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Monday, January 21, 2008

Chasing the Rat as the House Kenya Burns

Summoning of the UK's envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to demand a forced recognition of Kibaki's government is an apt case of reversed priorities. Wetangula may be doing his job by soothing the ego of whoever pays and butters his bread. But on the same breathe the good 'lawyer' must not be NAIVE to demand recognition of an ILLEGITIMATE government.

The British government was told of a Mr Kibaki whom they urged to dialogue with his competitor a Mr. Odinga and there lies the bare facts. Playing games with such weighty diplomatic matters is definitely a lose-lose situation. This is one war Wetangula is destined to lose even before he starts. In retrospection he is unwittingly providing a face for egg plastering.

One would be occasionally tempted sell ice cream to an Eskimo. Instead of addressing sideshows, how I wish the MP for Sirisia would put his brilliant legal acumen to good use by advising his boss Emilio to face the truth and save Kenya from the furnace he started on December 30, 2007. But agian you don't expect a goat to appreciate the melody from a guitar no matter expertise of the maestro strumming the strings.

As Kibaki and his cronies shamelessly and insensitively chase after rats escaping the burning house, more Kenyans continue to be butchered across the country courtesy of his belligerence. Speak of insensitivity at its zenith.

Make no mistake, human blood is never shed in vain and one day (no matter how long) it will be time to met justice and it will surely be served cold and unadulterated.


Anonymous said...

from the January 14, 2008 edition -

The real reason for Kenya's violence
Contrary to popular belief, it isn't simply 'tribal' or 'spontaneous.'

By Jacqueline M. Klopp


Hundreds have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in the three weeks since Kenya's hotly disputed presidential elections. Once considered an island of stability in Africa, the country is suffering what the media has called a "shocking outbreak of violence" and "tribal clashes."

The key questions we should be asking are: Who is responsible for this violence? How is it happening? But we will not ask these questions if we continue to see the current violence as simply a spontaneous outburst of anger at the election rigging or "tribal warfare."

The international community must realize that Kenya's violence today is fueled by strongmen on both sides of the political divide. They are exploiting ethnic identity, pitting one community against another, as a means to gain power. It is a practice with a long history in Kenyan politics.

The fury of the violence may look like "tribal warfare" linked to election anger, especially in the worst instances of ethnic cleansing – as in Eldoret, where women and children were burned alive in a church. A common explanation is that members of the Kikuyu community are facing retaliation from others for their longtime "dominance." Like Kenya's first president, Jomo Kenyatta, President Mwai Kibaki is Kikuyu; opposition leader Raila Odinga is Luo.

Part of the violence is not directly organized and is instead linked to confrontations between protesters and police, who have a history of brutality. Many understandably feel rage at the election fraud carried out on behalf of Mr. Kibaki. But much of the ethnicized violence is linked to organized efforts by political strongmen who have experience playing divide-and-rule.

Remember Daniel arap Moi? He was Kenya's president from 1978 to 2002. He and most of his cohorts during this time were Kalenjin. In the 1990s, they faced the probable loss of power in multiparty elections to an opposition that included many Kikuyu. In response, Mr. Moi's men filled their campaigns with hate against all Kikuyu and convinced many that any member of that group, from a child to a poor farmer, represented "Kikuyu domination."

This ploy conveniently shifted blame from Moi and his mostly non-Kikuyu crowd who had been in power for years. It shifted attention away from the massive land grabbing and corruption they continued from the previous government that helped put the poor, including the numerous Kikuyu poor, in slums or sent them across the country in search of a small patch of land to eke out a living.

Sadly, this anti-Kikuyu campaign gained supporters among unemployed youth who learned to project their problems onto a Kikuyu face. Poor men were given weapons and paid to kill and displace. In return, they were promised or sold vacated land. Ultimately, in the 1990s, thousands of people died and almost half a million were displaced. This violence helped Moi's small group of corrupt "big men" stay in power for a decade. In the deeply flawed elections of 1992 and 1997, displacement became a form of gerrymandering.

Not one person has been tried, let alone convicted, for these killings and displacements. The international community at the time seemed quite ready to forget as well.

Since his election in 2002, Kibaki has collaborated in this deliberate forgetting. Part of the reason was that he had brought into his ruling coalition many of the worst perpetrators of violence. They could deliver votes in key areas and were willing to drop their anti-Kikuyu rhetoric once in power.

