Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Trouble in Kikuyu

Of course 24 hours without anything going down was too good to ask for.

I have heard that tear gas has been fired to disperse rowdy groups in the Kikuyu area just outside Nairobi. They are trying to flush out all non-Kikuyus I understand.

Interesting bit of news on the local radio just now from President Paul Kagemi of Rwanda, (who originally started off as a rebel leader don't forget..... ), who suggests that Kenya should most definitely bring in the army right now, temporarily, until we can get the situation under control. He suggests that if Kenya doesn't do this, the situation is likely to spiral until there is no country left to get under control.

Funnily enough, he saw something similar happen in his own country a few years back as to what we're seeing here, except of course we are not having any 'ethnic cleansing' going on in Kenya - its just tribe against tribe and flushing each other out of certain areas - but apparently 'ethnic cleansing' are not words anyone wants to use round here - not sure what words we are supposed to use but if anyone has any ideas I am very open to suggestions.

Right now it seems the people of Kenya have stopped listening to the big fellows spouting words and are on their own mission. At least if we had the army in for a while everyone may be able to take a step backwards and perhaps reflect for a while and then they may start listening again to the majority of Kenyans who are trying their best to preach peace.

Surely anything is worth a shot at this stage. I don't honestly think having the army in charge right now could be worse than this current anarchy.

Sent from my BlackBerry®

7 comments:

nuttycow said...

Hey LWKC -

Thought you'd be interested in this article - http://www.guardian.co.uk/kenya/story/0,,2249053,00.html - the US envoy seems to be happy to use the term "ethnic cleansing". At least someone is.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Assuming the army itself is not contaminated by tribal loyalties, I think you are right.

MZUNGU CHICK said...

Thanks for that nuttycow – although I’m not entirely sure Ms Jendayi Frazer, (the US envoy) knows quite what she’s on about with the ‘aimed at the Kikuyu tribe’, when it is currently the Kikuyu’s flushing out all the other tribes in Nakuru, Naivasha and now today in Kikuyu just outside Nairobi.
Has she not seen that ALL tribes are suffering depending on what region they are in?

And what on earth is she on about with this quote?
"The aim originally was not to kill, it was to cleanse, it was to push them out of the region,"
- er, and what does she suggest those people with machetes and torches chasing people around and hacking them or burning them alive is all about? Does she think they meant to rush about shouting; “Shoo, shoo, Be off with you scoundrels!”,
and then perhaps one of them tripped over and chopped another fellow’s head off by mistake?

Mr Bananas - I do agree and hope that the army is not contaminated with loyalties, but I suppose we have no way of guaranteeing that one. Perhaps that's why they don't want to bring the army in - perhaps the government is worried that the army may have too many people with loyalties on the ODM side and they may cause a coup d'etat.

Anonymous said...

i do agree with president kagames point. desperate times need unconventional measures.

Dad Mzungu said...

Have to agree with you MC, but then what do you expect from a US envoy?

One quote I did like:
"She said both sides had spent a lot of unhelpful time adopting hard-line negotiating positions in public and inciting political and ethnic unrest."

And of course the talks were delayed again because neither side can agree on an agenda. Hmmm, I thought eh agenda was pretty obvious, but then, I'm not a politician.

God Save Kenya
Dad Mzungu

Anonymous said...

The question being whether or not the country can hold on to any semblance of authority.

It's about leadership. Not just from the squabbling ranters at the top - but from those that surround them, that then transcends to key people who can spread the word of peace. Tribal or not - the mayhem has to stop.

It's really more about land and wealth. Too many people are educated and well informed but without jobs. What is too many? Too many is what is happening now.

Kenya needs industry. More than exporting flowers for love hungry Europeans or tea for the Pakistanis. Whilst these are all good, what is left for Kenya?

Flowers can be and will be grown elsewhere. Tourists will go to another beach or park.

What's left in Kenya? It's a hub. It's a center for diversity and stability. Or was. Or rather still can be. SO much rides on what happens in Nairobi for the rest of East Africa. Fuel prices have soared in Uganda; it is seriously damaging their economy. What did Uganda do? Nothing. They have been through enough problems of their own to deal with Kenya's.

The responsibilty lies with everyone. Especially those that are heard, IE, elders, (if you want to make this tribal listen to chuma ya zamani). Nothing will be solved by pitting against others based on a name.

The army can play a key role in restoring law and order. It has to come from above. The people in charge. The next wave will be foreigners in blue helmets touting UN emergency. If it comes to that then so be it. At least goods can get where they are needed before this becomes a regional crisis.

As for the underlying resentment? How do we progress. We just do - we tolerate each other and then in time learn to know that no-one is a threat. Kenya has the opportunity to build not destroy.

We rubbed shoulders before (for a common cause) and can do so again.

Kenya is one nation and tribal or not (wazungu too is a tribe in Kenyan's eyes)it's time to be Kenyan. It's a pride we cherished.

Tribal patriotism or the lack of faith in the government does not represent Kenya. We all know how corrupt and murky all of Kenya's politicians have been in the past and continue to do so. The wealth has been raped already. There is no more to take. Let the people breathe.

The past is the past. Colonial borders and percieved super-wealthy Kyuks are no excuse. Most of the Kyuks are as desperate and poor as any other tribe.

So for the ardent tribalists out there - what would be left if this continued? Majimboism. separate states? Smells of Somalia to me. We're better than that. Now it's just how to tell the angry mobs the same message.

I feel the pain too. Hearing my father on the phone whilst a helicopter is firing rounds at crowds from above his house is alarming and tragic. Unbeleivable really. But it happened. His fear is my fear. I hear the fear in people's voices. Hear the anger. We all feel the pain. So to rationalize.....if leaflets truly are being dropped and messages of endorsed unrest continue then the message of peace has to be louder.

This can be beaten. It has to. That would be Kenyan. Land entitlement is crucial to stability. We have land, we have good people...it is Kenya that needs protecting NOT the tribes that we came from.

Mzungu or not.

MZUNGU CHICK said...

Thanks for your comment Anonymous.

I most definitely agree with you that ALL Kenyans need protection no matter what tribe they come from as it is Kenya as a whole that is suffering, and we will only beat this if we all stand together as one.