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Saturday, February 23, 2008

For how long must Kibaki hide his head in the sand?














By JERRY OKUNGU

I supported the ODM during the December polls because I believed in it. I still do and will continue to support the party for its documented policies.

Other Kenyans supported other parties of their choice for the same reasons because that is what democracy is all about—making choices. Nobody is going to bully me into changing my position until such time that I will have good reason to change my opinion on my party. However, since December 30 to date, all Kenyans from both sides of the political divide must stop and rethink the destiny of Kenya.

For four weeks, the country has been going up in smoke as I had predicted many times in this column. The reasons I did predict chaos were obvious to those who cared to listen to me but chose not to. As Kofi Annan stated the other day; the mayhem visited upon Kenyans is no longer related to the messed up elections. The violence that erupted soon after election results provided perfect fodder for organised gangs and militias that were waiting in the wings. It was like they emerged from their hideouts to reclaim lost territory after realising that law and order had crumbled.

As I wrote this article, Nakuru, Naivasha, Nairobi, Kisumu, Kericho, Molo and other parts of the country were under siege. Two visits to violence-torn areas by Annan and his team have not deterred militias from hacking more people to death. Some victims have been dragged from public transport or their houses and violently murdered on account of their ethnic identities. It is happening everywhere. It is now evident that Kofi Annan will not end the killings. It is now obvious that General Ali is an incompetent fast-talking policeman who has no idea what the problem is all about. If he does, he has no clue how to deal with it.

Time is now to stop the killings by brute force because goons and criminals only understand the language of force. It is now obvious that while Ali is busy beefing Uhuru Park with idle soldiers, our highways are taken over by militias. Because the police force and internal security ministry have miserably failed while protected politicians are watching deaths from the comfort of their homes, it is time the Executive invoked its decree powers provided for in emergency situations!

Kenyans are crying loud for responsible and decisive leadership. We cannot sit back and allow this country to go up in smoke for temporary political expediency! 

How many children must wail at the murder of their parents before Amos Kimunya realises that the Safaricom IPO is no longer a priority?

How many Luos, Kikuyus, Luhyas and Kalenjins must die before Raila, Kibaki, Ruto and other leaders come to their senses and arrest the situation? 

Must we slaughter our own people to score political points? Who will we lead when all our followers are dead? In the last five years, President Mwai Kibaki has twice sworn to protect the constitution and lives of every Kenyan. Now is the time to walk the talk. Time for rhetoric is long gone. Fire and brimstone are here with us. They have already claimed the life of one member of the tenth parliament in a senseless premeditated murder. And as sure as darkness follows sunset, Embakasi and other parts of the country exploded in revenge killings!

Jomo Kenyatta declared Emergency in North Eastern Province when the place became ungovernable. Daniel arap Moi declared a State of Emergency in Nairobi in August 1982 when lawlessness ruled the city. Quality leadership is decisive leadership. In times of crisis, real leaders stand out to give direction to their followers. We cannot have leaders that bury their heads in the sand in times of crisis. 

As things stand, the Annan team is becoming irrelevant by the day. It is getting sucked into the orgy of violence at the expense of its original mission. The people we need to come out now and address joint rallies for the sake of Kenya are Kibaki and Raila in Central Province, Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza. They must sort out the mess and spare Kenyans senseless deaths.

Meanwhile, right now we don’t need belligerent leaders in government.This country cannot be ruled by sheer arrogance and misplaced righteousness. Now is the time to wake up and save Kenya.

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