The footage shown on KTN TV last night was a heart-stopper. A young man wearing a black top appeared to be making faces or taunting a policeman who was off camera. Suddenly the lone policeman appeared on camera and aimed his gun at the unarmed protestor (he did not even have a stone in his hands).
The lone policeman fired again and as he advanced towards the two youths now prostrate on the ground, the young man with the black top gets up and takes a few steps before he falls again. He later died. His colleague is in a Kisumu hospital fighting for his life.
One would have expected that this would be the front page story on all the newspapers. This footage was confirmation that police in Kenya are deliberately shooting to kill (they have been ordered to do so. I will tell you in a minute why). It would be confirmation of what we have been saying in this blog since all this madness began. A vast majority of the people who have died so far have been felled by police bullets. It seems that the strategy was to scare the public into submission. But here Mwai Kibaki made another terrible miscalculation. He does not realize that the point of suffering that many Kenyans have reached is worse than death itself and therefore in many ways, death is kinder than life itself. A terrible thing to say, but the truth.
Many Kenyans in comfortable jobs who are reading this are more than a little puzzled as to why Kibera people knowing full well that the police have been shooting to kill, would still come out and taunt the police. To them it defies logic. Some will say it is the “usual Luo mentality.”
Many of these Kenyans are also not aware of the common practice in the Kibera slums (amongst all tribes and not just Luos) for some years now of stepping in front of a moving vehicle deliberately. The idea is to get knocked down so that you can demand for some cash from the car driver to put something in your stomach. If the impact is too much and the person dies, alas, at least they were trying to do something to get a meal. Death is kinder than life in the hell hole that is a slum.
This is the really dangerous thing about the Kenyan situation that Kibaki and Michuki will not understand in 100 years. It is exactly what can tip the scales and cause a full blown civil war to break out in this country.
Media houses in Kenya have numerous journalists on the ground who have been witnessing many of the atrocities on the ground, not a word of the true situation on the ground concerning the killings has been printed or said on air.
Part of the answer is in my next post.
KTN and The Standard are increasingly shining as the only media houses that dare to report as close to the truth as they can. Kudos, your place in history is already guaranteed.