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!

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