Let me illustrate this to you in a bit more detail. I was still only a young child barely 4 years old when we used to live in Isiolo with my parents. Even now some memories of that house are still etched firmly on my mind. Our house was right next to the bush where on at least two sides of the strong fence we had no neighbor but the thicket as far as the eye could see. I still remember looking out of the sitting room window on most evenings and seeing the clear silhouette of an elephant. I kid you not.
Now one of the best kept state secrets of
But apparently I was very brave because years later, my dad told me that they were in the police mess less than 100 metres from our house when the firing started and one the civilians taking cover inside some large cupboard was terrified. So much so that soon the floor appeared to be water logged only for everybody to discover that the man had urinated on himself.
Fear is not a pretty emotion but just imagine for a moment that that is the chief emotion amongst most of the IDPs idling away in camps. The memories of the terrible terrible things that happened to them barely 4 months ago are still very fresh on their minds.
And then to make matters worse the government is very determined that the IDPs should go back to the place which for them still has very scary memories. Many watched their loved ones being killed. Others watched as their mothers, wives and sisters were savagely raped in front of their very own eyes by people they thought they knew well.
But the Kibaki government does not really care. All they want is for the IDPs to go back to their farms. So the big mystery is why would people still in so much fear want to go back to a place that has crazy and fearful memories for them? The truth is that the government is forcing people to go back. And the details of exactly how they are doing this is extremely disturbing to say the least (see my latest raw notes for the full story).
For starters it is a human rights violation to force IDPs to go back to their homes against their will and indeed better judgment. One just needs to carefully observe how the politicians are behaving over this IDP issue to realize that there is something very wrong here.
Last weekend Lands Minister James Orengo while addressing a meeting in the Rift Valley suggested that the IDPs be settled elsewhere other than the Rift Valley. That remark has drawn the fire of many Central province MPs who have said that Orengo was wrong as a cabinet minister to say what he said. They have vowed that the IDPs MUST be re-settled in the Rift Valley.
The truth is that it is not too hard for the government to find land elsewhere in the country to settle these suffering brothers and sisters of ours, other than the Rift Valley where the bitter truth is that they will never be safe. They can be given land exactly the size of what thye lost in the Rift valley, or if the land is less fertile, something larger. The truth is that there are vast tracts of idle, undeveloped land all over the country.
Why should President Kibaki and his cronies rush to re-settle the IDPs without addressing the core issues that led to their displacement in the first place, as Rift Valley MPs have requested so many times? Are we not just postponing the inevitable, namely another painful eviction in the near future? What about the scars and memories the IDPs have of those farms that they are being asked to go back to? I am well aware of the fact that history bores most of my readers in this blog, but studying the history of how most of the IDPs ended up being settled in the Rift Valley will help anybody solve the mystery of why the government is in such a mad rush to get the IDPs back on their farms (I tackle this issue in great detail in my latest raw notes.)
Folks we could be triggering off trouble in the Rift Valley re-settling the IDPs so quickly and without addressing the core problems. And even the issue of having police protection is not quite reassuring enough. As one victim put it; they were living right next to a police station but that did not stop them being attacked and were forcibly evicted off their land.
She visited lover in servant quarters leaving husband in bed
Check out Kasarani.com, a new way to meet and keep in touch with Kenyans worldwide. You can even start your own blog on Kasarani! Click here to go to Kasarani.com now