Posts Tagged ODM

Nothing strengthens impunity so much as silence and fear

To sin by silence, when we should protest, Makes cowards out of men.
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

 

IEBC Protest 2016

The price of free speech; blood and tears.

 

Kenyans, they say we are the most optimistic people in the world, maybe so, because even I thought we had learnt from PEV and never again wasn’t just another cliche. I was very optimistic about 2017, not anymore. Now I sit here wondering whether it will be best to be near the Uganda border immediately after voting.

Going by what I saw yesterday, our uniformed forces clobbering civilians senseless and even shooting protesters in the back (as happened in Kisumu and in slums in 2007/8) is clearly something that can happen again and that if nothing changes we should brace for.

I have heard all the arguments to justify both the protests and the conduct of the police, and I have come to one conclusion: on which side the law and right falls depends on which tribe the person commenting belongs to most of the time.

Thugs who infiltrated a lawful protest are being described as CORD supporters by Jubilee supporters, outlaw rogue police who waded into crowds with “jembe” stumps and bludgeoned everyone in sight are being defended as acting with reasonable restraint by government supporters; in the meantime pockets of CORD supporters saw it fit to attend a peaceful protest armed with stones and other projectiles, some of them saw it fit to try and uproot a railway line later on in the evening. All worryingly reminiscent of the spontaneous chaos nine years ago.

We are in trouble. I don’t think the country has ever been this divided and most people this blind to their own prejudices, or perhaps everyone is fully aware of the chasm and are choosing to deliberately walk on the edge of this blade.

In the meantime, our names continue to betray us.

“with the police doing all the killing, who do we call when our hero’s are the villain”
― O.S. Hickman 

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Dividing the Kenyan electorate: The Gift that keeps on giving….

If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. ~Jay Leno

The contempt in which our 'leaders' hold us... (image from http://mavulture.com/)

The contempt in which our ‘leaders’ hold us… (image from http://mavulture.com/)

Sigh….

It is a wonderful 1st of August in Kenya today as the venerable Moses Kuria (more or less) becomes the next MP for Gatundu South, that’s the president’s backyard, as his opponent Kamere ‘withdraws’

“Kuria becomes the first MP to go in unopposed in more than a decade since Gideon Moi did it in 2002.”

This news of the unopposed ascendancy to power is courtesy of Ole Itumbi. (who however embellished the truth somewhat because Kamere’s withdrawal leaves one opponent for Kuria, Boniface Njoroge of Kenya National Congress)

In case you’ve forgotten (or haven’t heard), Kuria is the courageous misunderstood genius who wrote/spoke this gems of patriotism (and for which he appeared at the Nairobi Chief Magistrate’s court on charges of incitement, hate speech and causing ethnic contempt, for which he was released on a Sh2 million cash bail and Sh5 million bond:

“why only consult certain regions and yet one of the agenda 4 dialogue is inclusivity?” Foreskin misleads the mind” – from his twitter @HonMosesKuria

“I am sure of many things but am (sic) not clear whether ODM is working for Al Shabaab or Al Shabaab is working for ODM”

“You don’t coordinate terrorist attacks from Bostom and get away with it”

(these quotes courtesy of the Kenyan-post)

“The new attack in Lamu confirms that the CORD armed wing (Al Shabaab) is providing rear cover for the political wing ahead of Sabasaba.” (from his twitter page)

In one instance on a post on his Facebook page where he had written this post:

“I think its just a matter of time before Kenyans start violence against PERCEIVED terrorists, their sympathisers, their financiers and those issuing travel advisories without sharing intelligence. I am not sure I will not be one of those Kenyans. When you touch Gikomba the nerve centre of our economic enterprise,you really cross the line. Brace yourself. Choices have consequences”;

A character calling himself ‘Kofia Mbaya’ replies “it’s not Somali’s throwing grenades, it is Odhiambos”

and Kuria matter of factly replies: “We will kill both” (screenshots at nairobiexposed.blogspot.de)

We get the leaders we deserve……

We’d all like to vote for the best man, but he’s never a candidate. ~Kin Hubbard

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Irony: Responding to carnage with ethnic division in the face of a common enemy

The cretins are winning, the killers have us by our gonads, and it is all because we took their bait and decided to play this game, this deadly game, their way.

I don’t often quote Tony Blair, after all if I were to channel the much more progressive Noam Chomsky then I’d recall that he aptly said “Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism”, in which case I’d have to classify Blair and his pal Bush as among the worst of the lot. But still one of Blair’s quotes rings true, that: “The purpose of terrorism lies not just in the violent act itself. It is in producing terror. It sets out to inflame, to divide, to produce consequences which they then use to justify further terror.”

