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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Power over truth,denial, Kenya looks like a mini Zim and dim in 2014: Moi is happy with Uhuru Kenyatta and thinks Constitution 2010 is poor


Power over truth? The Security Act has been cited in Kenya's history many times to keep voices of dissent silent. This was typical of Moi's rule. The Chief's Act was one of the most notorious pieces of legislation reformed in Constitution 2010. Vigilance is a must.

I last heard the Security Act invoked by the late Michuki John, then the minister for national security at the height of the killings that happened in 2007/2008. At the time post poll violence went unchecked by the national security organs and as history now tells us, security, call it insecurity, was for a time in the hands of a militia group/s. 

These were mandated to defend persons of certain ethnic descent against people of another ethnicity, all of them Kenyans, as if there was no police force. Let us say that was not done by anybody we know today. That is power. 

I do not think from then Kenya has acknowledged mistakes and reached a level where people can have once again real hope in national security organs particularly the police. 

For many young persons were shot from the back with their hands up as they surrendered but every such report was rejected and all pointed fingers at human rights advocates accusing them of complicity with the West, whatever that means. Putin speak.

National security has been abused in many countries to mean curbing the freedom of the people and this is even easier when the anti-terror laws plead for space, saying this is the only way out, the only way to protect the nation. Are the people protected when national security is tightened in this manner on an already threatened society? 

Kenya has been involved in renditioning suspects of terror to be tortured in the USA and at home too, there is a complete lack of understanding on that human rights must be protected. There are killings that Phillip Alston reported about when he was a Chief UN investigator. 

http://www.nation.co.ke/news/CIA-Torture-US-Senate-Report-Kenya-Somalia/-/1056/2551848/-/mffje3z/-/index.html

Can Kenya argue it has national security to tighten right now? Can the president who has already declared that citizens have security in their own hands now sign into law amendments of the constitution that allow for police to storm in check, arrest and invade private space in the name of security?

Kenya's role in helping CIA to arrest and deliver those suspected of terror is already documented. The attendant extrajudicial killings are on record too. Was that a guarantee for national security? Are we not the easiest ones to hit when terrorists begin to move?

What is worse is that it is no longer possible to say that terror attacks in Kenya have not taken a religious dimension. People are asked to recite verses and identify themselves with one religion for safety although in some cases those who thought they were safe still died, especially at Westgate Nairobi. In Mandera, however, it was clear.

Terror must be forestalled without abusing human rights. We cannot become terror to fight terror. If we do, we shall not recognize it. We are not giving up on the rule of law and indeed this is the only way we can hope to overcome. Nobody is underestimating the losses many have incurred and Kenya has borne the brunt of being the country that many would like to use to hit at terror in Eastern Africa. 

What happens to Kenya almost every month now, is a clear indication of that. She is a base to reckon with but is she a force that can protect her own or even make them believe that she is out to work for the common good? All too often victims of injustice have lost. It is hard to convince people when power loses moral authority. Some follow and sing the right tune but many others simply cannot. 

December 12 is a special day in Kenya. We won our freedom from the British and that day since 1963 has been a special highlight. This year there have been interesting events in Kenya just before this day.

Tonight some Kenyans are celebrating, some Kenyans more than ever since on the 5th of Dec 2014, Uhuru Kenyatta's ICC case was dropped by the International Criminal Court. Even though it was often argued that this was Kenyatta's case as an individual and not president of Kenya, we all know that at the same time he argued that the case was getting in his way as president of Kenya especially with regard to fighting terrorism and protecting Kenya. 

However, all Kenyans are worried and this particularly insecurity in the country. The recent killings of 36 quarry workers in Mandera and before that of 28 on a bus from Mandera near the Somali border have shaken every corner of the country and beyond.

Not that there has not been other deaths but this comes after Kenya declared it had killed as many as 100 al Shabaab who claim the Mandera massacres. Since Kenya rounded up all the Somalis in Eastleigh and sent many back to Mogadishu, security and peace was supposed to have improved. But how shall we get there if we are threatening our own freedoms? How with extrajudicial killings?

How if we are so quick to rebuttal any points made by others about our security among many this one from Al Jazeera? 
http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Al-Jazeera-exposes-police-death-squads/-/1056/2549412/-/dcc4lkz/-/index.html

Why is a part of Kenya so happy to keep saying everyone is wrong except those who say that the problems we face can only be curbed by decreasing our freedoms and penalising reform? 

Why is the buttressing of impunity supposed to bring us all relief? We cannot shoot to kill without evidence, eliminate so many and celebrate. Inherent contradictions are now gaping wounds. One hears not about this from anyone near power. 

So today Kenyans are worried that Freedom of Expression and all that pertains to the Bill of Rights which is incorporated in the nation's constitution are in danger. 

However others invest their faith, like Moi only in a man, not in institutions such as the constitution, one man who is the president. Look at how we deal with power even as some in power feign surprise at what Mugabe is doing in Zim with not only total lack of grace, pun intended, but also the assumption that the people will always be under his command. Like KANU of Kenya is said will rule for 100 years.

In Kenya, a new bill to trim rights enshrined in our Constitution has been gazetted in Dec 2014, and this was done fast and only after discussion in one county in the country. This will curb Press Freedom and allow for National Intelligence police to record, document, tap phones, and all that they wish so much so that it boils down to their being allowed to check any "thing" anywhere. 

The director of Kenya Chapter of the International Commission of Jurists, George Kegoro said that this cannot be the right direction. But those involved say this is how to get more security and fight terror. 

Kenya's Constitution 2010, is under threat. After all just recently none other than Moi, the former president declared that this constitution only came about because of "civil society". Moi came out to support Uhuru Kenyatta who has said that the security of Kenyans depends on each individual and not on state machinery.

He was speaking at the Moi University which celebrated its 30th anniversary. Moi said in answer to civil society pointing out that the government has to take charge of ship out that "They are the same people who crafted the Constitution which is causing problems, particularly insecurity, in the country". 

They got what they wanted,  Moi feels, now we are in trouble because they go it.  Moi said he is right and the story was broadcast  countrywide.  

Power over truth does not work anywhere and it will not work in Kenya. Recognition of what is the truth is the sun that must rise besides or along with the one that brings tourists to Kenya. 

Someone has opened the floodgates and all the mean giants have come out beating their chests in glee. Also crawling out invisibly are many slimy, dark things that sadly connect with misuse of power at so many levels. Corruption levels have left many wild animals dead. 

Some Chinese nationals have been arraigned in court for coming in as tourists and setting up an internet intercepting center right in the middle of Nairobi. At that time one might wonder if their 'straying' into the country was due to the fact that police or National Intelligence were not allowed to search persons. 

The truth is that other people did this in 1998 and then we had a bomb that took the lives of over 200 people, at the American Embassy. The truth is that in 2013 at Westgate, Nairobi, those who attacked had also come into the country quite freely. It is not about not searching Kenyans in their homes or those already  there, it is about so many loopholes at the right level. 

And just to say it, whenever Kenyan authorities have wanted to, they have tapped phones and not only searched houses but also shot and killed persons suspected right in front of their families and in the city, and many Kenyans have clapped thinking this way they are defended or at least been cheated so. 

What the bill is seeking is to do this with the full backing of the law so that these people called human rights activists and others who bother Kenyans so much might just keep silent. 

