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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sacrificing National Integrity at the Altar Of Tribal Pettiness

Guest Post by Peter Ngugi

This is an open letter to Messrs Mwai Kibaki, the President of the Republic of Kenya and Raila Odinga, the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement.

Sirs, I know that you must be too busy to get time to read this letter but I am very sure that one of your many lieutenants will read it in your stead and convey the message to you.

Sirs, I – like millions other Kenyans – am very angry with you for plunging our country into an abyss of tribal turmoil. I hold you solely responsible for all the mayhem engulfing our beloved country. If this country goes to the dogs, your names and those of your progenies will forever be associated with tribal tyranny and downright barbarism.

I am really saddened by your role in the creation of value systems that have blatantly divided us along tribal lines and thus made us slaves and refugees in the land of our birth. It is high time that you understood that the fundamental tenets of true Kenyanness lie not in tribes and empty political talk but in the ability to spiritedly strive to invalidate schemes whose principal aim is to cause ethnic animosity.

Sirs, it is upon you to start the healing process for, we the citizenry, are sick and tired of your political bickering, empty rhetoric and chest thumping. The Nation hurts- nay it is bleeding profusely and is almost in its deathbed. Sirs, is this the Second Liberation we so intently fought for? Did we strive to kick out the draconian leaders of yester years so that you can set the stage for sacrificing the integrity of our country at the altar of pettiness and outright demagoguery? How much more innocent blood do you want spilt so that you can see the graveness of the matter?

Sirs, you must not allow our country to sink lower than it has already sunk. You have held our country to ransom for far too long as the humanitarian situation deteriorates by the minute.

I beseech thee to put the interests of Kenya before your own. You have got to act swiftly to restore our national integrity.

Faithfully,

Mwalimu Peter N Ngugi

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am just tired of people calling on Raila to help bring peace. It is Kibaki who holds the key to peace in Kenya. What can Raila do if even addressing his supporters is not allowed. Surely, for us to be able to go beyond the current state of anarchy, we must be prepared to state the truth. What has got us to this mess? It is Kibaki and PNU more than anybody else. It is him that we should appeal to. How many times has ODM indicated its willingness to negotiate? And how may times has Kibaki frustrated it. People who feel Raila has anything to with restoring peace should go alittle further and spell what exactly do they want him to do.

Anonymous said...

Ahem, "Mwalimu" Ngugi, who stole the election? I respect your right to your opinion but if you want integrity, bring the same to this forum, not just hot air. In case you have just arrived from another planet, what is the cause of the current crisis? Who has overseen the further polarization of this country by flagrant discrimination against other tribes, overt theft of an election????? Once you figure that out you will channel your frustration in the right direction. Your "President" believed Raila was utterly unelectable, then he underestimated the zeal and tenacity of many Kenyans when he stole the elections. He thought this was the 80's when people scratched their heads in amazement at rigged elections but moved on quietly. He further thought that they would cluck around for a few days and go back to work or their homes because their need to feed their families would outweigh their anger over the circumstances. Then he thought, let me just slaughter those who dare to demonstrate and things will quickly go back to normal. [Side note - where we these well equipped forces when Mungiki was terrorizing wananchi???] All that hasn't worked, he and his "followers" are facing a situation he never anticipated. Now, they may be trying to kill off the opposition to gain a majority in Parliament.

Therefore, please redirect your righteous indignation accordingly! Thank you very much!

AJA said...

Mwalimu,

Whereas I support the gist of your message, I disagree with the addressee. The whole world knows waht Kibaki did to spark this mayhem - steel the election. What did Raila do to be grouped together with Kibaki. Why do we want to blur the distinction btween the thief and the victim?????

Anonymous said...

mmmmm, it is the job of the "DULY ELECTED AND SWORN PRESIDENT" to ensure there is peace and order in Kenya. However, if he has no legitimacy, then, let him RESIGN.

Stop this nonsense of saying RO should do that and that. He has done his part by winning elections in a democratic manner. It is for those who messed up with the elections to take responsibility for the mess. He had the MANDATE, DUTY & RESPONSIBILITY to ensure FREE, FAIR & TRANSPARENT elections. To the extent he failed to do that, it is enough reason for him to GO HOME.

In any case, what do you expect Kenyans to do? Lie low like Zimbambeans so that MK can rule without our mandate? It must be made crystal clear that Kenyans will not accept monkey business when it comes to elections.

Anonymous said...