And therein lies our biggest problem. That we have swallowed the gambit, and we’ve brought out the ethnic bogeyman in response to the wave of attacks in our midst.

The Aftermath of Arson and gun attack in Mpeketoni.

The Aftermath of Arson and gun attack in Mpeketoni.

You see terrorism by nature is a form of psychological warfare, a propaganda assault of sorts. Those who trade in murder and mayhem ultimately aim at to manipulate us and force us to make changes in outlook and thinking by creating morbid fear, uncertainty and limbo, and divisions based on irrational and illogical reasons in society.”

We need to step back, examine how we have responded to the recent on social media and in conversations with friends and families and ask ourselves if whoever is attacking us isn’t succeeding.

I am very disappointed that I look around and see that these faceless murderous bigots have succeeded in leaving most of us with our undies in a bunch as we:

  • Spew vitriol at perceived tribal enemies,
  • Cook up fantastic conspiracy theories that are borderline insane as well as incendiary and
  • More or less get paralysed from thinking of much else when we have so much more to fear than sporadic attacks from deranged murdering bastards.

I have come to the conclusion that we are our own worst enemies, or at least our collective inability to see beyond our own noses is, basically:

  • Anybody who thinks that these are attacks targeted at just a particular tribe or ethnic group needs to have their head examined.
  • Anybody who imagines the opposition in Kenya is really that well organized, and shockingly diabolic, that they’d pull off hours of indiscriminate slaughter to further an agenda needs to check if the doctor dropped them on their heads at birth.
  • Anybody who swallowed the sad and pathetic deflection and prevarication that Ole Lenku gave in the name of assurances, as well as the reckless allusions to a certain prominent individual being somehow tied in with these atrocities deserves the reaming they are getting.
  • Lastly, anybody who imagines we can solve conflicts rooted in religious differences and/or ethnicity by throwing in more religion of our own and engaging in a pissing contest about whose God is greater, or by balkanising and banding together in ethnic cocoons, deserves a Darwin award themselves.

It would do well to remember that terrorism itself is not limited to attacks on malls, or markets, or buses. We should not lose sight of challenges that simmer below the surface that terrorize us more than the perceived terrorists who dominate our national dialogue. We should not take our foot off the government’s neck in terms of demanding accountability and the provision of basics of life as mandated in our constitution (basics which lack of murders more of us than any terrorists ever have).

In the words of Pope Francis: “Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities.”

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The plutocrats won again, as always. Now get back to the drudgery of making them richer.

“Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.”
― Thomas Jefferson

capitalism-pyramid-simplified

The loud cacophony of the campaigns is a distant memory, the razzmatazz of the manifesto launches all but forgotten, the vitriol and name-calling of the rallies no longer daily fare, and finally we are getting back to our senses as long-time friends who could not see eye to eye over their tribal kingpins start to text each other with requests for that MPesa soft loan required to cover the deficits brought on by our food and alcohol binging in either celebration of “victory” or anger at a perceived injustice of a “loss”.

Well the election results were announced, the ensuing court proceedings have been concluded, and the verdict was read out in about five minutes.

I can only hope we, both those that think they won something and those that feel they lost something, can come to a realization that we are nothing but mere pawns without any real choice in the matter of who wields executive power in this country. You do not choose your leaders, they choose you; they choose you when they need you and that just happens to be at election time, then we are back to the daily struggle for subsistence, that holds true for the vast majority of voters.

Those of us who live in slums and supported Uhuru are still in the same hovels with bloated egos and empty stomachs, our names will not give us entry to the house on the hill. Those of us who supported Raila and live in far flung dirt poor villages are still in the same hamlets nursing our bruised egos while facing the constant threat of hunger, if a retirement package is signed into law for the former PM we shall not be getting a slice of it. Both UK and RAO get to get chauffeured home in luxury limousines, dine on gourmet meals, lie on silk bedsheets, and prance around on cashmere rugs. Their children will go to prep schools and Ivy league colleges. Yours will not.

Nothing will change for you. Nothing ever does for the majority of us when the wealthy are playing their Game of Thrones.

So rather than worrying about power at a grand scale that you really have no control over, sit back and think, think, think; and instead occupy yourself with: things that are within your purview, things that appear small and insignificant, things that can change the attitude of or educate just one single bigoted friend. And let the children know there is hope.

In the words of an American scribe who inspires me and from an article of his I read recently: “Do what you can within reach of your arm, because anything you touch is part of a tapestry that reaches far and wide, even unto the highest and mightiest seats of power. Do what is possible within reach of your arm, make the weak mighty and give the voiceless a clarion call right where you are, where you live and breathe, within reach of that strong, sure arm. Do what you can, always.”

