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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Kenyans Don’t Know About How Terror Wins Elections

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?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

*Yawn*!!

luke said...

Chris,
Hi bro, I remain concerned for your well-being please assure me of your E-SAFETY from an undisclosed CyberCafe won't you?

You know KK posts are TOO PROVOCATIVE not allowing sufficient breathing space or adequate cooling down periods for belabored bloggers whose breathing while foaming at the mouth drool red sputum typing hyper-responsive remarks in the comments section

Lets give them a break from the TRUTH please.I don't want to see you and Mwalimu T under INTERNET ARREST by Mzalendo Kibunja

Anonymous said...

Now that we have the KKK alliance I do hope there will be no violence in RV. Since Ruto & UK are allies I do not see why we should have IDPs especially in RV. UK should have donated his large tracts of land & Ruto should tell his Kales (who it is claimed has under lock & key) to allow their brothers from Central settle side by side since they consider themselves their leaders an both aspire to be PORK.

Anonymous said...

"Are elections in Africa always worth the risk?"

Despite the spread of multiparty democracy to many parts of the continent two decades ago, stability has not always followed. ... and many continue to wonder whether, elections in Africa are always worth the risk?

Sadly, the gun has shaped much of Africa's arrested development, while the terror unleashed on opponents and "enemy" ethnicities has always dictated the outcomes of many elections on the African continent, and Kenya is no exception to the sad political scenrio.

In short, the electioneering violence does lead to easy manipulation by authority figures, worst of all by the ethnic warlords and evil political party leaders, for their own purposes.

Kumekucha's post, What Kenyans Don't Know About How Terror Wins Elections is a timely eye opener that provides many of us with a good opportunity to pause and think through the horrendous examples from past election seasons of how we always fall victim to vicious cycle of elections violence, engineered ethnic divisions and political temptations that are used as tools of terror, repression, digression and instability rather
than of growth, guidance, progress, mature politics, and transformative democracy.

While many of us still seek to live in a free and fully democratic environment inspite of facing conflict and discouragement, and even threat to our physical well-being (as is the case right now with Chris), the question remains, when will we as Kenyan people from all walks of life ever learn to really fight as a united front for the betterment of our country and at the same time make remarkable offerings of peace, for the sake of inter-ethnic coexistence, political maturity, and love?

Anonymous said...

Chris,

And we thought that violence was a specialization of certain individuals/regions. It has now been exported to Ukambani.

http://is.gd/6J9qVq

JEFF

Anonymous said...

The traffic has increased.
So Chris can up the violence, tribal, and all other trash that keeps peoples emotions up and drawn to Kumekucha.
It's better business than the miltilevel marketing con that Chris was marketing the other day.
And where are the advertisers and ODM politicians to make donations to Chris?

Anonymous said...

Yaaaaaaaaawn!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmmmmmmm!
Kenyans should always be made aware of how the political elite use terror to win every election while at the same time crafting ways and means to perpetually enslave the rest of the population with abject fear, ethnic hatred and mistrust, lack of basic infrastructure, unavailability of basic foods, endemic hunger, cronic unemployment, and muffled press.

Who was it that pointed out the fact that ...elections are routinely used by Western governments as a bench of acceptability, when very often they end up protecting the political elite and doing very little to improve the lives of the urban poor and rural populations.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeh!
Is it really true that the more things change the more they always remain same in 87% of countries on the continent?

I am sure the following is musical irritation to our ears but truth be told, ...time and again, we see political parties relying on force and patronage, parliaments representing not broad constituencies but the political elite and constitutions written but, because of weak institutions, rarely upheald.

Oh my gosh! Before I forget, are we aware that Kenya has never been at war, and I mean a real war since the World War II and the Liberation War of Independence, way back when the colonialists were still dreaming of protecting and retaining some the of the best areas of the country for themselves and their great-grandchildren.

Yet the military spending in Kenya has more than quadrupled over the last five decades.

Yes, of course armed forces are a necessary (evil) for any country's security and independence, but should we still be continuing with the wastage of billion and billion of shillings on defence budgets, year in and year out?

When Kenyans still continue to live in absolute terror within the borders of their own country as if large chunk of the nation's revenue is never invested in national and local security institutions and agencies?