I truelly agree with your comment. Kibaki is sleeping while the country is burning to ashes while he puports to be our "duly elected and sworn in president."

What else do we need to prove he is incompetent? He should just resign.

Anonymous said...

Moi put the wrong person in detention without trial; he must have had some inkling when he moved vp to minister of health; despite moi's faults today he appears to be one of the few kenyans who has demonstrated the ability to have peace, harmony, and all tribes getting along rather than than having 2500 deaths, and 500,000 displaced; and he has demonstrated he can leave office peacefully;

Anonymous said...

Ngugi you are missing the point entirely.

The election was simply a trigger. What we are seeing is the result of policies that have promoted economic inequality, unresolved land queries and weak democratic institutions - problems that have been allowed to accumulate over decades.

The only way to ensure that the blood that has been shed is not wasted is to emerge from 2008 with a new constitution amongst other democratic reforms.

Silaha said...

Ngugi:

At the end of the day, regardless of what you say here, your name is Ngugi and people will only see you as an apologist for Kibaki.

Your sentiments match mine exactly. I feel that they have both let us down time and again. But consistent with traits demonstrated even prior to the election, Kenyans refuse to hear what does not reinforce their Weltanschauung 100%.

Things are not looking good for us, for our country.

-Silaha

Anonymous said...

Ngugi I sympathise with you. However, you have to realise that peace and dictatorships are incompatible.

The violence needs to end. But to ensure that it does not recur every 5 or 10 years, the current negotiations must result in REAL democratic reforms.

Anonymous said...

Kenya has hit an all time post colonial low. My hope is that we learn from this moving forward and make the necessary long-term changes to ensure it does not happen again.

Anonymous said...

PEACE-IT IS CLASS WAR. STUPID- John Barbieri

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"More specifically, the organized violence following the elections must be framed as political elites manipulating their supporters (including paying and equipping armed militias and using the armed instruments of the State) to inflict violence on their behalf;............








Kenya
The poverty of international journalism
The author considers three particularly dangerous, pervasive myths and misrepresentations that have appeared in the media in the USA - and elsewhere - in covering Kenya's post election crisis. DN

23 January 2008 - n Barbieri (*John Barbieri is an independent reporter who lived in Kenya from Jan.-June 2007. )
Source: Pambazuka News 338
www.pambazuka.org
The poverty of international journalism

First, let me honorably mention that the title of this piece is borrowed from Kenyan journalist, Rebecca Wanjiku [1]. As most others, I have watched in dismay and outrage at the events in Kenya following the announcement on Dec. 30th of the (manipulated) election results. I have been equally, if not more so, dismayed, outraged and disgusted by how the situation and violence there has been depicted and framed in the international media, especially here in the United States. In almost all of the recent coverage and commentary on Kenya in the mainstream U.S. media there have been three particularly dangerous and pervasive myths and misrepresentations that have appeared. All of these myths have been previously commented on by much more eminent figures than I, but perhaps it will help to restate and further comment on all of them in one place.

Three Pervasive Myths and Misrepresentations

First, this is not 'ethnic conflict.' Similar to the way that most African conflicts get reported, there is the ubiquitous framing of the situation as conflict solely being driven by ethnicity. This is most profoundly seen in the statements of 'tribal conflict'; it must be made clear that this is an extremely racist, antiquated and inaccurate depiction of the situation. Though there has been an ethnic factor to some of the conflict, this factor is largely overemphasized at expense of the more pervasive factor of the rich/ poor and the gross inequities in resource distribution across and among 'ethnic lines' (that is as if such lines could be so clearly drawn). As many have more articulately said elsewhere the situation must be re-framed as a political conflict.

More specifically, the organized violence following the elections must be framed as political elites manipulating their supporters (including paying and equipping armed militias and using the armed instruments of the State) to inflict violence on their behalf; it is so-called leaders fomenting hatred among their supporters all for their own personal benefit; and it is power-hungry politicians willing to do whatever it takes, literally willing to throw Kenyans' lives away in their attempt to do it, and to be so disgustingly eager to use that violence as a mere pressure point on the national and international community to get/retain power. Both parties were guilty of this, but in particular the man sworn in as President has employed the disproportionate brutal force of the police and military, especially the General Service Unit.