What is wrong in Kenya today is to say it, to keep saying it. Apparently this stops development of you know who and surely, it must be the reason why the entire world has not achieved the MDGS achieving zero tolerance for illiteracy and women empowerment, mother and child mortality so that people can keep quiet! 

ICC 

A man on TV asked for his identity not to be revealed. His dark silhouette faced a dark horizon. No bird sang. No sound. Only his sorrow filled voice was heard saying.  "They say there is no evidence. We ... know... the big names... but who are we?"

This man needs to be reminded that there is no case at ICC for Uhuru Kenyatta, yes. That is his and our horizon dark and without a name. Nobody is guilty. The president is great he wants everyone declared free including his deputy before this court and a journalist Mr. Sang. Prayers are about to do it, he says. I have written before that I never heard of prayers for the victims or any concern. In fact the two words at the dropping of the case were#Vindicated#Excited and running to wife. What about those who cannot run.

I thought being in top office means you become all your people? Was it not time to say now I am free and my main concern is to make sure that we reach the bottom of this so that we can all be free? So that those who died and victims can be receive justice?

The case is dropped, many are happy. Prayers have worked is the reason given. But how wonderful it would be if all the information the ICC had wanted was given by the Government of Kenya. How perfect if there had been no deaths, disappearances and intimidation of witnesses. God is kind.

And not only real witnesses but also those perceived to be. Particularly so, if one happened to have been born in the area where Uhuru Kenyatta commands all the people, read numbers in his support. It became the common thing to have people suspect and punish those they thought were connected with any information on this case. 

Rumor mills were free and reaching families and friends. 
Every level of relationship in the land has been affected. Did other people have to be the ones who paid such a high price when they never killed or were involved in anything? 

Many have said these are founded by those whom should stop sycophancy pretending that they are protecting their prince, a word more and more in use in Kenya referring to the president..

Power over truth? No. It will not work because although power may ignore truth for some time, it cannot go further than just keep denying because truth demands that one says what is and not only keep denying. 

We would all have wanted to hear the points put out to our satisfaction to know for ourselves and with clarity who is who in this and what went so horribly wrong in Kenya in 2007/2008 even when we know the roots of deep ethnic strife and cleansing were entrenched in Moi's ways and days.

But Kenyans will pray and shame all devils like those who speak out on human rights. In the meantime the churches, of all types have joined hands with the new laws. They pray and celebrate with the government of the day for the progress achieved so far especially for the victims of injustice. 

This is power over truth. I never heard that power set anybody free. It did not Jesus himself. Mujuru Joyce says she worked with Mugabe for years in the same party. She is now accused of planning an assassination and with America... that West. 








Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pain as tall as Kenya's giraffe: Don't cross, not even if you are a zebra!

We have to conserve our wildlife, to save Kenya, Photo by P Ikonya

The story broke last month. Kenya Defence Forces were accused of having business dealings with Al Shabaab. How can Kenya cross that line?

We cannot afford to doublespeak about so many things. To do strange business both as citizens or leaders...but for the Forces to be in this is to say or to force one to say this is a real failed state! But many do not want to hear that.


This morning 28 persons were killed near Mandera Kenya and they join the list of very many others who have suffered untold agony in attacks.  Among those who died were 17 teachers. Al Shabaab has claimed this morning's attack. It was gruesome. 

People were divided into those who are Somali and those who are not. Those who could answer a few Koran based questions survived. The others were sprayed with bullets from different types of guns. Survivors in full trauma recall details that would make anyone shudder.

You are not this, so I kill you. You are not my religion, so I kill you? You are not able to speak my language so I kill you? This cannot be. It certainly is not a command of any God and therefore, let us stop using teachings of Islam to try and cover our shame and nakedness. This is complex but it must simply stop. 

Of late, Kenya has been talking tough to the world about her goodness. To the UN, to the UK about tourism and other matters. Many have recently commended Kenya. She deserves to be heard of course. 

We have to first save these animals for their own sake, not just for tourism. To save our country. Tourism is secondary to that. 

Kenya wants tourists to keep coming and for that there has been a flurry of activities including last week's great effort to get travel bans lifted from Kenya by the UK. And Kenya won. Huge conferences on Tourism are scheduled. So it would seem that we are doing well. 

And terror is everywhere anyway? But certain things are so telling on Kenya's compromised situations. It goes back to the same departure from basics that cannot be contravened if we want security and growth. 

No matter how much they hit us, let them not find us killing both wildlife and people, divided and lacking in so many ways. Greed and corruption growing. Money from poached wildlife, charcoal sales finding its way to help Shabaab militia.

Kenya cannot afford to play the politics of greed and compromise. Everything that makes us weak must be thrown out now as in the way things are tossed out to save a vessel threatened by a storm.

This not only for politicians but for all of us. No Fund can help us, no money will redeem us. We have to go back to our own drawing table. Right from homes to counties to the whole country. For every time corruption grows wildly we are all more insecure. 


The story about Kenyan military officers involving themselves in business with Al Shabaab is frightening. The reality of what is happening to the elephants and other wildlife appalling. It gets worse.
How crass can this be! Giraffe remains from Northern Kenya
photos of Rabia Haawa
I cannot sleep tonight without sharing what Hawi Odingo via Rabia Haawa posted on Fb today. Who will stop who in Kenya? 
Who will be secure? Forces dealings with Al Shabaab?

 Look to the left. Look to the right. And don't cross. It is Kenya. Soon the zebras will be crossed regardless of zebra crossings!
Temple: Open skies and Zebras on a Sunday morning Pic by Philo Ikonya
On an early ride through the Nairobi National Park, I felt like I was in a temple. 

It is difficult to watch wildlife and not feel as if someone, bigger than all, an artist, has not been there planning and placing things in a beautiful way.

How can we save ourselves from being endangered by endangering animals? It does not work! Did I say endangering? Annihilating!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Contradictions 3 : Kenyan women should wear military gear, not minis and other choice things, love from Nairobi's Hell's angels

Well dressed women camouflage in Kenya.
Source Nairobi news in Photos... here... http://goo.gl/M0jwSk

Fundamentalism in more ways than one. Some men, some Matatu touts, in Kenya have become the Chief Inspectors Commanding Women Wear! CICWW...

Demonstrations are in order. However, we have to remember that women have been stripped naked in rural Kenya, including girls in trousers were stripped. This mainly happened between 2001-2009. The women in these areas obeyed the 'rules'  and some even moved from certain areas to be safe.

Stripping was done often by some people who said they were Mungiki militia. They called for women and all to return to some traditional practices including what they call circumcision. They effected this from time to time on old women. For this to happen, a woman has to be stripped naked and her genitals cut.

So, stripping women is not new. Stripping them of short clothes, tight trousers or miniskirts is not new but recent, 2014, stripping of women in mini skirts in the city has caused a furore. Are we reaching the roots of it all?

Maybe the strippers have been hotter in the last few weeks because a man who argues that men are so oppressed in Kenya formed an organisation called The Development of Men, Maendeleo ya Wanawake and has been hard at work. 

He parodies Maendeleo ya Wanawake, that had a strong name in working for women until politics destroyed it over the years.
The leader of Maendeleo ya Wanaume last week called a sex boycott by men because, he said, women are too violent and are beating up men at home. 

