What The Economist says about the Kenyan crisis...
No time to be nice
Initially, America, which sees Kenya as a front-line ally in a war against Islamist militias in neighbouring Somalia, made the mistake of endorsing the president's re-election. Now Britain, America and the African Union are urging Mr Odinga and Mr Kibaki to talk in an effort to stop the bloodletting. That lets Mr Kibaki off the hook far too easily. All the violence should certainly be condemned, but most of the diplomatic pressure should be exerted on Mr Kibaki's supposed new government to annul the results and organise a recount—or a new vote.
If Mr Kibaki will not do this, the rest of the world should suspend direct aid to his regime and impose a travel ban on his officials. That is the least the wretched people of Kenya have a right to expect from their friends abroad.
Read Economist article
Kenyans have a lot to learn from The Economist. This weekly has been successful because it is opinionated and many times it is bang on target. Being balanced does not mean ignoring the truth. In fact the reason why Kenya is in this mess in the first place is because we (at least most of us) ignored the simmering tribal tensions for years pretending that they did not exist. Indeed many of us are still doing that. This time the excuse is that it will heighten tribal tensions.
It is instructive that it was also The Economist that first brought to light the drunken parties that went on in State House late into the night and into the early hours of the morning. This happened in the early days of the Kibaki administration in 2003. Not many Kenyans got to read that article because somebody went round purchasing all the copies of the Economist they could find. Alas, it was an early warning signal that many missed.
This is interesting because the obvious manner in which the rigging was done this December resembles exactly what an arrogant group of drunkards would do. By the time they sobered up, Kenya was burning.
One of the mysteries Kenyans will have to solve when all this is over is who was behind the decision to do what was done. Only a mad man would have made such a call.
It seems that the rest of the world unlike most Kenyans is ready to call a spade a spade. The US assistant secretary of State Jendayi Frazer said it yesterday and the French said it. They have all said; the elections were rigged. In fact the French put it bluntly;
'Were the elections rigged or not? I think so, many think so, the Americans think so, the British think so, and they know the country well,' Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said.
Let the mediation efforts begin at that point, for the sake of Kenyans.
P.S. The ODM rallies planned for today have been called off by ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga. He gave the reason for the cancellation as the fact that he has been assured that internationally mediated talks would begin soon.
Oxford dictionary additional entries for the year
1. Kivuitu – a liar, a thief, a dubious person, an
untrustworthy individual, a person of
questionable character and/or credentials
2. Kibaki - (Same as No. 1 above) To do "a Kibaki" also means to commit suicide or a suicide bomber. Make a move that costs many lives.
3. Lucy Wambui - (Same as No. 1 & 2 above)
4. Form 16 A - (Opposite of No. 1, 2 & 3 above)