The repercussions of depicting the situation as solely ethnically- driven can be seen in the distorted sense of history and context for all conflicts in Africa and elsewhere. One of the most pervasive historical misconstructions is especially evident in the popular writings and collective memory of the Rwandan genocide, which continue to frame the genocide as being simply the result of primordial 'tribal conflict.' In so doing the context and history of the genocide is obfuscated by neglecting the ongoing role played by the brutal legacy of the colonial power (Belgium in the case of Rwanda) and of national, regional and international politics following 'independence.'

Second, this is not a 'shock.' We need to attack the myths and claims being reported that the developments in Kenya are a great 'shock,' and that this is a great blow to a 'beacon of stability, democracy and economic growth in Africa.' For anyone who knows the history of Kenya, the history of colonialism and the history since 'independence,' they know that these developments are not a shock and that they have been long in the making. The developments are directly connected to the inability of the Kenyan government to come to terms with the brutal legacy and power distributions inherited from British rule, including the constitution itself.

And specifically the developments were written all over the wall leading up to the election to anyone who was paying attention to the fomenting of ethnic tension by Kibaki/PNU and Odinga/ODM, yet too few seemed willing to acknowledge it. Anyone who claims that this is a 'shock' is either blatantly ignorant, dishonest or practices mere wishful thinking to be so naïve. And anyone who claims that Kenya is a grand 'beacon of stability, democracy and economic growth in Africa' misrepresents the hardships and injustices that the vast majority of Kenyans desperately face on a daily basis; they also inaccurately depict the past five years of the 'booming economic growth' witnessed under the Kibaki regime, which through exorbitant amounts of corruption and increasing income inequality has ensured that the benefits from that robust economic growth has by-and-large reached only the very elite.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, is the role of the U.S. It must be made clear, and people must fully understand, the large role that the U.S. has been playing in Kenya and throughout eastern Africa. The U.S. has keenly been trying to build up allies in East Africa and the Horn of Africa to counterbalance other perceived 'threat' countries in the region. These key U.S. allies include Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. These allies are meant to act as a counter-balance to the 'threats' of Sudan (the Bashir regime), Eritrea and the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) in Somalia. The Bush administration has clearly supported incumbent Kibaki due to the fact that his government has been one of these key allies in the 'war on terror' in the East and the Horn of Africa.

The Kibaki administration has allowed and worked closely with the U.S. on supposed 'terrorist' raids along the coast of Kenya. The Kenyan Anti-Terrorism Unit (with American and British support) has conducted these extralegal anti-terrorism operations along the Kenyan coast, targeting the sizeable Muslim population there. According to human rights organizations in Kenya these anti- terrorism operations have included the roundup, torture and extradition of Muslims (to Somalia, Ethiopia and elsewhere) without being charged or given a trial, similar to 'war on terror' operations elsewhere. The people, nearly all of whom are Muslims, being targeted are dubiously claimed to be Al Qaeda operatives or a part of other subversive terrorist organizations.

Similarly, Kenya was an ally during the U.S.-supported invasion of Somalia by Ethiopian forces to overthrow the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) in southern Somalia exactly one year ago. What was, and still is, routinely missed in the story of the UIC is how they helped to implement order, stability and social services that had not been seen in southern Somalia for nearly 15 years; and how the UIC was primarily an effort to depose corrupt warlords (many of whom were being backed by the U.S.), not to impose an international Al Qaeda-like jihadist movement as many claim(ed). Kenya's (i.e., the Kibaki administration's) role in the military operations included working with U.S. forces along the Kenya-Somalia border and the ubiquitous sharing of 'intelligence,' but they also played a more direct role as well.

At the onset of the invasion, the Kenyan military, seemingly at the behest of the U.S., closed off its border with Somalia and refused entry to all Somalis, including refugees, trying to flee southern Somalia. Soon after, the U.S. conducted air strikes in southern Somalia killing at least 30 people, most, if not all, of whom were probably fleeing civilians, not 'Al Qaeda operatives' as was alleged. In short, the Bush administration had clear 'national security' ambitions in seeking that Kibaki, as a key 'war on terror' ally in eastern Africa, stay in power. Also, add to this the vested American, UK and other European business interests in Kenya as well, who likely did not care for Odinga's 'social democratic' platform which was posing the threat of more taxes and redistributive wealth.

The biggest blow to U.S. credibility and neutrality in the matter, though, came immediately after the election results were announced. Incredulously, the U.S. State Department quickly came out and congratulated the man sworn in as President on his 'victory.' This was done despite the fact that every diplomat in the country clearly knew of the irregularities in the election and the hastily swearing in process of the President. Realizing its mistake the State Department quickly moved to retract this congratulatory statement, and then issued a statement calling an end to the violence and for the situation to be resolved through 'constitutional and legal remedies.'