His NGOs copies activities of women organisations so that he can get the ear of donors and he does. He does not speak about the quality, the lack of it, of fatherhood in Kenya. All is well. He speaks about women as the unbearable breed.

He said, that men should not touch women as they are so vile. In fact, he added, they should wave at them in the air... the greetings of the air, ciariera! they are called in his Mother Tongue and never shake hands with them.

 Now men are not just touching women. They thrash them to death at times. And other odd things happen. Like being asked why they wear what they wear. They never heard anything like I wear what I want. 

I do not like to talk about Kenyan police. Let me forget a certain chapter for it includes me and my friends and remember someone else...

 A woman Police Officer

A woman police officer was summoned for wearing a tight skirt. She was supported by Kenyans who stood with her. She nearly lost her job however, and even now some people would like to whisper into her ear that "Security should not be this tight". That was a kind of a bad joke that ensued in the situation. She was on duty when people from State House were visiting her area and her skirt was splashed in the media instead of the clothes of the dignitaries. She got invited to a media show and she stood her ground. She won.

Still I know many, who would tell her to prefer to wear trousers and to hide her curves. It is not so long ago that women in Kenya moved around their world, with short slit skirts. Traditional. And some with practically nothing. We had no men running to dress them up. Granted things have changed. I mean in Kenyan style, not that missionaries have come and done their thing, no, I mean that many preachers have come and stolen both the women and their songs and clothes in God's name. Some thieves come all the way from America to do that. Fundamentalism is burning.


But to show how tight security should be in Kenya, I saw these pictures. http://goo.gl/KmmZGu Then I heard the Commander In Chief, CIC, say when some army persons were killed in Kapedo, very sad as they were calling for help for 36 hours, that it is as if some people want to say there is no Government in Kenya.
Pic from Nairobi news in Photos... here... http://goo.gl/M0jwSk

When the CIC put on army gear, the donning of the gear sparked a debate. Why and why and why? Finally like with all things, such as the results of the election and the authority to be in office, this died down. Calmly. The gear discussion I mean. 
                   
November 2014

The General Elections of 2013 and of 2007 are undying and keep appearing like certain snakes that are visiting a man in Kisumu, in his house. He ought to be happy but he is scared thinking they are ghosts. He needs help from the Kenya Wildlife Services but instead he is calling a pastor in old rosaries and some strange clothes ( No one is checking too much it is not a woman) to exorcise his house of ghosts. 

Women know what to do with their bodies. Our mothers stripped for power in Nairobi, The Mothers of Freedom Corner. Now the men rip women's clothes to teach them how to dress! This is unacceptable! #MyBodyMyChoice! 

The act of stripping a woman naked because she is wearing a short skirt is unfortunately not new in Kenya. It is illegal, however. Length and width are all she needs to be a good woman. Not to tempt like a snake. Everybody goes to school in Kenya, it is a rule. Many students suffer finding clothes to wear for school. It is a fact. It may be easier now but it has not always been. Do we have to shove clothes issues on women and not to be proactive on so man other issues?

And why is the Big Bad Wolf so scared? It is not fear. It is a show of power! Power that breaks bones on its way to more power. There are still many bare- breasted women who are not disturbed by anyone where they live in their rural zones. But it is not about breasts or zones. A 93 year-old woman was raped in Nyeri this week. And this is not the only case. Babies have been raped too.

 It seems that some men in Nairobi are missing women who are clad in bui bui or hijabs and are beginning to make a point. I do not know why they have not started at the coast. Maybe there women's dress code is adhered to. Just wondering. Whose dress code?

It goes like that apparently. One man looks, sees, tells another or the other and his 'friends' decide that she is showing what they do not like it, she is helpless. A militia mind makes rules. Touts and Mungiki were never far away. Now, then, is it all touts who are stripping women in Nairobi?

HER. Men can and do decide to strip her of her clothes in public. They can jeer at her, beat her up to. But you see men who do this are angels. Hell's angels in Nairobi. Their work is ridiculous. The assumption is that men have no muscles. You can never, ever see them in tight trousers, shorts or even shirtless. And why should you bother? They are sure impunity is on their side, even if they are arrested. Sixty seven of them were rounded up but what will happen to them? Still another woman was stripped as Nairobi women demonstrated.

 MEN in any clothes: They are invisible and that is why no woman ever, ever speaks about their clothes, how they show off their chests. Women have no such eyes as to see such or respond in any way. Women are seen as objects and to prove it is not hard. Women have to cover up their curves all the time. Also in the homes older women ask younger ones not to wear short clothes and that includes anything that shows that a woman is attractive. It is not good for men.

You see, that is why women need those kangas around their waists to make them pass of as meek and humble and well covered. And it has nothing to do with breasts and neckline. This many women going around Nairobi have pretty good exposure in the sense of a good low necklines. Nobody puts their finger or throws too many eyes there.

We do not name our lower regions. It is the legs and the back and the waist that cannot be visible and should never, ever show because as one man put it, his children should not show him their legs, their underwear. All the area around the waist and behind is so terrible. It is like an intruding venomous snake. You see women are supposed to be trimmed in such areas and made as invisible as possible, if necessary and often they are cut there so as to learn.



Snake that sees woman

Tonight there is a man renting a room in a hotel in Kisumu. He is sleeping there alone, not with all his family. Not with his wife. He says his wife sees snakes, she calls him, they are killed by the public. She is at home with the snakes and neighbours. 
He is in a hotel room until the creatures go away. 
He says he has called for prayers because his house needs to be exorcised. 

Very fortunately, his wife has not been beaten up by him yet. A neighbor has. This neighbor claimed that the snakes will not cease coming into the house. The owner of the house, the man of course, beat him up. How does he know where the snakes are coming from, he demanded to know? Violence will solve all your psychological seems to be a well selling ad in Kenya. So might the clothes you wear.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Shailja Patel: "When a man invades a woman´s body space without her invitation... he violates her sovereignty of person. He evicts her from her own body"




Shailja Patel returned to Kenya a few weeks ago, she told me mainly to take a much needed break. She is a renown poet and follows the issues of her activism with verve. She is committed. She is resilient.

She has been there for many in need. Even if she were not all these things....and nobody knew her...what she states below hurts tremendously. That she was sexually assaulted by one we know and love also as a poet is incredible but here is her statement. 

One big concern in the world is how a woman is seen to be and understood in society. There has been a trend of slaying sure voices in Kenya. Yes, there are many voices of men saying that women want to much but what has been before that? Total deprivation of justice in innumerable cases. Customs and cultures condone so much injustice for women.

We speak about these things and write about them. We run to places where a victim cries out long before she becomes a survivor we must also hasten here even if it hurts. It appears clear to me that silence also in these spaces where I normally call for justice is not an answer. May this shed a new light on facing issues of the body in Kenya. 

Commission of, attempts and indeed if we could we would put in intentions, desires must be condemned to the highest degree possible. Women have much to tell in this regard.

"When a man invades a woman's body space without her invitation, touches, grabs and gropes her without her consent, he violates her sovereignty of person. He evicts her from her own body. Our bodies are our first homes. If we are not safe in our bodies, we are always homeless!" Shailja Patel
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEXUAL VIOLENCE COMMITTED BY TONY MOCHAMA UPON THE PERSON OF SHAILJA PATEL

Date: Thursday September 25

Contact: Ann Njogu, Chair, CREAW, Centre for Rights, Education and Awareness for Women
Mobile: 0722 768 381

On Saturday September 20th, Standard Group journalist Mr. Tony Mochama committed an indecent act upon the person of poet and activist Shailja Patel, at a gathering in the home of Professor Wambui Mwangi in Spring Valley, Nairobi.

