Friday, July 24, 2015

Conscience. But who will watch for the watchman? Obama and the memory of Bishop Muge, who was unwavering in fighting corruption. Killed in Moi days

Killed for speaking out against corruption and for daring to be free
Silence has not meant consent. Will you ever have the courage of this brother? To say what you believe? #ConcienceKenya. 
Kenya, never sleep again. Blood was shed for your freedom. This time I want to remember Bishop Alexander Kipsang Muge before his next death anniversary 14.08. 1990. To celebrate a spirit that should never abandon Kenya as I search our conscience and that of the world.  http://www.dacb.org/stories/kenya/muge_kipsang.html 
Have you checked that link? I love his courage and the fact that he is not alive today is owed to intolerance of opinion, hatred of Freedom of Expression and of Assembly. You can then read down the whole Bill of Human Rights and just call it, Bill!
Visiting Kenya as a senator, many current politicians derided his take on corruption.
Raila Odinga did not.
Muge died for insisting that he was free to speak out but that was in the Moi days, people say. And some Kenyans add... that was long ago... 1990, that man, an army man converted to crusader for rights and a defender of the oppressed sat an ancient exam called Common Entrance Exam or what many would call Kommoni...in local tongues. Let us continue on those local tongues. 

Silencing

Muge was dared by politician Peter Habenga Okondo Peter, also dead, not to visit Busia and not to speak or pay with death, actually not return home again. It is on record in public domain. Heard it. And as fate would have it, he did not return home. He died in a complicated road accident near Kipkarren which some have confessed was planned. Human rights. The Bill of Human Rights. 

Current Kenya plays with this. As for Uhuru Kenyatta, the idea that the Constitution of Kenya 2010 is not followed first by the president, that he contravenes it, that it is possible to turn away from the whole chapter six on integrity and not revisit the nitty gritty of it all, is unacceptable. This is our book of hope, this Constitution. The law which can help us work out our wholeness because we are so easily politically divided, came from the people, rich and poor alike. IT is in that book. 

No one should be surprised.  I wrote a letter I wrote to Uhuru Kenyatta, published it in a blog, before he ran for president in Kenya in 2013 asking him not to. Asking that time be given in a sacrificial way for Kenya to first address issues of the violence that followed the election of 2007/2008. Here: http://haririphiloikonyagasheri.blogspot.co.at/2012/01/kenyatta-kenyatta-and-misunderstanding.html

I still hold the opinion that this was poor timing, for him to insist on being the president. But then many ask what business is that to us. I should say that I do not recognise the president of Kenya as being legitimately in office. Something is missing, and that something is the very thing we need whether the economy grows or not. The dignity of a poor man or woman including in Africa touches me. The indignity of Kenya's history particularly in rigging elections also via death and killing voices of reason disturbs me deeply.
Why did she have to see death, fire and surrender her soul in such pain? Politicians played with a fragile situation....

 I hear many people say that the 2013 race actually determined the outcome of the coming election in 2017 for many reasons. This post reiterates that this election should not and cannot cheapen Kenya again from the president's own office. No. That we all know that after and before the violence that shook Kenya in 2007/2008, words spoken by politicians who only dream power do much damage cannot be denied. Actions. 

That we all know the report from the ICC on Kenyatta which was released by the ICC even as this court withdrew his case is of deep concern is clear. It does not matter that so many wanted to hush it and did. It does not matter that the case is 'terminated' the case of crimes against humanity tarnished us all deeply once and for all particularly with the words "obstruction of evidence." 

Trouble has roots as does hope

I have just read views regarding the trouble that has led to deaths between the Pokot of Kenya and their Samburu neighbours.  I think we cannot pretend to stop such conflict and use the same tactics to get where we want politically. This is only possible because it is an approved tacit power game. The top sets the pace. 

Obama is in Kenya for a couple of days, for a trade meeting and the agenda is high on terror. I hear others tell how the visit of the president of the USA and Nobel Peace Prize winner 2009, endorses Uhuru Kenyatta. Really?