However, it is quite clear that these 'remedies' are blatantly weighted in the incumbent's favor and thus will merely support the status quo: Kibaki and corruption. Since January 4th the U.S. has been pursuing the diplomacy route with Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer, who has now departed, and Ambassador Michael Ranneberger leading these attempts. However, it is was disturbing that despite Frazer's close watch and ongoing separate talks with both sides, she (and therefore the U.S. in general) was not able to prevent Kibaki from disastrously going ahead and filling the most critical posts in the President's cabinet.

More recently it should be no surprise that the few Heads of State who have come out and congratulated Kibaki on his 'victory' are also key 'war on terror' allies of the Bush administration. These Heads of State include: President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda (who has received much aid from the Bush administration and has been crucial in supplying troops for the AU force in Somalia), transitional President Abdullahi Yusuf of Somalia (who the U.S., Ethiopia and Kenya helped reinstate after the overthrow of the UIC), Sheikh Sabah of Kuwait, King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and Prime Minister Themba Dlamini of Swaziland. An excerpt from Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf's congratulatory message to President Kibaki is worth quoting: '...both our countries must remain strong partners on the global war on terror and steadfast Allies in protecting freedom.'

Further still, Uganda's stark dependence on Kenyan supply routes and Museveni's close relationship with Kibaki must be stressed, and therefore the widespread reports that the Uganda People's Defense Force is masquerading as police, destroying property and killing people in western Kenya must be seriously addressed!

As others have already made clear (e.g., Mukoma wa Ngugi [2], Wandia Njoya [3], etc.), it should not be assumed that Odinga/ODM is somehow inherently antithetical to the interests of the U.S. and of international capital; the extravagant fuss over Odinga's Hummer was perhaps one highly illustrative example of his true nature as an elite who gladly enjoys connections to the West and living well above the rest of Kenyans.

Also, it should not be believed that U.S. support for corrupt and autocratic Kenyan leaders started with Bush- Kibaki, it is well-documented how the U.S. had been keenly supporting and arming the preceding 24 year dictatorship of Daniel arap Moi during the final years of Cold War geopolitics and beyond. Lastly, all of this is not meant to suggest a direct U.S. connection to the manipulated election results, but still the overall interests and role of the U.S., and other international actors, in Kenya must be made clear. (For more facts and figures on the U.S.'s military ties to Kenya and incumbent Kibaki see Daniel Volman's excellent short article: [4].)

The Poverty of International Journalism

In all, it has been disgusting how reporters have been so eager to energetically document and provide inaccurate and inhumane commentary on the bloodshed, but have been too unconcerned in trying to actually understand the situation and report what Kenyans are really saying and thinking; although this should certainly come as no surprise. The inspiration and title for this article comes from Kenyan journalist Rebecca Wanjiku's blog, 'The Poverty of International Journalism,' and this excerpt about a broadcast on CNN is worth quoting at length:Understanding the local language is very important when reporting from foreign countries.

For instance on Sunday [January 6th 2008], there was on television an injured man and those carrying him said in Swahili "tunampeleka hospitali" (we are taking him to hospital?) But the journalist's translation was that he had been asked "are you shot or cut?" with the response coming back that he was actually the victim of a shooting. It is unlikely that this was an innocent mistake, the journalist may simply not have cared what was true and what was not; and it is unlikely either that the world audience would have noticed, but using video like this to underline a story you are making up is dishonest reporting.

I have faith that Kenyans will soon be embracing each other, and that we will soon get back to the urgent yet more mundane tasks of kujitafutia riziki - putting food on the table. I hope CNN will be around to cover that and not simply rush on to the next big story. By the way, how comes CNN does not cover American soldiers or civilians bleeding and writhing in pain, yet has no second thought for the dignity of the dead and dying from other countries?

It has been Kenyan journalists and bloggers, like Rebecca, and other local reporters who have been the real champions of correctly depicting and analyzing the situation, and who are actually raising the real desperate concerns of Kenyans. Rather than condescendingly prescribing analysis and treatment from London, New York or even the U.S. embassy in Nairobi (which is, although not as geographically removed, as cognitively removed from the concerns of Kenyans), the mainstream media needs to listen, understand and make clear the history and context of the current situation, and stop speaking so ignorantly and arrogantly about it.