Today at 12 noon, Ms. Patel filed a police report at Spring Valley Police Station. She was accompanied by her lawyer Ann Njogu, Chair of CREAW (Centre for Rights, Education and Awareness for Women), High Court Advocate Betty Kaari Murungi, Executive Director of COVAW Joan Nyanyuki, representatives from FIDA, and friends and supporters.

Ms. Patel had previously stated that she would seek restorative community justice rather than engaging the judicial system. Following consultation with civil society colleagues and consideration of all parties involved, she decided to file a police report for the following reasons.

1) To facilitate the need for corroboration, substantiation, triangulation.

2) To support decades of work by Kenya's women's movement to improve reporting procedures for SGBV survivors.

3) To move forward policy and practice on on sexual violence in public life on the basis of evidence. 

4) "The women's movement has fought hard and long for sexual violence to be treated like the crime that it is.  We must uphold that struggle by being as rigorous as possible when we make our claims and the demands thereof." - Muthoni Wanyeki

Ms. Patel said: 

"Each time a man sexually harasses or assaults a woman with no consequences, he is emboldened to repeat and escalate that behaviour. It becomes a pattern. Sexual predators are not born; they are the product of patriarchies and rape cultures that teach men they are entitled to the bodies of all women. 

"When a man invades a woman's body space without her invitation, touches, grabs and gropes her without her consent, he violates her sovereignty of person. He evicts her from her own body. Our bodies are our first homes. If we are not safe in our bodies, we are always homeless.

"Let us stand with all victims and survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Let us create a society where sexual violence is unknown."
  
END
- - -
Shailja Patel
@shailjapatel

Bookings: 
Katya Min at The Lecture Bureau
http://thelecturebureau.com/

Friday, July 11, 2014

Kenya at the brink: Could the killings in Lamu & Msa turn into the hot rod that breaks the nation's back? Will you cry genocide after?


In Moi years, 1978 - 2002, and specifically in 1990, Paul Muite, a lawyer and formerly an elected politician used to say that one day, if Kenya continued to brook dictatorship, she would become like Somalia. The people said that was too far fetched. They laughed. That was then. Tonight we cry.

Today many agree that the current government is like Moi's and are not surprised it does not bend its ear easily to those who are not wearing electoral platform shoes and that is a choice Jubilee has made.

Its supporters cheer them on saying that this is right and fitting because they won the presidency (seen as one tribe) by a slim margin against those who wish to dialogue with them now (read the other tribes). But the dialogue issues for most Kenyans and not just the memorandum writing ones include a serious list of loss of life. 

Here we cannot jeer and cheer, but some of us are losing our souls and openly rejoicing in social media at the extinction of our 'enemies'. This hatred may not make faces bleed on Facebook but it stinks of the horrible ugly possibilities of humans against humans.

The deaths of over 70 people in Mpeketoni, Kenya, Lamu County have not been resolved. The president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta said - despite Shabaab owning up for the attack- this was the work of his political opponents, sadly you have to read here, the other tribes. But Shabaab do not claim terror where they are not involved. We are jolly well stoking our own fires.


In 2013 as Kenya voted the country was clearly ethnically divided, now we are hacked in deaths and burials and aspirations. Police are mentioned in the same breath as militia groups. 

Even our fear of the country breaking down does not seem to galvanize us into a national force for we cannot identify, due to the way we have carried out our politics, anything with a semblance to a common enemy. We feed and are our own enemy. We have shown Shabaab a way in via corruption and naive divisions. Lacked leadership in holding the nation as one. 

But was there really a chance for that after 2007 if those who went into power were already seen to have taken sides with their own, used tribal appeal to do whatever they did for the sake of power? Have we been naive? Did we fail the test of values and integrity so badly? Voices of wisdom were heard as those of condemnation.

Whoever said we needed anyone but elected people? The rest have no right to speak to power. Not that anyone has no flaws. Raila Odinga has them of course. He was not elected, we said and he accepted that. But he continues to have, like all of us, despite the existence of a senate and parliament, an eye, a voice and a keen following.  Those in power like to remind him he has none of these things. Kenya needs external help to recognize herself. 

None of this is new. We have been here before. We shed blood. Not even our own Nobel Peace Laureate could be heard for everyone who spoke was told they were speaking for a tribe So we are diagnosed already as people highly challenged by a common human ailment, the inability to hear themselves or see themeslves in their neighbors. http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Uhuru-refuses-Raila-conditions-for-talks/-/1056/2381026/-/kuy8i5/-/index.html

Killings in Kenya have not abated and more attacks have taken place in Pandanguo, also in the area. http://www.nation.co.ke/counties/guns-fresh-Lamu-attack/-/1107872/2380714/-/xeld52/-/index.html But these are the visible. Witnesses to the ICC and other people disappeared silently. Because of the visible massacres of Mpeketoni, arrests of politicians have been made, but police in the area are still under attack from someone and the civilians live in terrible fear. 

Just recently a study on the analysis of militia groups in Kenya was released by Mutahi Ngunyi and Dr. Katumanga in a well documented research. There are militia groups stalking Kenya as we tell each other - and government bids us-  keep quiet and not cover events in the media shortsightedly believing that our own criticism is a greater cause of crime than the reality of criminals, corrupt police and organised militias? Here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eqqWPNxVAc

One would have thought this should have been connected with what the international media said it feared in March 2013 election time. All these gangs have not grown organically just in the last few months. 

It is said they were involved even in killings in 2007. The forme head of Mungiki Maina Njenga had an attempt on his life in May this year and he linked it to his possible or imagined role in the International Criminal Court. He said only an angel of God saved him from death. He got some consolation from Raila Odinga and the CORD team who are calling for dialogue. 

Yes Fr. Dolan spoke at a Christian burial but tonight it is our duty to ask why so many people of Muslim faith, their leaders and business men are dying in the name of terror. This priest who also writes said that his heart is heavy with burials day after day. http://mobile.nation.co.ke/blogs/It-is-time-to-pull-back-from-the-brink-/-/1949942/2372476/-/format/xhtml/-/w8lnlcz/-/index.html

Many things are amiss and if we must go through this then let us at least know what reasons we can cite. 

We mourn to no end the shooting of Shahid Butt, business man and owner of Coast Modern Bus company. His death will shake Mombasa. Judging from the many concerns online tonight, his shooting is another reason to ask if the area will stabilise soon.  http://www.nation.co.ke/counties/mombasa/Shahid-Butt-shot-dead/-/1954178/2381158/-/yp039cz/-/index.html

He had been accused of being a terrorist and we are non-violent, completely against terror, not confessing the same faiths but Kenyans in pain. Many people have been calling for reason and dialogue because of the high level of insecurity in Kenya. 

Leaders of different backgrounds but outstanding among them Raila Odinga have been saying repeatedly that the country cannot continue as it is. Media personalities have also expressed the down spiralling of Kenya's governance. I listened to a caller to a TV talk Show shakingly say she smelt genocide. This word and Rwanda as well as tribalism have never been so repeated in Kenya's history. 