“Those in power must spend a lot of their time laughing at us.”
― Alice Walker

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Courts, reruns, limbo: maybe we should just move on

Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.
Wilma Rudolph

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Sometimes one needs to do what’s best for the majority and not keep everyone in limbo over a lost cause. In my opinion RAO should concede so as a country we can move on, I don’t see what purpose a Court drama will serve when every sensible person with a modicum of intelligence can see all a run off will do is make us 6 billion poorer and delay Uhuru’s swearing in.

PS. Can we the non ruling class quit with the gloating and taunting and move on too. The rich ODM supporter is lamenting from the Delamere terrace while the jobless TNA youth runs the street celebrating, the former will retire to Runda and the latter to Mukuru Kayaba: what have we won or lost? The wealthy TNA businessman is activating his business contacts to rake in tenders, the poor ODM diehard is panelbeating the beatup jalopy of a URP struggling middle class father: who is winning?

Open your eyes, you will not gain anything but false pride and an annoying hubris thinking you have won anything when we both know you cannot go to statehouse and demand to be let in because you speak the same lugha as mzee.

Like someone said, if your bank account reads less than RAO and UK’s final tally then get your ass back to hustling, you will recieve no favours from either plutocrat.

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They never should have given us freedom to choose

“I have refused to ALLOW MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY in Kenya because it will divide Kenyans along TRIBAL LINES.Vyama vingi vitaleta UKABILA Kenya.Siku moja mtakubali haya maneno yangu”

DANIEL TOROITICH ARAP MOI
2RD MARCH 1992

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Baba said it, we thought him mad

I look at the slim pickings of the likes of Kiyiapi and Karua, then I look at the close to 100% votes for UK and RAO in their “ethnic strongholds” and I am left wondering: Is this really democracy?

Is the choosing of leaders based on number of votes garnered a good thing for a country where for the vast majority the only criteria considered is the tribe of the person being voted for?

How can we say we are voting for a symbol of national unity when we are engaged in a national contest of tribal chiefs and ethnic coalitions?

This would be comical if the implications of the choices we make (if you can even pretend there are choices) weren’t so grave.

Moi was correct (albeit for selfish reasons): Multi party politics has only managed to bring out the tribalism ingrained in our bones.

What a bloody shame

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Historical injustices: Let’s simply bury our heads in the sand and hope they will all just go away:

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
Bishop Desmond Tutu

MARTIN-LUTHER-KING-injustice_1024

The joke is on us:

So Kibunja (Mzalendo indeed!) has cautioned politicians against discussing historical injustices as the campaigns heat up; saying “Such statements are tantamount to incitement”

Is that so? Should all those people who fought against past injustices and triumphed have followed your narrow thinking where would we be? Should Moses not have questioned the servitude of Israelites to Pharaoh? Should Abraham Lincoln have closed his eyes to the brutal history of slavery? Should Martin Luther King not have brought up the injustice of institutionalized racism? Should Mandela have never endured those three decades behind bars because his statements prior to his sentencing were “tantamount to incitement”?

Would you, Mzalendo, have this job had not courageous men and women such as Maathai, Muite, Leakey, Raila, Imanyara, Murungi, Orengo, Matiba, Rubia, Shikuku, Muliro, Karua, etc, not questioned the past injustices of the KANU one party system under Moi?

PS. For the record, anyone who thinks they have a share in one wealthy individual’s property because he happens to be from the same ethnic stock as them should slap themselves in the face.

When I question how Raila acquired the molasses plant, I’m not questioning all Luos.

When I well up with anger at Moi continuing to process tea at Kaptagich in the middle of the Mau forest, I don’t hold all Kalenjins responsible for this destruction of our ecosystem, I do not for a minute believe profits from this factory have been enjoyed beyond the immediate family of the owner.

When I am baffled at how the Kenyattas came to, allegedy, own so much land, I’m not counting the half an acre my friend Mborogonyo toiled to buy in Molo as being part of the Kenyatta’s holdings, I do not think Mama Ngina has listed Mborogonyo in her will just because he was born in Gatundu.

For how long will poor people fight each other over things they don’t own? Why do you allow yourself to be provoked by questions that have been asked of an individual who, by dint of accident, just so happens to share a language with you and nothing more? Do you see the folly that you would even make enemies of lifelong friends for the sake of a wealthy ruling class? One that doesn’t know you personally and wouldn’t lose any sleep if you and your family were swallowed by a hole in the ground.

Open your eyes.

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