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Monday, February 04, 2008

Civic Response Required To End The Violence Now!

These is one of the articles the Citizens' Pathway Group (CPG) have developed and shared with the politicians and the (Kofi Annan) negotiatiotion teams. Any Kenyan can join CPG. The middle class in Kenya have been accused of sitting on the fence. Please make a contribution.

The Citizens’ Pathway Group (CPG) is a multi-ethnic and independent group of Kenyans united in our hopes and future aspirations for Kenya. As Kenyans, we view ourselves as a people that are able to earn and uphold our pride of place among nations as a sovereign and remarkable country of outstanding people enjoying a high quality of life.

Since 29th December 2007, we have seen our hopes and aspirations dwindle by the day as our leaders appear completely inured to the death, disruption and suffering that has engulfed our country. We have pleaded with them to put aside their self-interests and focus on the greater good - our welfare – the citizens of Kenya, the welfare of their supporters. Those pleas have fallen on deaf ears. As a result, we are now in a crisis that threatens to completely breakup the Kenya we know today as violence escalates and the State seemingly incapable of protecting its citizens. We still have leaders who will not heed the calls to end this violence and we continue to wonder why?

Don’t our leaders live in this country? Do they watch television and read newspapers? Are they immune to the sight of mobs hacking their fellow citizens to death? Are they not moved by mothers and children being burnt to death in the places they went to seek refuge? Don’t they lose sleep at night over this calamity?

What is wrong with our leaders? Why do they continue to speak so insensitively and arrogantly? Is it because they remain unaffected by the chaos? Is it because their children don’t sleep hungry and are still able to go to school while those of many citizens are caught up in camps unsure where the next meal will come from or whether they will ever go to school again? Whether they will be alive tomorrow? Do our leaders believe that their status protects them from a further breakdown of law and order? Do they think that they are safe? Do they believe that their wealth or the money stashed away in some foreign country will save them? If this is what they believe, then they do not really understand the level that the current crisis could escalate to if not decisively dealt with. They need to revisit the scenarios published by the Institute of Economic Affairs in 2000 titled, Kenya at the crossroads: Scenarios for our future at www.kenyascenarios.org/stories/stories.html. The Maendeleo-turned-El Nino Scenario will bring home to our leaders the reality of the situation we are in.

As Citizens, we must take the responsibility to end the violence now. And why is this civic response best placed to end the violence? Because the police cannot cover every nook and cranny of the country where the violence is occurring. Because we are the ones who are suffering and in turn causing others even greater pain through our acts of revenge and counter violence. We are the ones who pick up a rungu, a stone, a panga, bows and arrows and other weapons against our fellow citizens. Parents have shamed themselves in the eyes of their children as they financed and encouraged the violence, set upon their neighbours, killing them, chasing them away and destroying that which they have worked for all their lives. Children have shamed themselves in the eyes of their parents and the entire community through the barbaric acts committed in the streets, on road-blocks, in the slums, major urban areas, and in far flung villages! We have shamed ourselves in the eyes of our neighbours and the entire world by failing to rise against these injustices in righteous indignition as a citizenry and bring the mayhem to an immediate end. None of us can hold our heads up high anymore, we are disgraced as a people, now being referred to as examples of what should not happen to other parts of the continent.

We must bring all this to a stop and restore our pride of place as a country, as a people! The violence must end now before it takes all of us down! For it does have the potential to get far worse and take us to a point that would take generations to address let alone recover. That is why all of us must be united in our civic duty to end the anarchy now!

Let us take the lead as citizens to bring an end to this violence. Let us determine today that no other person will be injured, killed or displaced from their home. Let us determine today that there will be no further destruction of property, no further burning of houses, farms and business premises! Let us determine today that we, as individuals, will not cause another person to suffer any loss, of life or property. Let us determine today that the only images that will appear on TV screens and in newspapers are those of reconciliation, healing and hope! Inside each one of us is the power to do right. The power to overcome evil with virtue, morality and justice. We all know it is within us, we just need to be honest to ourselves and heed our conscience. Let each one of us make a commitment today to make our own small contribution to end this violence and participate in efforts to establish a lasting peace and human dignity in our country. In the end, you will find that, what you considered to be a small contribution will make the difference as to what kind of future you and I are able to enjoy.

We still believe that that future will be bright. We still believe that we will be able to live in a secure, democratic, prosperous and just society FOR ALL. Not just some, but all Kenyans. But the violence must stop.