And we ask, if you can see our government has lost reason and is not humbling itself to find out what is happening to the people of Kenya, are you waiting until we can cover a genocide in the media?

The international media expected bloodshed during the elections of 2013, some of them even found groups of people in training. Al Jezeera told us as much. Why will they not bring out such information early enough if it was hidden away for a clean election? I am now convinced that their fears were not baseless and that they could still connect the dots and save us from further bloodshed.


Today a Kenyan vessel has been seized 65 kilometers from Mogadishu and aboard it some Kenyans. The news of the shooting of Sahid Butt filtered in as Kenyans were listening to the news on the above.

There are questions. He is not the first prominent businessman to die in Mombasa Kenya recently. Senior Muslim clerics have also been killed. Someone dies monthly. No explanations are given.
 If he was supporting Shabaab, has Shabaab shot him dead? 

Since the president has said the killings at Lamu and this extends to Mombasa are not carried out by Shabaab but by Opposition politicians does this mean that rivalry in both business and power has hit a pitch that shows the country does not matter any more? Since the Mombasa Republican Council have been unhappy and would not like to be part of Kenya, what does all this imply?

Shabaab owned up for killings in Mombasa and said they were doing this because Muslims are being ill treated by the Kenyan government. If that is so, where do these killings of the prominent leave the poor and less protected? Can they sleep tonight or tomorrow night? There is runaway insecurity. Some describe Lamu as a war torn zone. 

Even those who defend the government vehemently have today dissented quite clearly with the President who posted on his FB page earlier his dinner in Kakamega with Muslims for IFTAR. The people asked him to sort out Lamu first before dining with the Muslims during their dinner of the fast time of Ramadhan. But that was done and photos are splashed in social media.

What is important is to know Kenyans are hard put to understand or to see the end of this insecurity and settle to work and rest. What if, God forbid, something more should happen? There is far too much rhetoric and demonizing of opponents for peace to prevail. We have to remember that killings, accidents can trigger genocides and civil wars. it is not consolation to remember how that happened in Rwanda and to witness what is going on in Palestine and Israel today.


I can only compare the mood in Kenya now to that before the violence of 2007. As early as June 2007 before Kenya experienced post election violence at the end of that year, the people were already disturbed. Some kept on saying all would be well until they saw fire.

 A nation haunted by many issues of injustice shakes. A nation seeking answers of many who have died in caused deaths that were never explained takes steps backwards often. And many will say that this is just a nation in transition and everything is normal.

I beg to differ. Kenya is badly shaken. The Jubilee government may be trying to do what it promised to do after its election but that is visible mainly to its voters and to those who keep insisting that all is well. There is a long list of disturbing issues. All of them are seeking for answers.

If all these challenges were to a government that has full moral authority perhaps one could continue just insisting that nothing is wrong and like Mollie in Animal Farm just working head down. But Uhuru Kenyatta's government has been weak from its foundation because it's two main people, he and his deputy have been cited for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. 

Their election in the circumstances was met with great euphoria at home by a vote that was mainly aligned ethnically, and referred to one analyst as the tyranny of numbers. It was a vote in defence of their own people and a vote for the same people's protection, a vote that will most likely always be stalked by fear. 

Has someone learned or have some groups including Shabaab learnt just how weak we are when our fault lines are magnified like the Rift Valley? If so what can we do without dialogue? How will the letter of the law help us if we refuse to listen to the panting breath of the others? Are we already divided at every level possible? And if we are, which seems the case, is the world out there so divided that we cannot hear their voices? 

Were they so cheated at African Union and at the UN that the only security that mattered was that of the president of Kenya and his immunity to the ICC because he was going to protect us from terror. 

With all that has happened to the Somalis of Kenya, the invasion of Somalia by Kenya on her own and later he joining of AMISOM to attack Shabaab in Somalia, the rounding up of Somalis sending them away from Nairobi, to Mogadishu  show reasons for terror seem to be increasing daily, not decreasing. That is what the only militia group that speaks back and to which we do not listen - Shabaab, is saying. That we do not care for Muslims.  

I know they have to find reasons to attack but we could be found standing cleaner and more focused if they have no reasons to trade with us or people to point such as the killed clerics and businessmen. But of course, we are a nation and we have to show everyone that we do not back down! We kill. 

Not that wildlife is spared either. Ivory poaching is running wild. Shabaab is said to be involved too. Cheap sugar is imported and dumped into the Kenyan market, Shabaab is involved too. http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Shabaab-illicit-sugar-trade/-/1056/2380716/-/wdp5ttz/-/index.htmlAnd the National Intelligence Service says it has no idea who does that. 

Everyone needs help in times of crisis, Kenya is in a crisis. Said in a childlike way, you come to see the elephants and wildlife, send word now to us. Send us healing. Don't send elders such as Desmond Tutu when it is too late for words! And certainly for tears.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Kenya, Signs of Contradiction 2, No dialogue and 'The elephant will reach the top of the house!"

Photo of Satao, the biggest elephant in the world. Courtesy of Richard Moller in Tasvo.
It has been tough in Kenya. What is going to unite us? Our origins in terms of tongues misguide us or are blamed, therefore we re-invent ethnicism - as my friend likes calling it - to no end. 
The elephant will reach the top of the house is a proverb apparently from Cameroon. I like to think that we must make way for others and let all reach where they want to go. Nature included.

Religion -ties that bind- has been used to divide us further. Class wars are big and the winners seem to be the rich all the time. Children are dismayed and have learned to fear. 


Famine in the North has not taught us to prepare for it as it comes every five years. Who can stand the images of the hunger broken ribs we see in the media when we are allowed to? Yet we pray in national breakfasts which are quite hefty every year. 

Social Media is playing a dynamic role and sometimes I would rather the anger is expressed there, than machetes in homes, but again even in such a space, we cannot find a cool library to share our thoughts or have some fun. Life continues to be more of strife whilst striving to breath fresher air. 

One would think our animals could tell us better stories as they did in traditional times but not even that. The level of poaching in Kenya, especially of the elephant is out of hand. 

In the first instant I am not forgetting the deaths of Kenya's wisest and same track using elephant. This means this elephant, 46, guided scientists to resolve the human-wildlife conflict on use of space.

This is not a blessing to a nation that has lost so much wildlife, not a good omen to the world. Not especially when poaching is also being linked to terror actions in the Kenya by Shabaab. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tORvxhYdUaU

For one thing is clear, nobody can manage to poach animals in Kenya without a string of connections that help one get away with the tusks or other things such as monkey skins. 

An old man once boasted about his exploits from Zaire many years ago. He travelled there for monkey skins. The weak link which everybody knows in Kenya is the police that can be bribed. There are enough roadblocks but those do not stop trafficking of such goods, humans or road accidents.

We have lost many elephants. We are losing ourselves. The din in the nation is at the rooftops. The people are still torn along ethnic and class divisions, political and the Catholic church has joined in by deciding to ask those who are requesting dialogue with Kenyatta to keep quiet and let him rule the nation peacefully. 

On June 14th another elephant was killed. Satao was mourned by all. Sleep was lost by many. Paula Kahumbu wrote. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/africa-wild/2014/jun/13/kenyas-biggest-elephant-killed-by-poachers 

There is a Proverb that goes "An elephant is never unable to carry its own tusks". I wish our politicians would play their roles as mandated.

