Monday, July 1, 2013

Prayers for the accused, no prayers for the victims...Mutula Kilonzo had advised Uhuru Kenyatta and William S Ruto not to run for office but now we have them in office


"If you become president and you are accused of crimes against humanity...." Said the late Mutula Kilonzo (R.I.P. 27.4.2012)
And he did fear for his life...
 * An update 12 January 2015 
http://goo.gl/rrTBeQ
The General Election in Kenya took place on March 4th 2013. But Kenya is still at the election moment in July 2013. One only has to read Social Media or hear people say: "Nothing is really happening since we have the ICC thing to get on with. But is that where Kenyans should be? There has been a hue and cry on salaries of MPs but is that where the country is really pinched? The politicians push their way around about money.
Three months after the election, the 100 significant days to judge any new team, and there is a pile of things that are not moving as fast as some expected. 

What should take priority? Have we ever taken teachers and schools seriously? In the last elections a promise for a free laptop for every young student was made. Considerations about electronic dumping on Kenya were disregarded. As the world moves to smaller gadgets, there are big size laptops to get rid of. 

Some schools do not have a roof over them. There are still pupils learning under trees. There are pupils who already have laptops because they come from middle class families. There were many other things not considered. How do politicians see the needs of Kenyan people? Why did we take so long to resettle 500 000 Internally Displaced People  http://www.knchr-idp.org/since the violence of 2007 which we agreed to sort out at the Hague's ICC?

Why are those who lost life and limb so forgotten now in 2013 when those accused seem to want to shun the process rather than follow up their election pledge that they would cooperate with the ICc and rule Kenya on Skype? For indeed that is what Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto who are among those accused told the Kenyans as they campaigned. 

I am reminded of he days President Moi would give chewing gum to students whose schools he passed by. There are a number of things to be said about chewing gum. Perhaps not it is that chewing gum generation should be asking more questions, but maybe they are still chewing gum. Political actions have impact for years over people. Small things, big things, decisions made unwisely. Some election promises carried us away easily like chewing gum? Where shall we all deposit it when the sugar is done?

Kenyan teachers are on strike again. Students are at home, anxious. It is laptops that have now become like lollipops or is it the teachers' salaries?  is a crucial time of the year for schools in Kenya. It is not holiday time. It is not summer, if anything it is close to the hard work days of the coldest season. Leaders are busy addressing Obama who is not visiting Kenya on his words of acceptance of gay people. Moralising him here and there and reminding him of his traditions. Of course we have no such people here, we are Africans. Gay did you say? Traditionally you know, here we do not have a word for such people. Even in Uganda they do not exist... and I mean it. Africa is clean. And praying we go Lord our souls!

On many things we are still taking sides depending not on the objective picture but on what we think should make our political divide happy.  We are hopelessly divided. We are ethnically inimical. At least the people who are talking on the streets and on social media are revealing much hopelessness. But even these thoughts of the blogger and the desperation of others would be boxed in as reactions of not wanting to support someone politically and many Kenyans will say to them "Move on!" These have become the two most common words after the contested election as Raila Odinga went to court on the results and the Supreme Court of Kenya ruled that Kenyatta had won the election and he was sworn in as President whilst Ruto became the Deputy President. 
But Kenya cannot so easily "Move on". We have to develop a deeper memory and today am taking it back to the Minister of Justice then, Mutula Kilonzo who ended up dead on 27th of April in mysterious circumstances. We have not yet heard of the result of the post mortem and we wait for it as we review his thoughts on the ICC when he was minister of justice. For he had spoken. We shall accept what the experts and family agree was the cause of his death but we refuse to forget his words. 

Mutula sat with four of us often at Crossfire with a radio broadcaster whom I hear some people tried to blame for his death. We told each other truths. I have a duty to remember him. And to thank him for having asked why there are so many prayers for the accused and not for the victims as you hear in that video above. For indeed if this woman in the photo below is a survivor... what should we be talking about? How will healing come? Why does our sleep come so easily? All I hear is ICC this and that. Prayer here and there. And a house worth refurbishing with 100 million is seen in the papers http://www.nation.co.ke/News/-/1056/1899432/-/w2o47nz/-/index.html(for William Ruto)  and another to be built with over 700 millon shillings for Kibaki http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Intrigues-over-Sh700m-Kibaki-office-deepen/-/1056/1899390/-/ylvp2v/-/index.html.. being built before the ICC court case is through. One being built for an ex president and the other for the other for the Deputy President, someone whom the court has ordered to pay to an IDP some 5 million for his grabbed land, stolen by the same politician? No. Our priorities are rotten. It took us forever to settle the IDPs and in the end just covered up some of them before the elections. They did not receive justice and it seems all victims are headed to the same.

 Mutula was right. The advice remains that it would have been much better for Kenya not to have people who have to clear their names before the courts elected for leadership. But they were and if you keep on saying it like me, you are told,"Move on!" But this is nothing. For there are those who were moved on!
Extra-judicial killings
I remember scared people especially mothers worried about their sons. I remember them wondering if they will be killed either by police or by a militia gang that was said to be killing people and organising for change. And in the middle of all this, those who understood why this was happening were seen as enemies. 