Our leaders have so far failed us in safeguarding this vision. They have failed in the primary duty of any leader worth the name – that of promoting the welfare of their supporters, of every citizen in our land. Instead, they continue to be insensitive in their speech and omissions. They continue to put conditions before ending the violence even as more lives are lost or disrupted and properties destroyed. But all is not lost: our leaders still have an opportunity to redeem themselves. They too can decide today to end the violence. They too can decide that this is not the time for political games which are costing peoples lives. They too can decide to go out and reach out to their supporters and genuinely urge them to end the violence. They too can contribute to an early political settlement that will create the environment for addressing the deep-rooted issues that have led us to this tragedy. This is not the time for double speak and duplicity, it is the time for a true commitment to put our differences aside and confront the monster of violence that has reared its head across the country. Our leaders must determine to demonstrate a new level of integrity as they call for an end to the violence. They must say it and mean it, in all languages!

Whether our politicians heed our call or not, we as citizens must decide to BE THE LEADERS in ending the violence and contributing to lasting peace. Let us demonstrate that we are not pawns to be manipulated at every turn. As we wait for the truth to be established and justice to be done, let us seek forgiveness from those we have offended, those who we have deeply hurt and denied the opportunity to lead a dignified life. Let us also forgive those who have offended us, hurt us, killed those who are dear to us and destroyed our entire life’s work. Let each one of us determine that we shall not spread another hate message and instead embrace each other with love, irrespective of our ethnicity or political persuasion. Let us restore calm so that we can have an environment that can enable us to address the constitutional framework, poverty and inequality, distribution of national resources, poor leadership, weak institutions, corruption and impunity, the very deep-rooted land question, and a deliberate process to gain a deep understanding of our history and the injustices that remain unresolved. Ending the violence does not mean we ignore these fundamental issues. It means we create conditions that unite us and bring our collective abilities and energies together to comprehensively deal with these issues and hold those we have put in positions of responsibility to account.

But for now, let us all focus on ending the violence. Let it stop. For our sake and that of our children, let it stop.

Send an e-mail to The Citizens Pathway Group: citizensolution(at)gmail.com

Related Articles:
Supporting The Peace Agenda: A Citizens Pathway

26 comments:

Steve said...

The statement by the CPG uses the phrase 'our leaders' eight times. Will the CPG call a spade a spade because the judiciary certainly will not? Enough generalities. Does anyone ask WHY the violence erupted in the first place?

kenyaone said...

The statement is too little too late. I consider myself part of the CPG initiative as I think the same way but a far far more radical approach is needed. The midddle class is the only short and long term solution to this problem. Theres no point in petitioning our leaders when we know that 'our leaders' are idiots and thats an inescapable and irreversable truth. If they were not we would not be in this situation in the first place. Additionally our leaders have no respect for us. So theres no point in appealing to them. Where were we when they grew to such excesses. Urging them on or doing nothing. So in effect we are now recieving the 'fruit of our ways' Bad leadership. Who may I ask voted collectively for these leaders if not us? We must form a group like 'CPG' but go much further. If you want leaders to take Kenyans seriously you must challenge them directly. Unfortunately thats the only language Kenyan leaders understand. My take is that CPG seek registration as a 'social democratic' party (representing mainly the middle class) but meanwhile start a mobilisation campaign to finance its own programmes with a view on getting itself to power in 2012. If were not serious about bringing change then we wont be taken seriously either. The middle class has sat back too long because we dont want to get our hands 'dirty' in politics. Well folks. This is the result. I know another reason why we have hesitated but thats for later. Meanwhile I urge the CPG to look at a much more long term and involving solution. Believe you me. The statement fell on deaf ears.

Peace Island said...

As a Kenyan I would like the Humanitarian crisis resolved and there after fundamental constitutional changes that will get me back to business without my neighbor feeling unduly disadvantaged.But there is a danger here CPG initiative is okay but many have come up with briliant ideas,once they became popular,sought political power to "represent" OUR veiws in parliament.There after get lost somewhere in there as assistant ministers then before you know it they are the firing squard.We need to push for bank like democratic institutions which we can trust to work for us even when we dont trust each other

Anonymous said...

For real peace to return Uhuru Kenyatta must surrender his land as big as Western Province to poor landless Kikuyus.