And good journalists need to call out fellow journalists who are perpetuating the pervasive myths and stereotypes (e.g., Canadian journalist, Arno Kopecky's Daily Nation article [5]). I would like to take this opportunity, then, to call out CNN reporter, Zain Verjee. Miss Verjee, as someone who grew up in Kenya, and therefore should know better, it is despicable how you have been playing up the 'ethnic conflict' angle in your TV reporting.

Why are you doing this? Are you callously using the plight of your countrymen/women to simply boost your career ambitions? Why is it that you so seldom let other Kenyans actually speak, and rather choose to just speak 'on their behalf?' Why is it that as someone who has worked on campaigns to spread awareness of violence against women have you not been more vigorously reporting the disproportionate effect that the violence and displacement has had on women in Kenya? Why is it that I have not once heard you mention the role the U.S. is playing in Kenya? Miss Verjee I am sorry that you were hit by a teargas canister during your recent reporting (although it should not have been a surprise given your attempt to 'get the story'), but perhaps you might now feel some of the brutality that so many Kenyans have endured and perhaps now you may start honestly speaking on their behalf and letting their voices be heard.

The situation in Kenya, like all political conflicts (e.g., eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Darfur, eastern Chad, Iraq, Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, etc.), should be vigorously reported, but it must be framed and depicted accurately by incorporating a proper historical context and the perspective of the people there. The perspectives/stories of people there must be told, but they must not be simply trivialized and sensationalized, as is so often done, particularly in the simplemindedness of televised 'reporting.' It is so sad that in the business that is U.S. TV reporting we seldom actually hear the voices of people telling their stories from around the world; rather we too often get a voice-over by some clearly intelligible Western (i.e., 'white-sounding') reporter.

Why not use subtitles!?! Why must these people be robbed from having their voices heard, why must we be robbed from hearing them?!? Or why not find articulate English speakers (there certainly are an abundance of them in Kenya) to speak on their own behalf, and not demean their 'foreignness' by using unwarranted subtitles? And why do we have to wait for 'crisis' situations to hear these voices? Why do we hear, or rather really just see, only the bad? Why do we not hear and see good, fun, silly, playful, uplifting and empowering stories being told every day? Why do we not hear and see stories with depth about love and dreams as often as we superficially see stories about loss and despair?

In conclusion, news without a proper sense of history and context is just a list of jumbled half-truths, and news without a proper respect for and input from the people who are actually affected is just a list of callous stereotypes. In the past week, now that the violence has slightly eased, the U.S. media seems to be losing interest in the situation in Kenya. Forgive the extreme vulgarity, but the mainstream U.S. media appears to send the following double message: we are not interested in Africans or African politics, that is unless there is a full out Rwanda-like bloodbath (with pictures of gruesome machete attacks and all, of course) so we can stereotype all Africans as the savages we think they are. I hope that all journalists, reporters and editors may heed these calls and start acting responsibly and start reporting the truth coming 'out of Africa.'







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anon said...

what happened to all those statements like "an incumbent does not lose an election in Africa". arent these the very reason 6 provinces are fed up? 2 provinces were completely ok with that version of events. cant somebody simply ask kibaki to let go and stop these veiled attempts because no guy from central wants to be the one to "bell the cat".

Anonymous said...

Mwalimu:
You perfectly know there is one and only one culprit in this mayhem: Mzee Kibaki who hasn't and isn't behaving like a real mzee! So, enough of this kind of misinformation in the guise of a call to peace addressed at both Raila and Kibaki!

Anonymous said...

yes I can't see how politicans can joke around smiling and laughing with their collegues on tv when close to 2000+ have been killed and 500,000 displaced; moi is the only one I have seen who talked at length seriously about the plight of the ordinary person affected since elections - see jan10 http://www.marsgroupkenya.org

Anonymous said...

Kenya's infamous Mungiki sect gears up for reprisal killings
By Scott Baldauf
January 29, 2008

NAIROBI, Kenya - They gave warning to the unwelcome neighbors to leave. Then they came – dozens of young men with machetes – and hacked away at any members of the Luo tribe that they could find.
They are the Mungiki, a quasi-religious militia recruited to protect the interests of Kenya's largest and most prosperous ethnic group, the Kikuyus. Nearly finished off last summer during a government crackdown, the Mungikis have reemerged in a series of recent attacks in the Nairobi slum of Mathare that killed three and maimed more than a dozen others.
"When you see that your tribesmen are being sidelined and then slaughtered, you have to stand up and say 'No.' We fight back," says Peter, a senior Mungiki, who spoke on condition that his real name be withheld.