We all know elephants have a lasting memory. I wish we could get some of it. All these things connect. I think we shall be trying to lie if we whisper that this situation is apolitical. For we know that many more elephants died on the eve of the Kenyan elections. Someone knows how to turn ivory into money fast. 

Kenyan poet Stephen Derwent Partington and many are mourning in hunger for justice and yes, compassion and anger. And we keep singing for the elephants and for this nation and the world. Here is Stephen's poem for Satao and for P. Kahumbu who lost her sleep along with many others when Satao died. 

For‘Satao, 2014’ For Paula Kahumbu 

Cowards, let us sing in dead Elmolo
how the elephants have died.
We thank the cavemen, that they drew them,
that zoologists described them,
for the photos of them herding
which the tourists left behind,
for who would ever, fools, believe us?
Teeth from heaven to the ground!?

I stretch my arm out like a trunk
to palm the graveyard of its cranium;
it’s how, I hear, they mourned.
The brain within worked tools and language.
I have none: a useless pen
(it’s only good for drafting elegies)
and even then, no words.

We once had tuskers. Tell the birds!


How do you sift all this from politics?

Two big political voices in the country approach things in the way of two that fight. Yet I believe that the more powerful one is the more important ears are. In this noise, space is created for poachers, but not only poachers, also terrorists. Kenyans are losing. The saying is that "When two elephants fight, the grass suffers". But we do not even have two elephants we loved and they never fought, but they died. 

The grass was suffering before and after. Are our stories going to succeed in keeping us safe from bloodshed? If you follow Kenya, this has been on the rise and the last is events have been at Mpeketoni Lamu where over 60 people were gunned down in cold blood. 

The perpetrators of this crime have not yet been identified. There has been a sad blame game based on previous disagreements. We are forced to wait to see the end of this. It may not be peaceful.

Many people are mixed up of late. Some of them say that if we only stopped speaking politics things would be cooler but I do not know anybody who can balance nature and this nation the way Satao did. 

There are not two big elephants fighting. No-one is bigger than a country we might say. n the spirit of the Kenyan Constitution every person elected to power is supposed to work with regard for the needs of the nation and to show interest in listening to what others say. 

Lest someone says I am inventing because I did not think that the call to dialogue from Raila Odinga would lead to the tug-of-war.

Chapter 6 on Integrity Chapter 73 binds all public officers.


73. (1) Authority assigned to a State officer—
(a) is a public trust to be exercised in a manner that—
(i) is consistent with the purposes and objects of this Constitution;
(ii) demonstrates respect for the people;
(iii) brings honour to the nation and dignity to the office; and
(iv) promotes public confidence in the integrity of the office; and
(b) vests in the State officer the responsibility to serve the people, rather than the power to rule them.
(2) The guiding principles of leadership and integrity include—
(a) selection on the basis of personal integrity, competence and suitability, or election in free and fair elections;
(b) objectivity and impartiality in decision making, and in ensuring that decisions are not influenced by nepotism, favouritism, other improper motives or corrupt practices;
(c) selfless service based solely on the public interest, demonstrated by—
(i) honesty in the execution of public duties; and
(ii) the declaration of any personal interest that may conflict with public duties;
(d) accountability to the public for decisions and actions; and
(e) discipline and commitment in service to the people.


Kenya aimed high. This is a land that says it cannot stand violence of such things as rallies and dialogues as Raila Odinga and his team called are calling for.  He has been told that he is wrong and does not belong. You see just now the president has reminded him that he should wait for the election contest of 2017. The country is calm and peaceful and he is confused, they say. So mixed up that he ferries people around the country to listen to him in huge rallies. Rally is dead. 

Kenya loves peace and what you saw in 2007, if you noticed was not violence, just love for justice. In the meantime a newspaper The Star reports that machetes are selling pretty well and the reporter is wary of the fact that this happened also in 2007 before the onset of post poll violence.

Some people who are active commentators on Social Media, usually helping a healthy discussion keep going are weary. Long before them some Kenyans began to post that it is better to write about God and such things and to avoid politics. They were tired of the rhetoric they said. Grant them their choice.

 But then what is so deadly in Kenya? When is making some noise the only thing one can do? It is when things are happening so fast and the rim of reason seems to have cracked and fallen into a hot volcano. Such are the times we have built up since for three months. About other statistics you may want that are or seem to be more balanced and to your taste you can find in all government books and in many other sites. He is my story from my viscera. 



Irony in safety

Kenya wants to sell itself as a safe country, developing rapidly especially by selling Euro bonds. The economy is safe. There is no need for travel advisories, in fact many Kenyans are suggesting to Britain and America to issue those to their own unsafe countries where gun men often snip lives of kids in schools and all those other horrors.

If you asked a little more you would hear that the warning should be against the European and other developed countries not because of such things as the Lampedusa happenings where often many Africans die in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe but because in Europe there gay people are not listed for death every now and then.

Europe should be written off for its failed morals and poor ways with regard to religion. 

As for Kenya, the resources in the country including the finding of oil in formally neglected parts of the country such as Turkana in the North and Lamu at the coast is just the icing on the cake on the future of a country whose golden dawn was on the 4th of March 2013 when Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto got the mandate from the people both through the vote and to clear the air also from the High Court. 


There are people for whom absolutely nothing is wrong with Kenya. Only on May 31st they say did some nuisance begin because of one man who returned from abroad with an agenda to introduce an old man called Dialogue whom he said had died.

The elected politicians he wanted to speak to,  in the main the president and his deputy keep on telling him that the old man is not dead. About the elephants there is no argument because even poets have sang.

What they want to hear is that all is well and there is no need for this thing called revival and revival rallies for the rising of this old man called Dialogue who now also reveals that he has a wife who also died called Rally. He has met thousands of people in many rallies to call out the name Rally to see if she lives. 

Bishops of the Catholic Church who profess a lot of faith in ecumenical dialogue, life and life after are not in favor of such a dialogue. Ecumenism is only good for the church. It is a sacred word. In politics people should listen, they seem to say, to one person because this is Kenya. They stand has often been questioned.

Only one Fr. Ambrose Tonui Kimutai http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000126442/Kenya-priest-differs-with-church-s-stand-on-rallies has told them that he will stick out for Old Mr Dialogue as part of the Decalogue. He says they are acting out of turn because as it is, the Bishops are not meant to take sides on this. Many answer him to congratulate but others say that he should know he has bosses. Still more divisions. 

The Swiss ambassador to Kenya, Jacques Pitteloud and one of the authors of a recently launched book Wings of Kenya, the subject being birds of Kenya http://allafrica.com/stories/201406301457.html,  has done what I never see happening in Europe or anywhere else. He has taken sides too. He contradicts himself between this http://goo.gl/4Izrru and this http://goo.gl/6Us5qz or despite the dangers that are real and explosive, anybody who has followed the onset of the call for dialogue knows that it has been exacerbated by the deaf ear that has been given by those in power today. 
Kenyans have not failed to let him note that money is stashed in Swiss banks often from all the wrong investors. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

'Fast 2014, Kenya On Trial and the buck stops with Uhuru Kenyatta who must listen

'Fast 2014, Kenya On Trial

Accepted: "A leader does not listen to rumors" Ghana

Questioned:  "If a leader limps all the others limp" 
Kenya

This is written as a response to so much that Kenyans are sharing on Facebook. It is part of a series that was sparked by a the National Sumptuous Breakfast Prayer Meeting, 2014 at a time when one felt that a fast was better off in Kenya. Therefore the 'Fast 2014. Two proverbs are quoted.