This land was bought from the whites with Kenyan Taxpayer's Money in 1964. Kenya officially took a credit from the Bank of England. The credit was repayed in 1984.

Instead of distributing the land to the landless people, Kenyatta Family retained it.

Permanent peace will return to Kenya after ALL tribes and communities will have declared that they are not superior and are not claiming Presidency at all costs.

Good luck Kenya

Kimani

Anonymous said...

Show me your wife and I'll tell you your characters.

Only an insane man with an MBA from LBS can marry a crazy semi-educated woman of the type Loosy Wambui.

A country led by a sick man must end this way. Remember Germany under Hitler, Italy under Mussolini, Uganda under Amin, CAR under Bokassa?

Kenya will dissociate into dusty particles, if Kenya doesnt get rid of this sick man. The faster, the better.

Patriotic Kenyans, risk to save civilization in Kenya.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Kenya is that it is controlled too much by politics. We hear phrases like "siasa mbaya maisha mbaya" and take them to have come from a prophet of God. Before the mzungu came with politics and democracy to Africa, our forefathers had very efficient ways of running their subjects. I am not saying we go back to those days because it is impossible. What I am saying is that we should have a 3rd force that will show us how we can move on with our lives without too much political influence. CPG should take this challenge. We want a Martin Luther, a Gandhi. Someone who is just after improving the dignity, welfare, respect and inter ethnic harmony amongst all the peoples of and in Kenya. The middle class will quickly follow such a force. We urgently need this 3rd force to influence the review or overhaul of the constitution which will make the presidency undesirable by making it weak, and relegating powers to well structured institutions. Let the 3rd force make the 3rd liberation bring about a Kenya where the common citizen will be SURE to continue with his/her life irrespective of who is in state house. We want institutions which work, are truly independent and are run by true Kenyan patriots. We want to be respected for who, what and how we are, both in and out of Kenya. We want a system that ensures that the aspirations, opinions and desires of Kenyans collectively are put ahead of any one person a minority. We want a system that will quickly reduce the gap between the rich and the poor and keep it that way. We want a system that will eliminate the "winner-takes-it-all" type of democracy and bring the corporate type of democracy. CPG are your ready to take this challenge? Do you have a Martin Luther or Gandhi among you. Are you able to articulate the basic needs and desires of Kenya? Do you have among you people who are not interested in being the next president but who at the same time have a burning desire to see Kenya rise out of the ashes forever? If so, stand up and be counted. If not, just join ODM or PNU and help them push their selfish agendas.

Voice of Reason

kenya said...

ODM'ers, tulia, this alternative website is what we have all been waiting for. We are now tired of storytellers like chris, who write articles for the sake of it.

Atleast for once this website has articles that bloggers can confirm for themselves.

Stay on tune ODM'ers. Mambo bado!

Bobie said...

This is not just about this article; but in all honesty, if ever there was to be a Truth and Reconciliation Commission I reckon you, yes you Chris Kavila should be the first person to hang. This for all your diabolical propaganda, endless incitement, half-truths and bad blood propagation in Kenya today

Anonymous said...

Bobie, why do you waste time coming to read diabolical propaganda, endless incitement, half-truths and bad blood propagation in Kenya today....If this is what you think Chris has been doing, why waste time coming around, come on you should be having something 'better or valuable to do with your time!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why do Kenyans try to blame everything on bad leaders- kwani these leaders are nurtured in Utopia.
Why do we try to sound like these leaders are not really part of us?
If the leaders are the problem, surely the populace is also juat as much part of the problem.
Even if some middle class pple got together started anew social democratic party this alone cannot change the Kenyan.
We can force the leaders we have to think how we think if only we were all moving in the same direction.
The problem is our outlook is way to tribal to allow us to think together. We have long deluded ourselves that we are one nation while in reality we are just different tribes clustered together in one geographic area.
For starters if we looked long and hard (honestly) and tried to figure out why we are where we are today then we might sort out our problems. Hiding behind a new crop of leaders will never help bcoz with the same systems and the same pple how can you expect to change?

Anonymous said...

Well said............Anon 5:30

Anonymous said...

Anon@5.30
I want to believe that you wrote your piece before reading the one by Voice of Reason @2:41. You are the type of people who make progress very difficult. You are quick to say what is wrong without saying what is right. It is like saying putting on a red shirt is wrong without saying which among the 200 colours of Peter Marangi then, is good.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6.07- What I'm saying is are you ready to change your thinking??