"Mainly our strategy is to be brutal and to send a message," he shrugs. "Sometimes it means beheading or dismembering. But the goal is to instill fear and send a message that unless they don't change what they are doing something bigger will happen to them."

Human rights activists say that militias like the Mungiki are the main reason why the postelection death toll has been so high.

Unlike spontaneous violence between neighbors, organized militias like the Mungiki sect have the capability and motivation to keep the murderous cycle of revenge attacks going for weeks.

"Initially, we were seeing three kinds of violence," says Muthoni Wanyeki, executive director of the Kenyan Human Rights Commission. Disorganized violence in villages tended to rise up suddenly, but fizzle out quickly. Organized militias – with paid, motivated members – have kept the violence going and have largely led the charge in expelling minority ethnic groups by force. Police use of extreme force – live bullets rather than water cannons or tear gas – has also stirred ethnic passions.

A fourth type of violence has now emerged, as displaced people carry back stories of horror and spur on calls of revenge in communities that had previously been peaceful. "Now we are seeing a communal response in areas where it has not happened before," says Ms. Wanyeki.

During a recent brutal attack, Peter says he led from behind, urging younger Mungiki members to attack Luos in the Mathare slum – a signal that Kikuyus are ready to use the same brutal methods that have been used against them. Three people were killed in that attack, and another 13 were maimed. Witnesses say Kenyan police watched the attack for hours before moving in to disperse the Mungikis.

"Usually the problem is between the two biggest tribes, the Luos and the Kikuyus, but this time it is all the other tribes against us," Peter says. "It's like we've been sitting on a time bomb, which is now exploding."

He looks toward displaced Kikuyu women, cooking beans and rice in massive caldrons. "Right now, the police are holding us back," he says. "But if we say now or never, there will be a civil war. Either they kill us or we kill them. I think we are going to win."

Anonymous said...

one ought not to be too concerned with international journalists and groups; no one who knows kenya believes them; one needs kenyan solutions for kenyan problems;

in the 70's in a kenyan school my class had 35 students made up of all races, a number of different tribes, and religions - and everyone got along!!;I almost had a heart attack when I read a 1970 Time magazine at the time that Freedom House gave apartheid South Africa a higher rating for civil liberties and freedom (about 40 out of 100) while kenya got less (about 30 out of 100)

guess who said the following:
"the mulitparty system has split the country into tribal groupings. I am surprised that Western countries believe in the balkanisation of Africa. Therefore people will concentrate on their tribal groupings and they will not think about one nation. Tribal roots go much deeper than the shallow flower of democracy. That is something the West has failed to understand. I'm not against multi-partism but I am unsure about the maturity of the country's politics. People don't look ahead, they are so short term. When we went multi-party I predicted that we would go back to our tribal grouping but the West didn't listen. The West got what they wanted". pg 23 Moi the making of an African Statesman

Anonymous said...

Mwalimu Ngugi,
I respect your good intentions but generalizations leave a lot to be desired. Why do you address both Raila and Kibaki as culprits in the current Kenyan mess? Why do you guys from Gema perfect the art of selective amnesia? You know exactly who should be blamed but you dare not said it. We'll do it for you. The devil in this mess is Kibaki and a few Gema elites. As a Kenyan I wholeheartedly sympathize with the innocence mothers and daugthers (their tribe notwithstanding)who have been caught in this Kibaki instigated violence. And yes, the truth be told, the desputed presidential election has opened the pandoras box long sealed by the Kenyatta dictatorship. Kenyatta took peoples land and gave it to his cronies. He killed J.M Kariuki for standing for the truth by denouncing his unquencheable thirst forland grabbing. Kajenjins have been lying low for a long time an it is about time the truth be fought for. By the way Mwalimu Ngugi, do you happen to know the whereabouts of Uhuru Kenyatta? Please, let him know that after Nakuru is liberated, the war will be taken to his doorsteps. The Kenyatta family must return their illegally grabbed land be it in Nakuru or in the Coast.
The Kikuyu elites have lied to us for long that they fought for independence for the rest of us Kenyans. They deliberatly re-wrote the Kenyan history in their favor and have forced many of us to know almost all their tribal chiefs. Few of these elites can name the famous Nandi warrior.
To be fair to you Mwalimu Ngugi, the current problem in Kenya is the product of the Kenyatta dictatorship. Moi also played a role and this should not be underarted in any way. Please get Raila out of your analysis and your stupid letter. Raila will be the president whether a few Gema elites like it or not. My Kisii tribesmen, though they have suffered from all quarter - Kalenjins attacking them, Luos killing them and Kikuyus abandoning them - are firmly behind Raila.
Mwalimu Ngugi to be fair to you, I ask you to zipped-it up if you can't see the injustices that Kenyans are going through. Do not spew generalized statements like those that the tribal archbishop Njue vomits everytime he opens his mouth. The equation is simple to decipher: IT IS JUSTICE FIRST THEN, PEACE. NOT THE REVERSE. PERIOD!!!

