Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's all going horribly, horribly wrong.

This photo I took yesterday at the camp on Juja Road in Nairobi.

Since early this morning and news of the ODM MP for Embakasi being murdered last night, things are kicking off all over Nairobi.

In Kibera slums I have a report of at least 2 killed so far, in Mathare youths are fighting, and in Umoja the market has been burnt to the ground. In Karen, an up market suburb of Nairobi, Mungiki gangs are reported to have stormed the shopping centre. The police and army personnel have been reported to be heading that way trying to quell the trouble.

Ngong road, which is the road from Karen and Ngong area into Nairobi is blocked with gangs fighting at the moment.

The story is that gangs from Kibera which are the ODM supporters have headed up Ngong Road to fight the Mungiki (which are the Kikuyu's), who are coming in from the Dagoretti and Kikuyu areas just a few kilometres north of Nairobi.

This is what I've heard mainly through word of mouth so nothing verified at this stage but incredibly worrying. Nairobi is a city of at least 14 Million people. If it gets out of hand here who on earth has the power to stop it? No-one is listening to the calls of the MP's.

Any more of this and surely they will have no choice but to declare a State of Emergency?

God, I hope not.

Someone sent me through the most horrific photos this morning I have ever seen, of people burnt alive in their houses and a mother killed with her own two year old watching. What kind of people could do this to each other. I know I keep saying this, but what on earth has happened to our country and our people?


Anonymous said...

Awful. Really, really awful. The ethnic animosity has overtaken the political. It's going to be so difficult to contain now, to control, to tame. Why couldn't those two men have considered, given their tribal differences, that their argument would manifest itself thus. I am so sad for Kenya and her people.

Mzungu Chick said...

God Mem, it is so awful, I feel quite sick. I don't suppose Hubby is looking to employ an assistant in Tobacco farming down your way. Outpost sounds rather wonderful right now!

BabaMzungu said...

I am really of two minds as to whether to come over next month. My man in Kisii says it is all calm there, which is fine, but I have to get there by road from Nairobi, and that is what is worrying me.
I have been on to the UN, UNHCR, and various other agencies, but I am not even getting a reply - and NGOs are supposed to help, support and work with each other!
I hope and pray that Kibaki/Odinga see sense and do something, although I fear that it is too late. People aren't going to listen to them any more.
I wonder if they sleep well at night?
All the best
Dad Mzungu

BabaMzungu said...

I also note that most of the refugee camps are tented.
We are supporting over 3,000 refugees in Kisii. No aid, no food, no tents have arrived. The people of Kisii are doing their best to support these people all by themselves.
I just thought I would throw this into the melting pot.
Dad Muzungu

Anonymous said...


BabaMzungu said...

From the BBC website, 9:50 GMT:
"Kenyan military helicopters have opened fire above warring ethnic groups in the western city of Naivasha, reports say.

The incident occurred amid fresh violence around the country after the shooting of an opposition MP.
Mugabe Were, a member of defeated presidential candidate Raila Odinga's ODM party, died near his home in the capital, Nairobi.

There were also clashes in Nairobi's Kibera slum, where mobs burned tyres and blocked roads.

Government and opposition are due to begin talks to resolve the crisis.

A UN spokesman said the dialogue process, mediated by former UN chief Kofi Annan, would start at 1600 local time (1300 GMT) at a neutral location.

An ODM spokesman called for calm and restraint following the MP's death.

Mr Were is the first leading politician to have died amid violence that has gripped Kenya since December's poll."

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dad Mzungu, our people are suffering and any help is welcome. I know the situation in Kisii is really bad and so far NOTHING has been donated to our people down there. Most fled from Kisumu, Kericho, Molo and Eldoret. Kisii's have been attacked in both pro Kibaki and Raila areas. Kudos also to our one and only informer Mzungu chick.

Ruth said...

This is beyond horrible. Thank you for your reports.

Unknown said...

It's simply not possible for me to imagine this happening in Karen. I used to walk that road every day after school - the bus would drop us off in Karen, and we'd walk up the road towards Dagoretti. It's hard to imagine people killing one another right there.

Can there be healing after a time like this? How many years will it be before people can live without fear after barbarism like this?

Anonymous said...

I have been speechless for a while.. in shock... Now I am starting to wonder how I can help the refugees from here... sigh...
ANyone, any ideas? We've writen letters to the US state department... we participated in the Prayer Day. What else can we do? Reports are hitting here that all this is organized with the youth being paid Kshs. something like 500 bob for a killing and 1000 bob for a house burning (source NY Times). Ick where is the sanity? THen I hear Maina Kiai's Life is in danger too..
God Help us all..
miro in the snow..

Anonymous said...

@anon - its not only Maina Kias life in danger. Its every kenyan life in danger. Maina can hire a plane or a helicopter to take him out of the country if he wishes so but what about the ordinary mwanaichi who has no money to run away like the rich ones?
I'll not feel sorry for any MP or any rich man be it PNU or ODM if they die cos they too, are human beings. Death is meant for us poor people only.

Anonymous said...

sorry typo error - I meant death is not meant for poor people only.

Anonymous said...

anon, I am sorry if I came across as unsympathetic to the wanainchi who are suffering alone... that was very very far from what I feel. It was really my intention to try and find ways I can help those who need help. I know how Nairobi is with their high walls with broken glass atop, askari's at the gates, drivers, ayahs and shamba ppl that risk their lives daily to travel too and fro to these homes just to ensure that those that have don't miss a beat with their daily lives. I have family holed up in Kisumu, Kakamega, nairobi, ELdoret and Kitale... some of my family are in inter-ethnic marriages and worry what will become of them. My grandfathers home outside of Kitale has become a refugee camp with members of my family proving food and shelter for many refugees- they too are all in danger as houses are being burnt all around them. it was a personal thing that I mentioned Mr. Kiai since he has been a friend since childhood.

I tell you... my heart is breaking

BabaMzungu said...

I feel totally helpless - and I am the director of a Kenyan NGO, but I can do nothing from 4,500 miles away.

But I have started posting BBC reports directly from their website onto my blog should it interest anyone,

I am waiting to hear from "my guy in Nairobi" but I don't hold out much hope. At least Kisii is still calm at the moment.

God Bless Kenya, Guard Her People and give a kick up the a**e to her Leaders.

Mzungu Chick said...

Thanks all for your comments.
Just a quick one. Maina Kiai left the country a couple of days ago after the threats.