If even church leaders who we expect to be neutral seem to wear tribal cloaks- meaning we've nurtered our society in such a way that tribe comes first b4 anything else- read truth, fairness etc.
How can we hope to change just by changing the leadership?

Frankly I'm not sure what is right anymore- bcoz it seems we are slowly disintegrating into our tribal chiefdoms. Not sure if this is better than pretending to be a united nation that we are not?

Taabu said...

Bobie@4:50 please keep your collar dry. Why burn it with unnecessary heat? You diatribe aimed at Chris is misdirected. Kama hauna kazi ya kufanya please copy the dictionary ama biblia. Juvenile rants and empty threats have no place here. What and OAF?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6.15
That is what I was saying: if you don't know what is right then you can't know what is wrong because when that right thing will be done you will not know it. You are therefore better quiet and listen to those who know what is wrong and are able to say what is right. You are making progress difficult. Voice of Reason asked if there is a Martin Luther or Gandhi in Kenya. These are simple people who helped change the way people in their communities thought. We need just one person of similar ilk to change our thought and behavioural patterns. He/She does'nt have to be a great or popular personality. He only needs to be someone with a passion for what is right-and the guts to say it, walk it and live it. Might that be you? But may be the person who will detribalize us should be one who him/herself has no specific tribal inclination-like Barak Obama in USA. In Kenya I am thinking of Esther Passaris, Njoki Ndungu, Gladwell Otieno (funny I can't think of any men!!Can we wait for Fidel Castro Raila's son?) Do you have any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

CPG; THE VIOLENCE WILL END TOMORROW IF KIBAKI AGREES TO SUPPORT THE 2002 CONSTITUTION DRAFT.

That draft is the cure-all of everything:

a) Devolution of powers; majimboism is not such a dirty word any more.

b) Dilution of the Executives power's; Kenya has never been an example to anyone. We have always been ruled by dictators.

c)Land problems; provided for the revisiting of land queries in Rift Valley Coast and North Eastern Prov.

THE SOLUTION TO THE END OF THE VIOLENCE NOW AND IN THE LONG TERM is quite easy as you can see.

john oilepo said...

Can the investigative journalists here confirm or ferret out the story about Kofi Annan being furious after finding out that his room was being bugged and his phones tapped!

Anonymous said...

John, where did you hear that story?

Anonymous said...

If Annan has discovered the security breach then well and good.

NOW CAN HE GO AHEAD AND GET PNU TO SUPPORT KENYANS IN GETTING THE 2002 CONSTITUTION PASSED?

5th estate said...

Help the Ogiek at least the other tribes can afford machettes , if you want genocide your are looking at the wrong places. We should channel most help to the people who need it most. Chris can you please highlight the plight of the Ogieks. I can bet you most people in the so called middle class do not even know they existed in thier own country.

http://www.ogiek.org/

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 8.16; I sympathise.

The reality is that all Kenyans will benefit from being governed by a just constitution.

A good constitution will protect us from deaf judiciaries (important for Ogiek), greedy and ethnically prejudiced leaders and protect and spread out the wealth of our nation (also important for Ogiek).

Anonymous said...

Anon 2.06 first of all loosy kivaki's husband was at LSE not LBS! and if you are trying to insult the institutions he learnt in ebu stop insulting London School of Economics! Otherwise you can insult every govt, NGO, IGO, corporation in the world that uses lse peeps! Even JFKennedy was at Lse

Anonymous said...

Kibaki's education is not the issue under discussion.

My problem with him is that he is content to continue governing Kenya under an undemocratic constitution.

Anonymous said...

Steve @ 11.35 p.m.; Precisely. We should stop dancing around the issue of electoral fraud because until we confront that problem, Kenyans will not rest.

Lastly, a new constitution we must get. Only Majimboism can curb the sort of greed we have witnessed thus far.

john oilepo said...

These cellar group and similar meetings have no value at all. It is just a chance for some middle class youth to bond over a few drinks and do what they do best - talk and talk and whine!

By now you should realize that an African president is not removed by peaceful demonstrations or powerful speeches. An African despot is removed by the gun! A meeting where we would gather to buy arms and plan an assault is more fruitful and effective!

john oilepo said...

Remember I told you that Annan's room had been bugged and you also asked me for the link! I knew the story will somehow hit the press because we were trying to get in touch with some reporters

Here it is: http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=68&art_id=vn20080206115556861C157474

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