Kenya needs nationalists not political opportunists.


The media reports by Sky News correspondents in Nairobi, Kenya have been flabbergasting to say the least. As a Kenyan in the UK, I am absolutely appalled at the lack of objectivity, ubiquitous political parochialism, insensitivity and abject sense of perspective in your portrayal of Kenya.

This is the first instance of its kind of large scale violence since the Mau Mau in the 1950’s against the colonial power of Britain and certainly the first time I have witnessed such violent and barbaric scenes in my life.

So far it has been portrayed as purely tribal instigation and orchestration of violence by the government after the much disputed presidential elections.

The rate at which these incidents have occurred and escalated demonstrates a sense of premeditation and organisation of the chaos. These incidents elicit very disturbing and quintessential socio-political questions.

1. Was this part of the plan of the Orange Democratic Movement to destabilise the country, if the votes did not go their way?
2. Why have these acts of inhumanity and genocide occurred immediately after the announcement of the election results by the independent ECK to pronounce Kibaki the winner?
3. Why is the genesis of this violence taking place in Raila’s stronghold and constituency? (namely Kisumu and Kibera respectively)
4. If Raila is the people’s President, who believes in peace and reconciliation, why didn’t he intervene at the opportune time?
5. Why has Raila called a political rally for self emulation in Uhuru Park, when Kenya is dying and disintegrating into the abyss?
6. What is more important in the aftermath of the political unrest, Raila’s unofficial Presidency, Kibaki’s re-election or Kenya?

Your correspondent in Kenya- Emma Hurd has made a most abysmal error in depicting the democratically elected President Mwai Kibaki, sworn within the constitution as a rogue leader and a dictator. This in itself shows the lack of serious understanding of our best leaders who are merely banded with the same political stereotype and archetypical brand of negativity and lack of democracy.

Raila is a rebel not a political visionary and he is a crude master who uses the media to perpetrate violence, genocide and division in the name of tribal politics. This is nothing new to Kenyan’s which is why he is using the disenfranchised youth in the shanty towns as his tools of mayhem and treating them as dispensable victims. Indeed a leader is judged by the way treats the most vulnerable members of society. As the mantra goes in the shanties- “No Raila, No Peace”. Raila wants the seat of power at any cost and is the ultimate genesis and axis of evil in Kenya and his followers. For a man who would take the world’s media to showcase the countries fallen in a mortuary this proves that he would be a major catastrophe for Kenya and indeed the world. For Sky News to consequently show such images of dead Kenyans in our only moment of crisis in years is tantamount to insulting the whole continent of Africa. Showing such images brings back memories of the concentration camps in Kenya during the colonial hegemony. This demonstrates the re-colonisation of Kenya by the media and shows their attempts to influence public opinion in the world.

Once again the media has fallen prey to Raila’s dubious tactics. Or should we say they have done so consciously driven by an ulterior motive. Africa is a casualty once again and Kenya most conspicuously for the first time. The problems happening in Kenya are internal and divisive with historical and cultural roots which are not being understood. Kenya has 42 ethnic groups, since when has Kenyan politics not been ‘tribal’ and nationally oriented?

This election has pitted the most successful President Kibaki vis-à-vis the egotistic leader of his community Raila Odinga who is the sole cause of the division we are seeing at the moment. Mwai Kibaki’s peaceful reign, educational and political background and achievements speak for themselves. He resuscitated and engineered Kenya’s fragile and emaciated economy to become stable and in a prosperous position, which was 6.3% in 2007. He has introduced free education, opened up business opportunities and created a track record of success in many areas in Kenya.

The crux of the matter is that those shanty rebels seen as epitomizing all Kenyans, are not politically mature, otherwise they would not go on rampage in the street with the sore intention to kill. They do not give an equitable and critical view of the populace in Kenya. Surely, the followers of Raila are simply being manipulated and duped by the leader and as a consequence forcing the government machinery to use force, not to hold onto power as Emma Hurd intimated but to contain and quell the insurrection. The people in Kibera mostly luo’s have been targeting and murdering Kikuyu’s indiscriminately and causing retaliations in return, which is not political protest but instability instigated by the opposition to create what we call deep tribal cavities in the name of nationalism.

Kenya is a democratic and sovereign state and the West should be sensitive and engage and in a mature and equitable dialogue to bring a resolution engaging both sides and not simply dictating what should be done and promoting one side namely Raila’s.

In doing this they are instigating more violence and together with the uncivilised mobs are doing irreparable damage to one of Africa’s greatest brands and emerging economies. What we need is peace and dignified representation. Indeed Kenya cries out- not in my name should violence reign.

Written by Dr. Matthew Karangi- Researcher of African Religion and Politics (Durham University) and Roy Kibui- Secretary, (Diaspora Youth Network and Founder of Brand Venture Associates).

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The Peace4Kenya - Irresponsible Journalism Takes Toll petition to Media was written by Roy Kibui & Dr. Matthew Karangi and is in the category Politics at GoPetition.

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