About four months ago I called upon our political leaders to initiate measures to bring Kenyans to the Uhuru Park with the sole purpose of spearheading a national forgiveness campaign. The way I envisioned it, this would have been a time and a place where people who were massively wronged would look deep in their hearts and utter those difficult words: I Forgive You. Okay, I know you're about to say...how can you forgive a person who has not asked for forgiveness or even acknowledged their wrongdoing?
You have a point.
But this is eleven months since the debacle that was our elections and look at where things are going. We have a man named Waki, who has produced a report that suggests some prominent Kenyans decided to suddenly start planning to kill and maim other Kenyans. This is incredulous coming from a man of this judge's stature. Has Waki ever heard of the shameful distribution of land in Kenya? Has he ever heard of the blatant tribalism that characterised Kibaki's first term? Has he said anything about Kivuitu and gang? And has he bothered to warn the country of the potential bloodletting that may follow the full implementation of his report?
Here is where I come down on this matter. We have to see the Waki Report as nothing but a carefully packaged hit job. I don't know who's name appears on it, but I know for a fact that the blame for the events of December and January lie squarely with President Kibaki. This is the man Kenyans elected to protect them and ensure the security of the nation. Where was he when, as is widely reported, a meeting of a known gang was held in the State House, ostensibly to plan how to deny Hon. Odinga the presidency and terrorize Kenyans? Where was he when the Kalenjin warriors were organizing themselves into a force that would later kill many innocent Kenyans and destroy property worth millions of shillings? Indeed, where was the commander-in-chief when the forces he controlled killed and maimed people in Kisumu, Naivasha and Nakuru? Don't you think Waki should have probed these issues?
Like I said last week, we Kenyans created the situation we went through and must find ways to correct it. We don't need Kofi Annan and the U.S. ambassador, or anybody else for that matter, to tell us how, when and at what pace to do things. Had it not been for the troika that comprised Kibaki, Renneberger and Kofi, Raila Odinga would today be president and Kenya would have been the better off for it. So when Waki zeroes in on some two months worth of events and asks us to punish people who did things within that narrow window, conveniently ignoring years of injustices on Kenyans, he's asking us to practically succumb to the whims of those who have perfected the art of manipulation.
We will not do it.
Fellow Kenyans, time is rapidly running out. We can still save the nation we all love while we still can. Forgiveness. Atonement. That's the answer. The alternative is this misguided call for justice, which if you ask me looks a lot like revenge. State-sponsored revenge. What I find very disturbing is that pastors from various churches are also preaching this brand of justice! Can they look Kenyans in the eye and tell us where they've been for forty five years while the nation was descending into the mess we are in today? Can they look us in the eye and tell us why the Kenyan youth who participated in the demonstrations are guilty while men like Kibaki and Kivuitu are not?
I have to end this piece with a warning today: There can be no justice that the Kikuyu see as just while the Kalenjin see as a witch-hunt. There can be no justice that the Luo see as serving the interests of one community and not Kenya as a nation. And there can be no justice where the interests of Kenya are decided in foreign capitals. That's the raw truth.
There is a better way to have a fresh start. Let's go to Uhuru Park. Let's ask Kenyans to bury the hatchet. You'll all be surprised how much Kenyans are longing for that day.
The day of atonement.
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