Mr. Odinga, the opposition leader, has also brought notorious ethnic cleansers into his coalition. Their anti-Kikuyu rhetoric is a useful political tool against the Kikuyu incumbent.

All these advocates of violence have lived with complete impunity. They have learned that they could preach hate, organize youth to kill and displace, and be rewarded with a cabinet post. They could get rid of voters who were unlikely to support them. They could use violence for bargaining power at the national level, something that appears to be happening today. The current project of "ethnic cleansing" in the Rift Valley suggests that some politicians, this time allied mostly with the opposition, have learned these lessons well.

The key lesson for the international community to learn from past violence is that a new government alone, especially if it welcomes perpetrators of violence into its core, cannot fix this deep problem of strongmen politics.

This time we must demand a thorough and independent investigation into all forms of violence. We should demand that those guilty of organizing, funding, or authorizing killings from any ethnic community be, at a minimum, excluded from high office. Let us not forget that this violence has a history and perpetrators and that there are responsibilities to be assigned. This time let us demand justice and not repeat the mistakes of the past. Otherwise, we set more roadblocks on Kenya's path toward a just, democratic, and truly civil society.

Jacqueline M. Klopp is a professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Taabu said...

Anon @10.41 thanks for the cut-and-paste from Prof Klopp. Despite being a very informative and acdemic piece WHAT IS THE RELEVANCE with the post herwith?

We don't fail exams because we are stupid but choosing to set your own questions and answring them while ignoring the instructions. Meanwhile ask yourself WHAT is the root cause of present violence? Be honest to yourself and don't hide under armchair journal articles. More are dying and the head is deep down in the sand.

Anonymous said...

Mwalimu, now that the WHOLE WORLD wants to get involved in our rescue mission has it worked? "it" what you may ask?
"it" incompetent leadership ever since 1979
"it" corruption in all its myriad forms and diverse manifestations
"it" tribalism
"it" includes anything we have been sweeping under the carpet and twiddling our thumbs whistling looking in all directions but up while silently the firewood was being kindled and the embers set alight for what we now see was a nationwide bonnfire
Thank you Prof. Klopp and Jenday Frazier etc but i would not presume that if ever the great US of A or even our former colonisers the EU including the UK were ever in a fix of any sort they would be phoning Ambassador Muchiri and his Kenyan colleagues in those western capitals for advice and opinion
All Kenyans know the answer lies within Kenya-we're being held ransom by adult babies in politicians clothing playing around with 34 million minus 1000 lives-and its only mid January
Sadly i was right when i said last year that come January 2008 Kenyans will wake up to the biggest mistake of their lives
anyway, who cares about who was right or wrong?same thing as false cries for peace in the absence of justice

This Is Africa said...

This happened in Liberia in 1989, it might happen in Kenya in 2008 if no one stands down.

Watch the similarities between the Liberian situation and the Kenyan situation. Very similar - with small differences.

This Is Africa - The Liberian Story

Anonymous said...

It's common sense that Britain has an axe to grind with Kibaki regime due to cancelled contracts in favour of China and Eastern Tigers.

Kenya is no longer a colony of UK and we can very well live without their aid. Britain should be busy addressing their genocide "Gulag" in Kenya before independence and dishing out compensation packages.

Currently, I wish their military could be kicked out of Archer's Post training ground near Nanyuki. It's on record that all they do there is rape women who go out to fetch firewood and water.

Britain has the bloodiest history ever from domination, exploitation, colonization and enabling looted cash from poor nations be stashed in their banks.

They should be busy confronting their issues with Muslim countries not poking their snout on our affairs. If they don't recognize the govt, why can't they withdraw their High Comm Mr Adam Wood as a sign of protest?

Well done Hon Wetangula for standing up for our sovereignity. We can very well solve our own problems without white supremacists interfering.


M-Pesa. NBI Kenya,

Anonymous said...

The kenyan people say no to the deaths.The kenyan people,want to know,why they have been allowed to happen.The kenyan people demand and end to these deaths.All leaders in the country to be held equally accountable.And by the way,were are the voices of the members of parliament? why are they silent?

Anonymous said...

The way forward is to have a new presidential election but barring the warlords Kibaki, Raila,Ruto and opportunist Kalonzo from contesting

Moyo Mkunjufu said...

Wetangula can talk all he wants under the protection of his masters in Nairobi. Let him try this in his home constituency in Sirisia. Probably they promised him land in Murang'a. If not he better start looking for some huko.

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