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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What Have We Become?

The BBC is reporting that military helicopters have opened fire over the heads of warring gangs Naivasha. Question is: Is Kenya in an undeclared State of Emergency? Having seen pictures and heard media reports of the army patrolling streets in Naivasha and Nakuru, and curfews in these and other areas, I think the police have lost the ability to impose law and order. If this is the case, I wish the government would declare the emergence already. It makes no sense for the Commissioner of Police to insist that the cops are on top of things when we can plainly see evidence to the contrary.

I have also been privy to unconfirmed reports that 10 people, who were apparently part of a Luo gang that attacked a Kikuyu neighbourhood in Kibera last night following the killing of the MP for Embakassi, Mugabe Were, were caught and hacked to death. There are also reports of 3 dead bodies at or near the railway line in the slum, victims of overnight violence. Near where I live, in one of the middle class estates that ring Kibera, I have seen men carrying machetes and clubs patrolling the road. Rumours are flying that they are Mungiki here to repulse Luo gangs. And just now, about 1pm, the sound of gunfire had rung out over Kibera.

Why, at a time when things had calmed down in Nairobi, would anyone stoke the fires again by assassinating an opposition MP? Why would the police fire teargas canisters into a crowd of mourners? Are they deliberately trying to provoke a reaction? To use the terminology common in the Moi days, is someone "hell-bent on causing chaos and despondency"?

I hope things will have calmed down by the time my wife gets back from work. I am desperately worried for the safety of my brother and sister, who also live in the area.

Is this the kind of country we fought so hard to achieve in the 90s?

4 comments:

3N said...

Gathara,

The death of Mr. Were is suspicious given that he was a voice of piece trying to initiate dialogue between ODM and PNU. According to unconfirmed reports he was organizing a peace march of MP’s from both camps.

I think it is premature for anyone to conclude that his murder is at the hands of the government and to use that reason as they are to continue the violence that has strangled our country.

As for the state of emergency, I believe Kibaki has considered it but declaring it would hamper ongoing peace negotiations. A state of emergency would be interpreted by ODM as a tool by Kibaki to further impose himself as the president.

Anonymous said...

3n
i would imagine that media curbs is worse than a "state of emergency", which is apparently necessary to control, stop the violence?
what do we need more, most - media gag to promote peace or a state of emergency to curb the violence?

garth,
the dude (obaks) has just said there is several millions to bring police stations closer to the people! i doubt he knows what he is talking about, but maybe that is part of tye solution?? i think he (intentionally) misses it, by a very very long shot!
i am equally worried about my 4 siblings and their families, seeing the gava has not "upheld the kenyan constitution, that they swore to". sometimes i wonder why the even need other laws, if what we have is so difficult to follow. my sympathies to "our situation"!

Mgema the skilled Cooper said...

Kenya is OFFICIALLY a failed state. We shall never recover from this, and you can quote me on this fifty years from now when we meet in the streets of London as refugees, nay, asylum seekers!

Two of Kenya's leading dailies, Standard and Nation carry telling editorials. Firstly, the Standard http://eastandard.net/news/?id=1143981266 has an article of an armoury being hit, a chief and several cops injured, and one burnt alive!

The Nation on the other hand has an article title "Kenya wont move forward until truth is told". I quote a paragraph from it:"President John F. Kennedy, who has since been sainted, never trusted these black movements. In 1963, King vowed to organise a million-man march to Washington for blacks to demand their rights to Kennedy’s protestations. When the march was on, no gun was fired and no tear gas was thrown and as they say, the rest is history. The lesson? Presidents must never stand in the way of history and people’s rights for correctional justice."
Very powerful if you ask me. Kibaki has no moral, legal, suicidal-or- otherwise reason to govern this country. Thanks to his rudderless steering, we are on a cruise-controlled hell-raising speed to basket case (otherwise known as Banana Republic - no pun intended), while he dozes in State House! If he soo craved for the Presidency, why doesn't he govern? If he's so convinced of his victory, why can't he go to Naivasha, Kipkelion and Eldoret, in his 'capacity' as Commander-in-Chief, as well as 'duly-elected-president'? Doesn't a leader lead from the front? Or is he such a coward - preferring to familiarise hisself with the under-makings of his bed in State House while the country burns?

I cry for my beloved country.

Anonymous said...

mgema,
How spot on, about kenya long having been a failed state? the sooner the media, industrialists,and kenya middle class realise it.....i hope...the sooner kenyans may tackle this glaring reality!