If a leader is limping do I have to limp? Must I limp? Never. If a politician, let us call them their real name as leaders are too sacred and few, should I limp? Never!  Things have changed. 

These are not the days that Tabu Ley with others, danced with a limp to imitate and please dictator Mobotu Sese Seko of Zaire. Some people are still fostering this limping mentality. The family must vote for them, the clan, the mbari and so on. No room for dissent. In Kenya, electing and siding with the  president born in one's home areas is taken for granted. 

People are shocked when one who lives near power refuses a job offer or speaks freely and yet...times changed. These are not the days of inventing a limp to fit into power, it is power that should limp like us after they have shot at us, killed and raped the women, taken babies out of wombs. 

Remember Kenya in 1997. Pregnant women were shot in case they gave birth to a baby boy. Nothing is new but we want to treat it like it is new. Even then, it was still power perpetuating itself in an evil way. We cannot keep on inviting the same nightmares. We have to find reason. Having to look up to the elders and those elected, usually men is an old trick to keep people from asking basic life questions. 

I am not going to be afraid of insight. I am not going to be afraid of finding out what drives us to where we are. A place where reason grows so thin. I know some are afraid of words, poetry. I am not going to be afraid of my pen or mouth. I will use them wisely, like the vote. Memory. I will remember. Elephants have died. The best we have. Our Kenyan national memory is vital. Some only want to pray.

They told me to pray that four men speak. They told me to pray harder. I told them i do not have to say what I do before God but to human beings I owe human language which we share beyond ethnicity. I shall not limp.

When Kenyans in 2007 killed others inside a church, threw them back into a raging fire, children and mothers, men, both the killers and the killed had known about prayer before. Churches had been silent as if already burned to ashes before. Their leaders limped, the people followed. They killed. Yes, pray. But know that reason and action wait and plain language which tells us where we are. Sing all the songs you know. Write all the poems. The Bible and the Koran are full of them too. Speak out. Spit out why we are not able to follow even traditional wisdom.

Critical thinking is a must. Expression too. These go together and the other person's point of view need not kill mine, much less make me lift up a weapon of destruction. Freedom of Expression is normally the first target of a leadership that will not work well. It shows disdain for the other when you do not allow expression. This is one thing I have sworn to defend. It is actually part of the right to living which follows the right to life. For if you have no words with which to borrow water to drink in the desert you will not live for long. 

Things as I see them. Look the coming of A New Constitution 2010, A Parliament, A Senate, new laws, more women meant the invitation to more people DIALOGUE. It could never have meant that if a president wins an election these things do not count. That they do not come to being. That human beings lose their tongues and their holy nature of humans, speaking out, not following like mute mules. Even donkeys speak to time and shake their burdens. Now many a times, issues in Kenya have been so hard for us that we are the ones who shoulder this burden.

 I have to be clear and say that Uhuru Kenyatta has not understood the spirit of our Constitution 2010. That he has acted out of order many times. And now, the nation is asking him to listen. He instead is listening only to Raila Odinga's voice. 

But Kenyans started to complain about insecurity and many other ills and to state that Uhuru and his Jubilee team were not performing for the good of the nation. That election pledges were just that. It is not Raila Odinga's fault. He has a following. He accepted defeat but was still doing his homework of finding out what happened to his votes. Recently, his party intimated that they had found out what happened, but they did not release that report. 

He went on a two month visit to the U.S.A and in his absence it seems, and his untoward treatment by the ambassador of Kenya in the U.S.A, Jean Kamau, his image morphed once again into the one who can make demands on Uhuru's government even if he is not in Parliament or in the Senate.

It appears that Uhuru is still at the competitive stage of the politics of the legitimacy of his election. Perhaps the ICC, the fact that he and his Deputy Ruto have to answer for several counts of accusations of crimes against humanity takes all the energy off the attention of how to lead Kenya.

Most people have in a sense gone beyond -even his own die hard supporters except those who are willing to limp along and that includes elders of his ethnic group who see Kenya as Kenyatta - the realisation that he must show results to one Kenya.  Uhuru Kenyatta should have known that by now. Should have known that Raila represents a big voice and is worth listening to for the cohesion of the nation. There are far too many issues bedeviling Kenya for Uhuru and others to act as if Kenya is their home affair. 

What was the need for instance of showing that it costs too much for Uhuru to show deference to another seasoned politician? Is power going to crumble if one eats humble pie? Gestures are important. And we go to the simple negative early signals. The ostentation of power. The public show of this is ours, once we are elected, not yours any more, once you lose. Almost back to kindergarten issues. Raila Odinga yes can be reminded he is an ordinary citizen in many ways but humiliation is not one of the ways.

If Uhuru had met Raila Odinga upon his return from the U.S.A in May 31 2014, for after all, the Kenyan embassy there had shunned him, the high political fever we have now in Kenya would be more constructive. 

And earlier? If Uhuru had insisted that Raila be accorded due respect and yes, accepted that he is a seasoned politician worth meeting at an airport instead of immediately allowing his new regime to taunt him at Kenyan airports the gesture would have been read positively. 


But did he do that, allow him to be taunted? Yes, because he should have put things in order by showing that he was not going to tolerate this kind of thing so soon after the elections. 

Is this important? Such small things? Yes because Kibaki's regime had played the same tricks and this reads not a game between politicians like Berlusconi 'playing cuckoo' with Bill Clinton and Putin in corridors of G8 meetings but as an insult to all Raila's supporters who judging by the close call of the result of the election and the many times Raila led in opinion polls are not only from his ethnic group but from the Kenyan nation.Things began to break into non-dialogue a long time ago. 

Substantially because of the affront on Freedom of Expression, worries even on bloggers, free expression on ICC and other matters, not long after March 2013, people began to point out that old was creeping back and that Moi seemed not to be so far away from us after all. 

Appointments made by Uhuru leant on one one side of the divide, at it is being called now on Fb, the Great Tribal Divide... reminds of the Great Rift Valley. It is no longer a divide we must not pretend does not exist. The ethnic one. Gender too was not being taken into account often times. The Constitution was clearly not sacred after all. 

Now if I was disappointed to see Kibaki inviting his friends first and fast to State House in 2003, making at once an ethnic kitchen cabinet, how much more in a man of the uhuru generation. There was no space being created for new imaginings. Even if we have to live with reality good leadership creates space to breathe and dream of happy possibilities, opportunities for everyone.

 The  opposite left many with space only for old narratives. These kind of actions and the reaction of fear and intimidation to the suppression of Freedom of Expression left little positive for us to savor. Polygamy would be reinforced by Uhuru's signature later. Defeat was felt. This is an important issue. It was even seen as betrayal by some, thus adding to a sense of despondency. No new dynamics were operating. Corruption and the poaching of wildlife, insecurity were on the rise. Much of what was left for our focus was that history, that Uhuru Kenyatta was and is Moi's project and there is much history and story there.

 It does not matter that some who elected Uhuru were still in a cloud of worship, hero worship, the rest said what they felt. Remember Uhuru Kenyatta's roadside announcements on secondary school charges on roads ...so reminiscent of Moi. These were already criticized also in Central Province. Something was stillborn even if Uhuru and Ruto seemed to surge forward energetically many were going back to a place we left.