Who does it annul? What does it not legitimize? Is it really that? And then again, I hear Obama being instructed on how to speak and who not to mention because you see, homosexuals are not to be found in Africa. And I do not hear, what I think I will hear from Obama. That Kenya cannot afford internal wrangles on serious matters and expect to win the war on terror. That Kenya simply cannot afford, just like the USA would never, to ignore corruption and win the war against terror. That Kenya cannot afford to fight over votes. 

That machetes are also another kind of bomb and terror. He might not say that last one because the USA sees terror as mainly explosions and yes, Kenya has lost many to bombs and on 3rd of August we shall commemorate again, the significant beginning before 9/11 of terror as we know it today when the Embassy of the USA was bombed in . 

Then we might remember that being called "hotbed of terror" by CNN a phrase that so many Kenyans fought against might not be too far fetched. It is of not course if your relatives were not at the Mall in Westlands or killed in Garissa. And why compare with Iran, Afghanistan and others and point at those lands... IS is one?
 It is no secret Kenya through Somalia has been and is on the serious terror map which we want to stop succeeding, by having the best local leadership possible.

Shabaab and Boko Haram are all interlinked. I would rather ask CNN how they covered the story of the compensation of the victims of the 7/98 bomb  and why it took the USA so long to compensate that giving a five year visa to Kenyans now sounds like stale bread and butter when compared to how long those poor people waited...Most of them were bombed while waiting for visa services.

But we are grateful... for many endure long queues and much questioning, sometimes humiliating at the USA embassy much as many other embassies. While the nationals of the West walk in and walk out of our countries.

I still think that Kenya wasted time and resources in the last two elections that have made many look down on that kind of democracy where results are fixed. In 2013 and 2007 Kenyans did not get a full analysis on why after many irregularities were pointed out, the election was still endorsed. But come on, some will say, don't whip that up again, this is Afrika, pick up your baggage and move on... The USA has, you know. Why should we still have this baggage on our minds? 

That Kenya did not need the baggage the two suited men in power brought to it with their having been accused of crimes against humanity. But many people said this was a western gimmick and that Africans are targeted for ridicule by the West. The skirting of the issues began. I am still asking why those who were mentioned so closely in this matter did not become witnesses themselves if what we all care for is really KENYA. 

Instead Human Rights Defenders and witnesses, journalists and bloggers are the ones who bore the brunt of a country or society stalking what is unacceptable and courting genocide or not being frightened by the very memory of Rwanda 1994. Why are victims always on one side alone and are expected never to get their grievances fully addressed and votes accounted for? Why won't that kill all faith and not just in the vote?

I am not afraid to write that Kenya also needed to consider that - despite the fact that yes, the ethnic placement of a person cannot stop them from running for office- to expect that a third Central Province presidency would unite Kenya particularly when the election of 2007/2008 was contested on serious claims of rigged presidential elections was impractical. The song has been how using the "tyranny of numbers" helped Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto to get to power. This same numerical strength has been used to bully, tell off and brand as enemies anyone who would question issues in Kenya. 

Hatred of those who do not belong to endorsed houses has left Kenya naked in Social Media and on the ground. The conversations one reads are often about a whole group of persons being this or that stereotype and when one watches carefully, it is all ethnic hatred. 

To the extent that a Member of Parliament who is seen to be close to the President asked his constituents to come out with machetes and chop up those who face up to his president. And he meant Raila Odinga. Crude machetes looked like butter knives, and a sense of unhealthy grouping played out. It reminded me of this video where Uhuru Kenyatta addressed young people in Murang'a actually speaking about Raila Odinga and blatantly announcing that he was not to be allowed to get anywhere. 

THIS IS WHAT AM saying must stop and must be accounted for. How is it possible in the interest of peace, that this has not been addressed? The media followed up Moses Kuria, he walked out on a TV interview. The courts already have several files. But we did not hear of any reprimand from Uhuru Kenyatta whom she says he works for. Moi times people say crept back to Kenya. Journalists and media have suffered. Moi supports and supported Uhuru Kenyatta.

