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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Grenade Threat at Prime Minister’s Office Raises Fearful Questions

Who Wants To Kill Raila?

For the second time in the history of Kenya the life of a member of the executive has been put under serious threat.

Admittedly Kenya is not Liberia where a sitting head of State (former President Samuel Doe) was captured alive, tortured for hours while some sick mind captured it all on video, and then when he was dead, his body was paraded stark naked on a stretcher for all to see.
Still we have come pretty close. In 1982 during the botched coup attempt it is said that former president Moi ‘waited for certain death in the hands of the rebels’ in his Kabarak home. So prepared was he that when a contingent of the Kenya army came to fetch him to return him to Nairobi, he refused to budge urging the soldiers to kill him there rather than take him somewhere else. Several attempts to tell the head of state that these were soldiers loyal to him failed. And so he had to be gently slapped out of his stupor, so the story goes.

Yesterday morning a hand grenade was discovered within the precincts of the Prime Minister’s office. He was quickly whisked off alongside Chief Justice Willy Mutunga whom he was having a meeting with at the time.

This is very alarming news… or is it?

It is not lost on political analysts that this is the kind of event that spin strategists thrive on to increase the popularity of their candidate. People who survive assassination attempts almost always go on to win elections.

But the grenade scare on Raila is not that simple. There is the fact that experts on these matters have told this blogger that this cannot be classified as a serious attempt on the PM’s life. Assassinations are usually well planned operations with a clear target and nothing is ever left to chance. Leaving a grenade hanging around obviously does not fit into this category. Had it gone off, chances that it would have harmed the PM are very remote. And so if it was planted by his enemies then it was a message rather a serious attempt on his life.

The message would be; we can get you, we can easily penetrate your security. It would be a threat requiring the target to bow down to the demands of those issuing the threat. But what kind of political demands would be placed on the door-step of a powerless PM who relies on the president for all his teeth?

That is the million shilling question that this blogger is asking around.

Meanwhile this grenade incident is a rude reminder that the nation of Kenya is in the throes of a deadly transition where the merchants of impunity will not give up without a fight because the stakes are way too high.

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