Taabu said...

Well said Mwalimu Ngugi and I respect your right to an opinion. But your fingers are doing a double where no junctio exists. It amounts to smearing your neighbour so as to suffer security in numbers syndrome. Kibaki has the monopoly to force and violence and he is the GENESIS and cause of the present problem. He stole elections and all that followed were reactions on that fact. So why would you accuse a victim together with a thief. That is the same strategy that will make Annan fail miserably-address the effects and ignoring cause. Well you are in good company of Macharia Gaitho, good luck brother.

lamentation said...

Thank you John Babieri for letting Kenyans know exactly why the voters verdict was nullified by United States, Britain and foreign investors using Kibaki and his cohorts.

These are the powers running Kenya behind the scenes using Kibaki and his henchmen as window curtains. This is why Kenyans are dying by the hundreds.

THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH CRIME AGAIST HUMANITY.
But, that will never happen because Britain and USA are exempted from the courts at the Hague through their UN VETO powers.

By the way, UN is part of the problem and African countries should withdraw from being its members.
I have watched with pain seing a parade of the so called African ELDERS heading to Kenya to mediate the crisis. These are the kinds of Africans who do not mind being used for a buck or two to mediate on behalf of the people footing their bills. To them, there is no limit to a source of income, even if that includes stepping on the throats of poor Africans living in slums with no sewage and running water. To them, being congratulated by their wealthy bosses for confusing the issues is not everything, IT IS THE ONLY THING that makes sense.

BEFORE 1963, KENYA WAS COLONIZED USING THE AFRICAN CHIEF SYSTEM. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANY CHANGES TO THAT SYSTEM. THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND IS STILL THE MONARCHY RULING KENYA. THE RULING ELITES ARE JUST THE EXTENSION OF COLONIAL REGIME. Additionally, USA, European Union have also added their feet on Kenyans throats while poverty and diseases reign on them.

Tribalism is merely a tool for controlling and confusing the masses being ruled. That tool has worked very effeciently. African elites are not there to protect Africans. There are there to make sure the public toe the lines!!!

Mwangi said...

You know what, you folks are right. We should charge Kibaki for the killing of the women and children in the church in Eldoret. We should charge him for organizing the destruction of Kisumu and the burning of Kibera. We should hold him culpable for the riots in Likoni and elsewhere.

We should similarly hold Kibaki responsible for all acts of election malfeasance including those in his favor and those against. He should be held responsible for all those Gikuyu voters in North Rift who were not allowed to get to their polling stations.

While Kibaki's trials are ongoing, I suggest we nominate William Ruto for the Nobel Peace Prize for going above and beyond the call of duty in ensuring that the situation in North Rift did not get out of hand. Clearly his speech in Eldoret this weekend was timely and just what the country needed.

And lest we forget, Raila Amolo Odinga should get the MLK Freedom Award (that recognizes residents dedicated to promoting justice, peace, freedom, nonviolence and racial equality) for his magnanimity in making 2 unforgettable statements. Clearly he too is a class act.
1) " I refuse to be asked to give the Kenyan people an anaesthetic so that they can be raped."
2) "We should have seven of the 10 parliamentary seats in Kisii, but Kibaki men stole the votes and we only got four. The Kisii are our people. We must not touch them."

People, only one politician. ONE. Has shown that he is a true peace lover through this whole debacle. Cyrus Jirongo who supposedly took to riding a bicycle in Lugari to admonish his constituents from carrying out acts of violence.

Stop it people. If we truly care about Kenya and not about ourselves or our own community we will stop demonizing one person and casting the other as an angel.

-Silaha

Anonymous said...