Disappeared and Dead... there are more... than ever

Bogonko Bosire, a blogger disappeared, it is written, in Kenya in 2013. He is not writing about Obama's visit and his topics, which sometimes included Kenya and the International Criminal Court. Many think that he is dead. #Manywitnessesdied. That is no secret but it is not meant to be repeated. Others disappeared. People who remind that Kenya in 2007/2008 spiraled into electoral violence, that the ICC got involved and still is are said to be looking for trouble. So I read some comments about Bogonko Bosire from readers who advised him to shut his mouth. That was before he disappeared. Their reason. Kenya is dangerous. Journalist John Wanyonyi. He too wrote about ICC in a paper he owned in Eldoret.

The trial of Uhuru Kenyatta was terminated by the ICC. It is clear in the documents issued at the time by the court that serious obstruction of information took place. Judges unlike football referees judge events that are often played in secret. Evidence is key. I want to mention Prof Makau Mutua here. He has persistently pointed out that what happened in Kenya must be answered for by those who ended up receiving summonses. He also wrote that his conscience does not allow him to accept the Kenyatta presidency. He maintains this point about illegitimacy of office. http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/ktn/mobile/video/watch/2000095301/-prof-makau-mutua-president-uhuru-kenyatta-s-regim-suffers-legitimacy-deficit

There are many historical and unaddressed problems in Kenya, terror is not everything. We keep asking for answers to for instance who and how Bishop Muge was killed. http://anglicanink.com/article/police-murder-kenyan-bishop-commission-learnsWhere is justice for him? For Tom Mboya, For JM Kariuki for Pio Gama Pinto. 

For the many who died during the Moi regime and those who were detained and tortured at that same time. It is not enough to invite writer Ngugi Wa Thiong'o and his children who also write to State House. Kenya needs a comprehensive, justice and reconciliation package. 

Kenya needs to hear that so many other writers and those detained are fully compensated. That Uhuru Kenyatta apologised for his Jomo Kenyatta's and Daniel Arap Moi's errors is nothing if he Moi, who is alive, did not. There has to be a better way of doing practical things and these must include justice and not just meetings with a few.

Some people see a silent lion on a tree moving its tail slowly, say in Kenya, and snap, snap, snap... they post that they have seen Africa. Others sing praises to Mandela, even in death... and call their own workers names and dimwits, while they serve them meals in bed. 

Some people in Kenya see a person as the answer to all their problems. A certain joy is generated. Kenyans right now call it by its name.  They are enjoying the Obama euphoria. But even he, some have conveniently divided into ethnic thoughts. 

Well, bless our love for those we see as our own. That is natural. But whilst this is so, that should never be the reason why another person, who is not of the 'clan' is overlooked and demerited and why history is not healed by being addressed with justice. Look, this negates everything including Obama is supposed to image in the world. Look, that made me 'divorce' that kind of clannism and many ask how I could turn my back when the people of our region are 'eating'. What is that? It is corruption, this eating in numbers and offers based on votes and cronyism. Tribalism is an ugly word. Tribe is negative as used for those lacking ... and I have come to have to use it. 

Murdering Truth... work of futility

So I return to Bishop Alexander Kipsang Muge. Kenya has never lacked truth speakers.  Kenya should not subjected to the rule of fear, to discouraging speaking out, to punishing truth. Who then can set us free? Visit truth, Kenya, that we might begin to be free... 

"Bishop Muge made a radical and uncompromising choice to defend the poor and oppressed children of God. He once said; "The source of the little man's right has been turned into a spring of injustice." (Otieno, p. 49) Having served in the armed forces before his calling to the ministry, he often conceptualized his vocation as a prophet and a shepherd in terms of being a watchman over the Lord's flock."

and then perhaps Obama can visit and say whatever he wants to say in his fatherland. He is at home. Let him deal with his conscience should it be that he was not strong enough to call all things, like a creator should, a leader, by their name. No matter if it be in private. That way change is beckoned at.