to justify the killing of Kikuyus. I wonder what ODM Scandinavia makes of the near 100% vote that Raila received from the Luo Nyanza.

Assuming that it is justified to kill the Kikuyus because they voted overwhelmingly for Kibaki; what justification is there to kill people from the Kisii community? A close look at the voting patterns in Kisii reveals that voters in the region were very generous to Raila Odinga. The region elected MPs from diverse parties including ODM.

I was not shocked reading William Ruto’s justification for the tribal cleansing.
‘William Ruto is a senior adviser to Odinga, the opposition candidate. He is a Kalenjin who represents Eldoret North. He says that many of Kenya's ethnic groups have been angry that the country's wealth is believed to have been put in the hands of only a few.
Ruto and his fellow leaders with the Orange Democratic Movement have repeatedly called for their followers to be calm. Yet he has been singled out by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights as a leader who should be prosecuted for allegedly promulgating hate speech prior to the election. He vehemently denies the claim.’

Voice of America, Jan 14, 2008

A number of victims have pointed fingers at William Ruto accusing him of promoting and funding the genocide. His links to the genocide go back to the time when he was a leader in the “Youth for Kanu 92”. The group was accused of raising funds to cause violence.
Late last year Ruto supplied gumboots and spotlights to his supporters in the Sondu area. Leaders who accompanied him accused “foreigners” of buying all land making the natives landless. Ruto’s tour to the region was immediately followed by the eviction and killing of members of the Kisii tribe. (Nation, October 30, 2007)

Leaders in ODM claiming to be proponents of democracy are yet to come out and defend the right of Kenyans to vote as they wish. Instead they are using fear and making Kenyans who did not vote for Raila Odinga blame themselves for exercising their democratic right.

Today in parliament, ODM leaders tried to force ODM members of parliament to display their ballots before casting them. The sole purpose of doing this was to intimidate and scare MPs into electing Raila Odinga’s choice for speaker.

Murder and death threats should not be used as tools to protect democracy.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Indeed murder and death should not be used at all. But in your deepest conviction you know kibaki rigged this election unless you’re blinded by tribal zeal. Will Kenya go the Somali way? Most probably if grievances are not promptly addressed. There is a deep correlation between peace and justice and justice at times requires bending the rules for the sake of keeping the peace. One ought to be at times in the wrong just to be in the right to cool down the deep seated African tribal sentiments.

I believe this is a phase we are going through as we advance and let us collectively steer the Kenyan boat carefully until we cross this stormy waters and one day with the Grace of Allah we will be able to discuss the economy and foreign policy rather than our tribal background. We say in our culture tribalism is like an onion you will keep on peeling off until nothing remains. Right now we are holding our onions in our hands please put it back and don’t start peeling them off! We may start with kikuyu, luo, kalenjin etc and few years of intensive civil strife the need will arise to reclassify kikuyus, luos and kalanejins into sub-clans and then it goes on and on and not to mention the ugly products of a civil war; refugees, hunger, poverty, war, and a final disintegration of Kenya.

Right now kibaki commands the control of the uniformed men but how long will it last before the aggrieved parties resort to the same tactics and start buying weapons abundantly found in our neighboring countries?

Mkosa nchi said...

hey why do u go AWOL for along time and u have good info? plse keep on giving us good info and well researched articles. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Kenyans Mid Air Hostages
It is amazing to see the justification that we continue to give for the Kenya Genocide. It all began with Raila declaring that if Kibaki would be declared winner then we will have anothe Cote d'Ivoire. That is what we actually got! Was it well calculated and planned, armed and ready to hit?

Look at it this way, the country was soaring high, on 26th December before even voting started, people started been killed in Kisumu and observers and agents locked out of the entire of Nyanza (Raila's Stonghold). Then on 29th December night Kikuyus are hit in Eldoret (ODM Ruto's stronghold).

This is a clear case of taking of Kenya hostage in mid air to use its passengers as a barganing chip for political end! Whatever cause for the action, the perpetrators are criminals! If they are linked to ODM elements them, the ODM is a partner in the criminality.

As a nation we may allow negotiations just an avenue for saving the passengers in this craft but if another means can be obtained without risking the lives of the hostages, these criminals should just be arrested and dealt with to the fullest extent of law. If even the negotiations are concluded these criminals must be prosecuted.

I also feel it is very wrong for UK, US and EU to side with the cause of the criminals who are taking Kenyans hostage because regardless of their justification, what they are doing is criminal and should not happen in a democratic state! It cannot be condoned regradless of the reason.

One who takes an air craft hostage is never justified wehatever, the cause, how then can we justify the reckless acts of ODM which are taking this country hostage. If this continues the plane will crash land soon because it is running out of fuel and the pilot is injured.

Geoffrey