This site has been cited by many as good pictorial evidence of what is going on in some parts of Kenya. I looked at them and many are very disturbing. The sad part is the obviousness of the social class of most of the victims. It's a theme I've been carrying in this blog ever since threats of violence started to seep in. It's the poor who fight the hardest for these things they think they believe in. And I say 'think they believe' because many a time they can't tell you much beyond what's been propagandad to them by their closest political aspirant. A whole lot of times they are mired in half knowledge. And while right now they hurt very badly because they feel robbed after a flawed election, or threatened because their hopeful won; they have lost all reasoning and are fighting fully for a situation that to speak honestly, will probably never impact their lives as much as their injuries and life losses are about to at this moment.
The Army needs to come out with a mission to save Kenya from anarchy. I understand there are concerns about a divided army. I don't think this would come up unless their orders were anything but to enforce a curfew and apprehend anyone walking around armed with machetes or any such thing. I strongly believe that just their presence should knock some sense into many deliriously angry people out in the streets causing chaos. Kenya's army can very easily handle this situation.
Meanwhile, Raila and Kibaki and their teams need to start talking to Kenyans after having had a collective discussion.
As for the media blackout, I support it and I may be the only one. The one thing that country doesn't need right now is the media advertizing where crowds of violence are gathered so that other small crowds know where to merge and escalate issues. If you have relatives in any potential danger, this may make sense to you.
In the future, Kenya must educate the masses. About peace. And about how to evaluate issues and options and how to fight effectively without being the ultimate loser (mind wars vs bloody ones). Africa tells the same story over and over again. In the mid 1990s, the wealthy Rwandese were in Kenya and other viable African countries, their children in school with some of us. Many of the wealthy got away even in that situation. We claim we are fighting for the poor, but what happens is we cleanse ourselves of them and pick up with the same issues where we left off.
From the pictures in the aforementioned blog, it is saddening to see young people in the mercy of armed police. But once you know that it is likely they were apprehended while throwing stones or raging some other kind of violence, one wonders how exactly to feel next. of course there are innocent victims, perhaps guilty by association. I can't stress enough the need to be as far away from rioting gangs as possible.
Self responsibility and consequence for action must be taught to Kenyans across the board. Watching the people in the slums destroy their meagre life possesions is so disheartening and so frustrating. If anyone needs to guard the little they have, they do. Why are they doing this to themselves? What don't they understand? They are also primarily the ones waging violence as reported that violence is in Kibera slums, mathare slums and Mukurwa slums. If anyone really needs to get back to work the most, it is still probably these people who benefit from overtime pay in several factory jobs.
Schools should open soon. Let's hope that all will be well and that they will.
I'd like to reiterate that Kibaki and Raila need to start quelling this situation. including deploying the military.
As well, I'd like to emphasize that the local citizen has a role to play in bringing back peace. By choosing to stay at home and with no weapons matching out. Those at home in potentially dangerous areas, please be as safe as possible. It is my hope and prayer that help in the way of cops and military personnel is on their way.
Burnt Forest rumors? Absolutely scary. Let's hope someone is handling that.
We the bloggers? Many who have become the source of information need to become very responsible with our posts. It would be foolish to think that an already incited population is not picking on what we're saying and that we're not helping to fuel emotions. Hopefully, we can all (perhaps with the exception of one Gerald Baraza) promote peace and helpfully suggest how that may be achieved.
My prayers go out to all of Kenya. And to all the Eldoret church arson victims. And to all the other victims of these spate of violence.
My prayer is that everyone has been able to glimpse exactly what it means to be at war. And that those who were in the heat of the moment calling for or wishing for some kind of war have had some time to reconsider. We can't choose the victims of war. Soon, it will reach our doorsteps. Some places have already started running out of food amongst other necessities such as fuel.
Calling for help from the US and the EU is always disconcerting to me. I always believe that the solution lies with the perpetrators and those closest to them, in this case, all of Kenya. And subjecting me to listen to the US 'scold' or "advise" us about flawed elections after Florida 2004 is too much for me. I have never been one to believe in the supreme ability of the West to handle African problems however, so this is a biased view. Besides, this problem is not above Kenya. I have extreme confidence that the situation as it currently stands though scary, volatile and escalated is still very within manageable proportions. All we need to do as Kenyans is unite in wanting and demanding for peace. Our voices must be more influential than western voices if anything is ever going to change.
Going out with a portion of Eric Wainaina's song...(As best as I could remember the lyrics, no internet source for them after a brief search)
"Our task is incomplete
If our souls and lives don't mix
If there's one in the multitude
Who does not share our attitude
To love, to dream, to Pray for Kenya only
let my flag remind me
of my sacred duty
And white for peace in Kenya
My pride, my strength, my joy
Always peace in Kenya
In pride and strength and joy."
May God bless Kenya.