A genocide is going on in Kenya yet the world is dismissing it as 'ordinary' post election violence.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Attacking one's neighbour is misplaced anger
Story by PHILIP OCHIENG Publication Date: 1/6/2008
I can understand your anger. But to understand is not to condone. I cannot condone your bid to wreak revenge on the wrong person. Those who have plunged our country into this humanitarian catastrophe — the Electoral Commission of Kenya — have practically admitted it.
But, even without such a mea culpa, all intelligent persons knew that, if anybody criminally interfered with the ECK, it could only be a few individuals with political clout. In short, if there was any vote rip-off, you could not blame it on the Kikuyu, Embu and Meru.
It should be obvious that, in their millions, these so-called Gema people did not – indeed, cannot – sneak into any Government redoubt at night to participate in such a heinous crime.
That is why I say that, if you have personally attacked a Kikuyu or Meru at any urban centre, then you have misdirected your anger. By hitting the wrong target, you have wasted your political energy completely.
If you have killed any Kenyan on account of his ethnic identity with the individuals who may have stolen your votes — if you have burnt his house or looted his shop — you have committed an unspeakable crime against a compatriot who has nothing whatsoever to do with your political agony.
And what you have done is completely futile. For elementary logic tells me that, if the Government is your pet-peeve, then it is against the Government that you should vent your anger using any one of what our newspaper correspondents call “crude weapons”.
For the “mere” fact that you have killed a Kikuyu or two in Kapenguria or looted a Meru shop or two at Kendu Bay will not affect the Government in any way whatsoever. A modicum of intelligence should tell you that your onslaughts on Gema individuals cannot hurt any Government interest.
The incivilities and barbarisms with which you have treated your Gema compatriots at Awendo, Eldama Ravine, Garissa, Homa Bay, Kapsabet, Kericho, Kisii, Koibatek, Lamu, Mbita, Mumias, Ngong, Siaya, Wundanyi and other trading centres has only revealed you as a despicable political Neanderthal.
Exactly what gain — political or otherwise — can a man make by setting fire on a church and killing 50 Kenyan children, cherubs who have no idea as yet what it means to be a Kikuyu or a Luo? What anthropological primitivism is this? How can we tolerate such mind-boggling cruelty in our midst?
On the contrary, at least in the short run, our Neanderthal can succeed only in strengthening the official resolve to do what the Government — any government — knows best, namely, to quell the anarchy with all brawn. And, in the circumstances, no Kenyan of feeling and thought will blame the Government.
Another question of logic. If the interests of the Luo, Luhya, Kalenjin and Mijikenda are what are egging you into taking the law into your own hands, then you are astonishingly blind. For hundreds of thousands of Luo, Luhya, Kalenjin and Mijikenda people live and work in Gemaland.
By attacking Kikuyu, Embu and Meru individuals who live and work in Luoland, Ingo, Rift Valley and Mwambao, you may succeed only in provoking the Kikuyu and consanguine communities to take revenge upon the Luo, Luhya, Kalenjin and Mwambao individuals who live in Central Province and the northern parts of Eastern.
In other words, because you have no brain, you — the murderous Luo, Luhya, Kalenjin and Mijikenda hooligans — are unaware that you are gravely endangering the lives of your own kind – many of them relatives – who otherwise have lived peaceful lives among the communities whom you demonise with such alacrity.
But I repeat that, as communities, the Kikuyu, Embu and Meru can never wrong you. What can wrong you are only individuals among them. These include the individuals whom you now suspect to have robbed you of your votes and denied you your sacred political rights.
These are the ones against whom all Kenyans — including all Gema individuals of thought and feeling — ought to put to task. I have no idea how to do it. How do we get out of the imbroglio into which the ECK has thrown this country? How do we salve the tribal nerves frayed by the selfishness of the political class?
Perhaps you can begin by asking yourself why you have allowed the self-pursuits of politicians to incense you into going for one another’s throats as members of tribes. Why have you allowed politicians to caress your lowest tribal sentiments and thus vitiate all the efforts you have been making to build yourselves into a single nation?
Why have you allowed politicians to fill you with such mutual ethnic hatred from which only the politicians — and not you individually or collectively — can gain anything? Why this misplaced anger?