Everybody is talking about the elections as people are losing their heads (literally) in Rift Valley. In recent times we have seen attacks that reminds us about the Rwanda genocide.
We had the Eldoret Massacre where women and children -mainly from the Kikuyu community- who were taking refuge in a church were burned to ashes by Raila Odinga supporters from the Kalenjin community. That was unprecedented in the history of Kenya.
We had the siege of Baraton University by the Kalenjin militia that demanded the ejection of Kikuyu, Kisii, Meru, Kamba and Embu students and faculty so that they could be slaughtered.
At the Kaptein tea estate, 40 workers from the Kisii community were killed by Kalenjin raiders. Today there is news that Kisiis have left the Chebown tea estate in fear of being exterminated. I have received a number of emails from people who are reporting missing relatives. (I am compiling a list of the dead and missing that I will post here shortly.)
Kass FM (a radio station that broadcasts in the Kalenjin languages) has been on the fore in creating the notion that Rift Valley is a homeland for the Kalenjins. Other tribes were portrayed as foreigners.
Late last year, Kass FM organized an open Marathon in conjunction with Safaricom (a government venture with Vodafone) and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). The station imposed a rule that only Kalenjins would win prizes in the race. This proved controversial since government funds were to be used in the race. This was the first time in independent Kenyan that that ethnicity was officially used to segregate athletes.
It took the intervention of the Athletics Kenya (AK) chairman Isaiah Kiplagat and some top Kenyan athletes for Kass FM to drop this discriminative rule.
AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat told the Sunday Nation in Eldoret that he had directed the organisers to allow all those who registered to run "and be given full prize irrespective of whether the winner is a Kalenjin or not." He said it was unfortunate for the organisers to sideline other communities by only allowing Kalenjins to race, a move that he said, had made one of the sponsors to pull out.
The Nation (Nairobi), 9 December 2007
Kenyan should come together and protect their right to own property in any part of the country without fear of being annihilated. We should come together to protect our freedom of movement. Kenya belongs to all of us. Every single inch of it.