I recall a woman coming to us on a street in Nairobi, and she asked me if as human rights activists we defended people who had joined Mungiki from being killed. I told her we defended humans but not evil deeds. She said that was good but that we should agree that some people be killed if they are guilty. I told her there was a court of justice for that and it followed due process. And I knew many of those young men would never see a process such as that. Many were eliminated by police and that means many innocent people too were killed. 
Still I froze when I read in the Africa Report that "Muite estimates that death squads set up by hte Kenya police killed as many as 10 000 Mungiki members between 2005 and 2009."  Paul Muite is a lawyer who has represented the Mungiki or some said to be, for many years. So where is integrity a voice asks if we do not hear about such figures from those who are in power but only denial. Those who are moving on. Dying because as Muite quoted in the Africa Report June 2013 puts it. A reality we all know. It is not a secret. He says.

"Mungiki is not simply a law and order issue. It is a socio-economic issue. Everybody knows that Kenya is one of the most unequal countries of the world. I have never supported Mungiki's excesses but let us not just treat symptoms, let us appreciate the disease."  And I hear a voice ask too '... and where were you when so many people were dying?
We were there, I was there and I spoke out but it was never enough. At that time many said do not bring such politics to the churches or to us. Do your protest thing such as wearing those sacks. Mourn alone. Some voices continued but were castigated often as those hungry human rights activists who shame everyone.

 Oscar and GPO Oulo were assassinated for giving legal support to victims on March 5th 2009. Their assassination was meant to send fear to human rights defenders and it did. Many of us had experienced police brutality. Now it is no better in Kenya 2013. There is fear to speak out. To oppose. Civil society as known in Kenya before is a pale shadow. Yes, there was a protest of pigs and blood outside Parliament by Occupy Parliament led by Boniface Mwangi but the focus was on MPs salaries. Fear leads many not to focus on the issues of the day and stand together as a national voice.

"Activists say this climate of fear among civil society has increased sharply since the new government took over in April," writes Tom Maliti in The Africa Report. Witnesses to the ICC have been intimidated. The Prosecutor says many were bribed. Mutula Kilonzo was so right. It is not practical to expect people to board the same plane home or bus after testifying against their won presidents. Was the election of the two out of fear too? Intimidation of witnesses is done by people who are unknown. It was written about before.
William Ruto at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church, Nakuru Maili kumi
The Catholic Church cardinal Njue spoke against Obama and homosequals. Where is his word on many other issues facing Kenya today? A priest told me how ethnically and politically divided the Catholic bishops of Kenya are and were a few years ago. Have they healed these rifts? Why are we looking so far to Americas policies? If  there are homosexuals in Kenya and I hear they are everywhere, are we supposed to be checking what they do in bed and denying them their economic rights? Who is answering about what we do in our beds?

And we are listening and spending time in churches as Christians with all this blaming Obama for laws in his country and the ICC for looking for hunting down Africans for its corridors. We are off to the African Union to beg them to stand against ICC and before that it was to Gaddafi to ask for help Kenya and get the rest of the  AU to support the accused without asking where are the victims.  

This is about gross injustice. It is about us not facing ourselves. Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto must allow due process. So many words do not make sense. Replay Mutula Kilonzo. 
William Ruto:
No one should have any worry about Kenya’s stand as a God-fearing nation. President Obama is a powerful man but we trust in God as it is written in the Bible that cursed is the man who puts trust in another man." William Ruto, Deputy President Kenya, Daily Nation July 1 2013
Voice and Vote:
Kenyans are worried about you. About the government today and how it came to power. Many things are written in the Bible about integrity, about justice. About lawyers, about people who are killed about being honest and now... 
William Ruto:
“America has made tremendous contribution to Kenya’s well-being and we are very grateful and as a government we are ready to receive any help from America that will improve the lives of our people,” he said at St Gabriel’s Catholic Church at Maili Kumi in Bahati constituency.
Voice and Vote
We must help ourselves first before we can stretch out our hands for help. We can improve our own lives by facing the truth...
Kenya’s sovereignty
Mr Ruto urged foreign governments to respect Kenya’s sovereignty. “But for these other things we hear it is none of our business as it goes against our customs and traditions,” he said, referring to President Obama’s call for African countries to respect the rights of gay people.
Voice and Vote
You can say that to Obama but Vote and Voice has this to say. We do not quote our customs and traditions here. Customs and traditions we broke many times. In 2007 during PEV  people were killed. Women were raped and they got HIV/Aids and no justice. Children were thrown back into a burning church after trying to climb out through windows.
 We will always stand for people. Like those ones who died in Post Poll Violence (2007-2008) and all who have disappeared without caring what they think or do. We shall not play Nazis who distinguished now the Jews, now the homosexuals and sent them to gas chambers. 

Even in USA and Europe there are still people wondering if gay people are people. Just like people asked the Pope in the Catholic church if it was alright to baptise people with a dark skin. Did they have souls? And on this not all have moved on either! We read history and the Bible too. 

There are certain limits we do not surpass here. We are not the Creator. We feed all our children equal food. We shall respect all people. Gay people are people because they are people. 
*Update was on the news of 12.01.2015 and on IDPS.

1 comment:

Fwamba NC Fwamba said...

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