Friday, January 25, 2008

Violence erupts in Nakuru, Molo, as Raila & Kibaki "shake hands" in Nairobi

It was very clear from the smirk on his face as he shook hands with Raila on the steps of Harambee House. As I've always maintained, Kibaki cannot be trusted. What guarantee can Kenyans have that this time he will keep to his word with ODM? What is so special about him this time that he is willing to change his character and do the right thing? Even as Anan was mediating the truce, Kibaki was cynical. As one blogger puts it, Kibaki DOES NOT mean any good for Kenya and any motion from him is meant to generate no meaningful movement. Annan has already reprimanded him for poisoning his mediation by a belligerent and calculated reference to himself as "your duly elected President".

Kenya today woke up to a fresh escalation of violence in Nakuru and Molo. As my man on the ground notified me when I asked him what's going on today, "No, bado kubaya. Terrible war in Nakuru and Molo for the better day of today. Guys wearing police uniforms in Nakuru and armed with guns are killing non-Kikuyus there. These are Mungiki and we all know they have been given guns and uniforms. Eldoret-Nairobi road was closed."

So who's fooling who? Kibaki grins like a Cheshire cat while posing for photographs with Raila and Anan, knowing full well that nothing is going to come out of that mediation process. As his factotum Michuki said recently, "If Anan is coming here, he's not coming at our invitation. We see no need for mediating power-sharing." I submit here that PNU are not interested in the least in these negotiations. They are now using Mungiki to entrench themselves after the police and army showed a reluctance to shoot innocent protesters.

Kenyans are very disappointed with this whole power-sharing scenario. As one of my readers said, "I fear that if ODM concedes defeat, it will send a message to future ‘riggers’ that they can steal the vote and get away with it. I really have no idea what can be done to quell the violence, hate and mistrust that prevails in Kenya today so for now… I’m praying." Another reader: "The situation in Kenya is really, really bad… in some areas 100/- airtime is being sold for 150/- transport is still a big issue (buses, trucks and private vehicles move in convoys along the highways – with police security) the railway leading to Uganda was destroyed around the Kibera area … matatus (the main public transport here) are scarce and generally unsafe." And yet another: "Last week, someone was asked in a matatu what ethnic group he was from… he said he was Kenyan. The people who’d asked him then started conversing in Kikuyu and upon realizing he didn’t understand what they were saying, beat him to a pulp and threw him out of the matatu. That’s what it has come to; people are even being evicted from their houses for belonging to certain ethnic groups. It’s sad." And what happens to the opposition? What will come of the 2nd Liberation if we effectively go back to one party statehood, with a turncoat like Kibaki at the helm?

And it is against this backdrop that Kenyans pegged their hopes on the Anan-led mediations. But it seems the other side is more interested in the status quo. Kibaki has already led Kenya along a dangerous path: blatantly stealing elections, killing citizens for protesting it, "importing" soldiers from Uganda after his own soldiers refused to take part in the nefarious plot, and now trampling underfoot the only credible solution left for sanity in this country. Dressing Mungiki in police uniform and sending them to attack other communities can only lead this country in one direction. And we are already at the tipping point; Kenya cannot possibly get worse. As one reader puts it, "I believe this is a necessary baptismal process that this country has to go through. We have always had a facade of peace when kumbe it was boiling hot just beneath the surface. Unless there is justice and a deliberate restructuring and rebuilding of confidence in key institutions (Presidency, Electoral Commission, Judiciary etc) then the trouble will linger for years. I also believe that even if Raila 'concedes' defeat there would be no peace because Wananchi have taken ownership of the struggle."

1 comment:

Acolyte said...

With the attitude the present government has they feel they are far and beyond any reprimand that comes their way.
The return of the mungiki was inevitable. Their memebers were itching for a chance to get back into action and with high ranking government officials firmly behind them the rest of Kenya's tribes are in big big trouble.
As for the man in the matatu, some tribes have always used their number and dominance to the expense of others and this was that combined with pent up rage.
Like you said, Kenyans are slowly but surely taking sides and arms in this struggle and as the saying goes; bado mapambano!