Mwalimu,
As said in each and every household in Kenya...."ODM won the election "...those who stole it barricaded themselves in state house until Annan came to make sense of a situation that had spiraled out of control.An entire nation is asking,Why is this man called Kibaki single handledly out to ruin this country.How will he be president of less than 30% of the populace.Most of his sober minded supporters didnt expect him to steal the election on live TV...it is difficult to ask ODM to bring peace when Kibaki controls all state machinery inclusive of the Kenya Army.Yesterday as he fidgeted like a child caught stealing he said he had commisioned the building of 32 police stations in affected areas..FOR WHAT....to kill and maim more innocent kenyans searching for justice...perhaps to accomodate more IDP'S ..this is beside the point...what started the chaos? An election rigged by Kivuitu and ECK thieves at KICC.....Kibaki does not understand the gravity of the situation,....indeed his hard heart will make ODM change its stand...even if 10,000 people were dead its of no difference to Kibaki.Raila made them stand in honor of all those who died-800+.Am sure Kibaki already missed state hse! Mwalimu the rigged election is the cause of all the mayhem....as we speak people from other communities especially Kalenjin Nandi and the sworn enemy Luo's in Thika, Kabete, Wangige, and Kikuyu areas have been told to move out,else be killed by Mungiki.They have now resorted to using criminal gangs to cause further plunder under the watchful eye of the police.Our illegitimate president has no control over the masses...and the outcome i can tell you will be disastrous!

Wanjiku - Mombasa. said...

Welcome back to earth Mwalimu Peter Ngugi. Hope you had fun in mars. It's clear that when you landed someone tried to update you on the goings on back on earth and especially in Kenya. But they forgot to give you some details. The election was stolen in broad daylight and in full glare of the Kenyan public and the world. By some sheer chance the chief justice was all robed up and statehouse was co-incidentally already set and prepared for a swearing in just 20 minutes after the Presidential results announcement on State TV under heavy heavy guard. And while you were away, we discovered that Raila Odinga has no power to robe the Chief Justice nor to deploy thousands of GSU officers around KICC. Nor does he have the machinery to organize a swearing in ceremony at statehouse.

Mwalimu you must have been away for a very very long time. Maybe since the 80s when Kenyans would have taken this quietly, coiled their tails and gone back to their miserable lives. Here is another update for you. In recent years, the population has woken up in a way that has surprised even the thieves in the house on the hill. There cannot be any greater incitement than stealing an election and thinking Kenyans are stupid. And continuing to make them look stupid with full page adverts and Rambo movies!! And 'accidentally' shooting 8 tear gas cannons into mourners in a secluded compound! Oh come on! Kenyans have woken up vibaya sana. So those blaming Raila should know for sure where the incitement is coming from.

Some advise for my fellow Kikuyus. Blind support for an illegal regime will not lead us anywhere. We're better off bonding with other Kenyans for the sake of our future. Following Kibaki blindly while he sits in statehouse and ignores us completely makes us look rather silly. Justifying unfair stuff done by the government simply because one of our own is there is not very wise of us. The Kibaki presidency will not last and even if it does last, it'll only be for five turbulent years during which he will not achieve much except a poor legacy to take home in retirement. And I can assure you Kenyans are not voting for another Kikuyu president any time soon. Assuming they're about 45 years old, Uhuru Kenyatta and Martha Karua had better shelve their presidential ambitions until they're like 120 years or more. By which time they'll be too old and they're look bad on the ballot paper.

So Mwalimu with these updates and others from other comments here, you can now re-write your post in the new light and ask Kumekucha to host it again.

Wanjiku - Mombasa. said...

Silaha, what is Weltanschauung?

Anonymous said...

Yep what do pple expect RAO to do, let Kibaki just steall and get away with it?
Otherwise what else??

Anonymous said...

You should be fair to kikuyus chris and your bossom buddy miguna miguna. We are not devils. If kibaki stole, my mother and father who am yet to bury did not steal the votes. Ya hii ndunia tutailipia hapa hapa tu. Imagine your mother and father - innocent souls, having educated me and living a simple life in the village - yet you and your people have killed. reason. Kibaki won. Ndugu yangu machungu ni mengi, mengi sana. sana sana.

Anonymous said...

anon@7:58 Condolences my Kenyan brother and to all those that have been touched by this mayhem. Words cannot express the hurt that we feel at this moment. Its amazing that this animosity has found its way all the way to the Kenyans in the US of A. I detest and refuse to be part of those tribal groupings, innuendos and vitrol that is being spewed amongst our brethen here. Only when, God forbid, they will be personally affected by that violence will they appreciate the magnitude of the current situation. We cry for our beloved country, hopefully after this storm, some calm will be realized.

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