What's the point of wasting money (limited resources) on very expensive vet fees, pedigree pet food and other expenses on a pack of home guard dogs (KDF) that only spend their whole time barking at seasonal butterflies, while never bothering to have the instinctual nerve of keeping the hyenas, foxes, jackals, mongoose, rabid skunks, honey badgers and other perennial wildlife intruders at bay?

The last time I checked, we have become a nation (laughing stock and the ugly butt of our neighbours' jokes), that doesn't have a functioning airforce to protect our our air space and distant borders.

Anonymous said...

hE HE HEEEEEE

Anonymous said...

According to a poll published this week, a staggering 90% of English people (Yes, people from England) can hardly speak their own language which is of course is English. The spoken English is always corrupted with words like fings ain't wot innit...
Furthmore as many cannot write in their own language(English) or construct a sentence in English due to grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

Anonymous said...

@Chris,

The instigators of the mid-late 80s, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 well orchestrated political violence and tribal clashes are still roaming scot free around the country.

While others have comfortably embedded themselves into some of the most influencial circles and inner chambers of power in the country.

Only a few of them have been taken out of commission by Mother Nature, thanks to the great equalizer, 'Almighty Death.'

There were dark days for Kenya when merchants of death (mitumba arms dealers) like Viktor Bout and others had unlimited access to the JKIA, State House, M.o.D, D.o.D and other sensitive installations around the country.

Unfortunately, very little has changed in favour of the common man and woman.

They will all continue to remain at the mercy of the political players, and to be treated as political pawns and tribal fodder for several years to come.

What other alternatives, if any, do ordinary Kenyans have as they head into the 2012 general election?

So far, the political power brokers' alliance are dead to the interests of the country but very much alive to all things corrupt, disruptive, divisive, destructive and keeps power and wealth in the hands of the chosen few - 'those who eat together'.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:55 AM

Very true that the English people can hardly speak their own mother tongues, however they can still afford to:

- continue paying their mortgages,

- put food on their tables,

- live comfotbaly above the poverty line,

- vote for the right political candidates of their choice,

- get the best medical care the United Kingdom can offer,

- send their children to the best schools, colleges and universities,

- drive on some of the best roads in Europe,

- shop in some of the best shopping centres,

- visit some of the best recreational parks, venues and agricultural fairs,

- have access to a police force that is not so corrupted as the rotten ones in the former colonies,

- have unlimited access to clean drinking water, electricity, functional sewage system, round year garbage collection, etc

- live in very relative peace without ever having to worry about being driven out of their homes,

- or forced away from their legal farm lands,

- or worse, murdered in cold bloody by their neighbours just because they voted for a political candidate or party of their choice during every election year.

Can the same be said about the "fluent speakers and proficient writers of the English language" in the urban centers and rural villages of the former British East Africa Protectorate?

Anonymous said...

I tell you, watch out for the bondo bumpkin, railanyuoks and the mafiya wa lake victoria. 'Mass axion' (i.e unleashing terror post ballot) didnt work very well for their ends. They will unleash the terror pre-ballot. This is because the 41 v 1, civil service and defence employments are not going down as they should. This time around their only option, since they're evidently going to lose the election (again), is to unleash terror on innocent unsuspecting citizens pre-ballot to ensure that voter turn out is compromised. I think they are also counting on Oblahblah to accept the outcome as 'free and fair' and to mobilize the Europeans, African Union and others to accept the outcome.

Win by any way, and if not, destroy it all together. Scorched earth policy.

Anonymous said...

Some men and women can be trusted, many others can't be trusted by any measure whatsoever.

But honest men and women remain honest as long as it pays to remain that way.

Having said that, it takes honest men and women in leadership to enable the citizenry to know, understand and soon figure out how undercurrents of terror and ethnic conflicts distorts the election process as well as an emerging democracy.

Anonymous said...

2012 will be a year to be remembered for a very long time to come.

Another one bites the dust, Ayed al-Shabwani was killed in fighting near the town of Zinjibar in the Abyan Province of Yemen.

Anonymous said...

Raila will die during the campaing trail. He will be killed mysterious by road accident.

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