Such stories such as the rulership of Kenya would never go past River Chania which could have been dead and buried resurrected in all fervor. It was his father who said that. Uhuru Kenyatta was not moving from this kind of background. He became Jomo in leadership. And of course, in the peoples' eyes, Raila Odinga was becoming his father, who was not Jomo Kenyatta's friend in power, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. He who 'allowed' Jomo Kenyatta to become Kenya's first Prime Minister in a way. We wanted to move away from this kind of political contest between giants but the leaders seem to gain more from it.

The Kikuyu Luo dichotomy was facing the nation again, the election had not made it good but now we were refining and defining ourselves ethnically even more clearly. Uhuru Kenyatta could have acted to heal this divide, in many many ways. It takes only a little imagination. Even if he would not have succeeded we would have now different facts to put on the table. We do not. 

In the meantime, the ICC was complaining about complete witness intimidation and tampering. Maina Kiai spoke out about threats. This was already clear before. This kind of ruler means much fear for Kikuyu who would speak out. The fact that others did not surface does not mean they do not exist.

Those in Central Province who had in the first place not voted Uhuru Kenyatta were seen as betrayers. People who speak out even worse. There were numbers and tags and some people were eliminated. If you  mentioned the ICC you became an enemy with one stroke. 

Now in June 2014, beginning and insisting on that speaking out is inciting people is to take many for fools. There has been so much going on that was worse and most inciting. Not 'insighting'! This means we were already having a censored and scary dialogue. In a way the people do not need permission from anyone to have a dialogue. When they ask for it, it is Uhuru Kenyatta's exclusion of his hearing in it that they are pointing out. They are already having it. Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed his kind of dialogue was still going on, no one had stopped it. 

He said that it is only Raila Odinga who had refused to join in. But before Raila came back in full gear and expressed his hopes and fears to the many Kenyans who turned out to meet him at  Uhuru Park. Nobody bayed for blood. There was peace at Uhuru Park, so much so that the festivity of Madaraka Day on June 1 at Nyayo  Stadium reflected on Uhuru Park only in the off-the-cuff remarks. This is one problem for me. 

That another politician who no matter what else he has done wrong and whose history borders on that of Independent Kenya's tussle with inequality in representation is treated so casually by Uhuru Kenyatta. He has to show that he understands the history and the feelings the British and his father witnessed and created between ethnic groups. And more... but I remember well that the Uhuru Kenyatta did not talk to Raila Odinga who was not present. He said:

Minute 24:57 of this video clip.

http://trendingnewsroom.com/channel/ntv/3421/kenyaat51-president-uhuru-kenyatta-s-madaraka-day-speech

"Na mimi sina shaka kufaulu tutafaulu. Nikimalizia na sikua nataka kusema haya lakini wacha tu niseme... eeeh, ehmm, kuna wakenya ambao walikua wakisema.. na.. nikafurahia... kidogo...

"I have no doubt that succeed we must. While winding up, and I did not want to say this but let me say it...hm..ehmm.. There are some Kenyans who were saying yesterday...." 

One would be happier with the tone he uses with business people than with the one he used in the  last part of his address to the nation on Madaraka Day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaBNIE9iYxM

His first business partners are the people of Kenya, not a class. And of course, not telling people which are the matters they should speak about because Uhuru Kenyatta has to listen more than he thinks. 

Uhuru Kenyatta is constantly defining the content of the dialogue the people want. He is not listening. This taunting tone is unacceptable. Even so with the business class, the chips came down. Minute 3.21 is not what one expects from a national leader of a torn nation and I will not limp after it but it sounds like limping..."IEBC did what they ... DID.. You went to COURT..."
Some people are saying..." 

This is so dismissive, cursory and actually in the circumstances insulting. Some people thought it was so positive and open armed embrace. One only needs to read and to know the mood and take on some serious matters in history. 

Make what you will of that yourself. But the president of Kenya must not treat peoples' needs as rumors. The president is still saying that it is not Shabaab that attacked Mpeketoni but Raila Odinga and his supporters. The Intelligence had issued a warning before but it was ignored. 

Kenyans are faced with the most awkward of situations, tragic. Who is playing who and for what reason? It is not to be forgotten that some feel all terror actions are to be used as a shield against answering to the ICC or presenting himself to the Hague for a probe on crimes against humanity. But we are here at the crossroads now and people have died.

We still have to ask, seeing the state of the nation now, the fears Kenyans have felt when Mpeketoni was attacked, The Somalis of Kenya and of Somalia who have been victims, the deaths in Bungoma not so long ago, the many attacks on Kenyans and the non-stop constant insecurity that makes sleep impossible for many, many a nights.

We are divided into the class of those who can sleep well and those who sleep waking in death. We have to ask ourselves ourselves not what went wrong, we know it. We have to ask ourselves what to do.  People are taking positions to go into violence. We have to ask ourselves what to do because this is not the answer, so obviously not. 

Well, maybe looking at our past which stares into our eyes again as a present we still need to go back further. There is a grandstanding as if a winner- take-all dialogue is all what the General Election of 2013 gave us in Kenya. Winning then with the slim margins and all, Supreme Courts and all that you know, cases and a lot of apprehension should have led one to do things in a conciliatory manner, to remember that even if elected, these leaders and Kenya with them were walking a very tight rope. Instead we heard speeches that sounded like we have just discovered the meaning of dictatorship.

 Winner-take-all was part of the old constitution and does not only apply to votes. We needed to have a president who spoke like he knew his power is limited. This was not so. If we revisit some of our election promises we read more on our toying with justice and the rule of law.

Uhuru Kenyatta dropped his Skype beseeching methods. He had promised to present himself for justice before the International Criminal Court. But instead we spent more tax payers money and galavanted as Kalonzo Musyoka had done before for Kibaki to all lands to ask them to help us run away from trial as we had no time. I must say Ruto presented himself dutifully even as the Rift Valley began to warn him that he was getting used. Our tearing apart began long ago. They stood together, Ruto and Uhuru but the people were expressing other fears. Fear that Ruto would be left standing guilty at the ICC.

Uhuru Kenyatta remarkably became the one who holds us in peace in East Africa. That meant that it was best for him to be with us all the time and not travel to the ICC because if he was away from home we would be attacked by terrorists. 

Westgate happened all the same and it was not Raila Odinga who did that was it now? And at this point we could not write everything but there was a pertinent question on my mind. If you become all in East Africa and are protected even from trials or mention of them in our villages because someone will die, people will die. When you become the one the West must have at home are you not pointing a target for Shabaab to hit? Silence on that one.

At this moment, Raila Odinga is blamed for Mpeketoni. And when I take another look, I will talk about my experience with Raila Odinga being sculpted into the the one we must fear. Being demonized. The ambassador of Kenya to the USA the other day ignored his presence in the U.S.A. 

Then came to the call#BabawhileYouwereAway. They focused on Raila to listen to all their woes. They said we paid billions for Anglo Leasing under Uhuru Kenyatta... These are matters we must dialogue about. 

Uhuru Kenyatta needs to listen. We are not stopping ourselves at the verge of the breakdown of a country we love. We have to... it is a duty of conscience on all of us.