I can always tell when I strike a raw nerve somewhere in the big fat bodies of the kings of impunity.
Judging from the threats and angry messages I have received after my previous post, there are obviously people who are very determined that nobody should link violent crime and terror groups to elections just now. I can guess the reason. It is so that Kenyan voters never realize what is happening until it is too late.
Ask yourself the following questions which I have asked in this blog before;
- Is it a mere coincidence that tribal clashes/politically instigated violence started for the first time when multiparty politics was re-introduced into the country with the repealing of the infamous section 2 a?
- Is it a mere coincidence that tribal clashes/politically instigated violence usually break out on the eve of general elections, like clockwork and without fail? 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and the most violent in January 2008?
- If tribal clashes/politically instigated violence are as a result of competitive politics causing politicians to incite the people, does it mean that before 1991 we did not have competitive politics in the country?
- Is it a mere coincidence that most senior government officials and even opposition politicians shoot from hip when it comes to commenting on other national issues but when it comes to Mungiki violence and even most political violence, the silence is deafening?
- If it is true that tribal clashes/politically instigated violence is the handiwork of various individual politicians with loose mouths (and not the work of high powered politically organized crime), why were there no tribal clashes/politically instigated violence in the run up to the referendum on a new constitution in 2005? And yet tensions were so high?
The saddest thing is that many Kenyans do not know what political violence achieves. What is the point of killing and terrorizing your would-be voters, they wonder? Actually Kenya election violence is never an accident and the people behind it are not fools. Here is what violence achieves;
a) Your opponent's voters are forced to relocate from the place where they need to be to vote. In many cases your core supporters remain. Those who remain who are not with you, can hardly make an objective choice when their priority is to stay alive. (This is one reason why the law should be changed to allow people to vote from anywhere).
b) In the ensuing violence and the chaos that follows there is nobody to stop you "importing" thousands of voters to win the election for you.
c) Violence spreads fear. The idea is to create very serious fear, then come in and quell the violence. It is then very easy to convince the voters that if they don't vote for the "people who quelled the violence" then the violence will return if the other side wins.
d) It becomes easy to collect voters cards from those who remain in return for their lives and security.
e) It becomes impossible for any candidate to sell their agenda to the electorate.
In brief election violence and intimidation works. That is why people use it. When you are seated in safety in that posh apartment in some smart neighborhood or in some foreign country, it is impossible for you to understand what it is like to live in constant fear of your life in your own country.
Are bank robberies linked to election war chests?