Why YOU are responsible for the violence in Kenya and what YOU can do about it? (Why is there violence in Kenya after the elections part 1)
Pretty strong title huh? To be honest, the title makes one very small omission, the title should actually be “Why we are responsible for the riots and what we can do about it.”
200+ people are now dead in just 2 days….absolutely amazing.
It’s about 2 a.m. as I am writing this. It is now the 2nd of January in
What I want us to do together is to understand the factors that are behind the violence back home. Then with a clear picture of what is going on back home we engage in serving the people of Kenya so that we can help take that beautiful country to a place much better than before this disaster-filled election. Here I sit in
With that in mind I would like to “open the floor” to anyone who is willing to honestly and clearly express their thoughts and feelings about the election, the riots and the political situation in
Why not Just Go to Mashada.com or Read the Nation? Why bring my conversation to the Displaced African?
I strongly recommend that anyone with a heart for the situation back home ‘keep in touch’ by going to forums like Mashada.com and reading newspapers such as Nation newspaper. The main thing that separates this website is that everything in this website is focussed around how we in the diaspora can serve and assist with the situation back home. This website will be a directory guide for anyone in the diaspora who has a heart and wants to get involved.
So What Do I Know?
To be honest with you through most of 2007 I had completely forgotten there was an election back home. Anytime I heard that someone was flying back to
The around October-November things changed. There was an election in
1) Reading Nation newspaper was a daily, tridaily and 20xdaily event.
2) People realized they could subscribe to receive live streams of KTN and KBC online (go to www.africacast.tv for KTN)
3) ‘After church chit chat’ turned into exuberant analysis of the canidates and there was basically an epidemic that began with ‘e’ and ended with ‘lection’.
With all this election fever in the air (of which admittedly I wasn’t a part) I managed to pick up a couple of things and here now is my understanding of the situation from a Kikuyu perspective.
Conversations With Kikuyus: Pre-election fever
I think you already know how I feel so I will get straight into it. My ushago (home of my grandparents) on my mother’s side is Rift Valley deep in Kalenjin and Maasai teritory. The Kikuyu population there is quite large and for the most part they co-existed pretty well as far as I know. Now apparently around the time Raila’s campaign was gaining steam, my grandmother began to receive threats that as soon as Raila came into power they had best move out or they would be forced out. In addition to that many Kikuyu’s were concerned that should Raila come to power this would mean an end to the Kikuyu tribe as we know it and Raila’s supposed bitterness towards Kikuyus would lead to even maybe genocide and/or general displacement of the sons and daughters of Agikuyu.
Then of course there were the many Kikuyus who simply couldn’t fathom or comprehend the thought of being ruled by Jaluos who they perceived as having an alien culture, being rowdy, impetuos, uncouth and kahees (uncircumcised) or otherwise had some other irrational fear and hatred of the tribe of Lwanda.
Now mind you this wasn’t universal: Some Kikuyus wanted Raila voted in, disillusioned by Kibaki’s new formed love affair with Moi.
With that our brothers and sisters took to the polls
Around the time that the counting began to ’slow down’ it became pretty apparent according to the reports that there was a chance that Kibaki was stealing votes. The Kikuyu reaction:
Some thought: “Kibaki has done so much good over the past five years and Raila is too radical and hateful of the Kikuyus:We have no problem with the rigging, he just should have done it wiser”
Others thought: “ODM probably did it too and they are being so pushy and forceful about the results, if they want to manipilate the electoral process, PNU (Kibaki’s party) has every right to do it?”
Fewer people than there should have been thought: “We are not sure if Kibaki stole.HOWEVER, if he did we must restore justice to the process and get to the rightful winner of the elections and the true choice of the people.”
Kibaki in the greatest comeback in human history came back from what had been a consistent trail in the polls to steal the election by a nose hair. 15 minutes later there was a huge crack in the middle of Kenya and hell spilled out. The almost universal reactions in the diaspora were concern, fear, desparation, empathy, sympathy and a whole host of other negative feelings all rolled into one.
An interesting reaction I heard expressed a few times was:“There was going to be violence against Kikuyus either way. This way at least our relatives back home have the government machinery protecting them and we have a president who will bring peace back to the country after a couple of days or weeks things will calm down na kazi itaendelea (”the work will go on))
Why Do Kikuyu’s Think the Violence Is Taking Place?
Power! To paraphrase: ” The other tribes in Kenya have replaced Moi with a Kikuyu face. They think we are responsible for all their problems and we have all the power in the country and now they want all the power and think that getting rid of Kibaki will get rid of this grip we have on power and leave them to scoop it all up. Somehow by getting rid of Kibaki their whole tribe will become rich tomorrow.”
That in a nutshell is my understanding of the Kikuyus in the diaspora’s perception of why the violence is taking place. Kikuyus, if there is anything I am missing, feel free to leave a comment and add to the body of knowledge. My other fellow Africans, from any other nation,tribe and ethnicity please feel free to also leave a comment and share your feelings. If you have a blog, track back to this article. The closer we get to the truth, the closer we get to ridding our brothers and sisters back home of all the pain they are experiencing now and prevent them ever having to go through this again.
Be blessed and share so you may be a blessing to others,
PS: I have full intention of starting up the blog as was originally intended in mid January by blogging on the 10 things I wish I knew before I came to Australia so brace yourselves for that