Friday, January 4, 2008

Help Stop the Genocide ( The Kikuyu side)

At last, this is a breath of fresh air. Kenya Development Network and Consortium (KDNC) has published. The debate can start. I agree! I disagree!

"Raila Odinga exploited the above sentiments to gain support of people from Rift Valley and Coast province that are xenophobic." Uh! Ah! That does not help, but it is good.

Help Stop the Genocide

The international press and the international community are pre-occupied with the results of the recently concluded elections in Kenya while genocide goes on unabated. It is sad to note that we are quick to give justification of the killings while ignoring the historical events that have put us in this predicament.

The opposition is accusing President Mwai Kibaki’s party of rigging the election by inflating the results. On the other hand the president’s party is accusing the opposition of locking out its (the ruling party’s) agents from its strongholds then allowing multiple voting by compromising election officials. A close look at the election results shows that there was an unrealistically high turnout of voters in Eastern Province and Central Province where the president is rated favorably. There was also a very high turnout of voters in opposition strongholds in Rift Valley and Nyanza Provinces. This makes it difficult to tell who the real winner is in that poll that was said to be too close to call in pre-election surveys.

So how did the results lead to violence?
Even before the elections were held, there was propaganda circulating in Kenya pitting the Kikuyu tribe against the rest of Kenyans. Lists of Kikuyu government employees were circulated to create the notion that only Kikuyus were occupying top jobs. Those lists contained names of people from the Embu and Meru communities that live in the area around Mt. Kenya.

Kikuyu, Meru (composed of Meru, Mbeere, Tharaka) and Embu make up 24%, 6% and 3% of the Kenyan population respectively. People from these tribes are lumped together as GEMA and make up over 30% of the Kenyan population. One would expect a people who make up 30% of the population to have a noticeable presence in the job market and in the economy.

Then we propaganda saying that Central Province contributed the least in taxes yet it was allocated the most amount of money for development. This was first revealed in an op-ed by Barrack Muluka (The Standard, Saturday July 29, 2006 and Saturday July 22, 2006).

Kenya is a unitary state that is mainly funded by income tax and sales tax. From what I understand the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) doesn’t keep tally on what each province contributes. Such a figure will be hard to come by because businesses are registered in Nairobi and remit their income tax to KRA in Nairobi no matter what part of the country the companies are doing business. Also a significant number of people working in Nairobi City live in Central province. This means that if we were to look at income tax collected from Nairobi, it will also include residents of Central Province.

Those talking about distribution of wealth present the case as though the distribution should be between tribes. The reality on the ground is that Kenya has a few rich people (made of elites from all tribes) and a majority of poor people. The elites pushing the tribal agenda deflect the issue of equitable distribution of wealth from being a class issue and make it a tribal issue. The majority of Kenyans living in the slums is made up of people form the Kikuyu tribe.

The area around Mt. Kenya where the so-called Gema tribes come from is densely populated forcing it inhabitants to seek land and jobs outside their ancestral lands. Today, the Kikuyu and the Kisii (people a densely populated region in Nyanza Province) can be found in all part of Kenya. A majority of Kenyan immigrants in the USA and the UK can trace their lineage to the Kikuyu and Kisii tribes. In Kenya where tribes are supposed to own regions, it creates a lot of tension. A Kikuyu doing business in Kisumu is not viewed as just another Kenyan who is working hard to earn his bread but as an alien coming in to dominate the local people. This tension mixed with politics has in the past resulted in tribal cleansing.

Politicians who seek to control their tribes have used ethic identity (an equivalent of ultra-nationalism as in Germany and Russia). These politicians promise their tribesmen that they will establish Majimbo (Federalism) as a way to ensure that the Kikuyu and other “aliens” don’t dominate over them. To a significant population of Kenyans (mainly in Coast Province and Rift Valley) Majimbo means that Kenyans will go back to their ancestral land and leave behind their property.

The right too own property in any part of Kenya by any Kenyan citizen is a farce. A significant number of Kenyans believe that tribes own regions and those seeking to invest in those regions are temporary visitors who can be ejected at any time. Ejection and murder of “aliens” has happened in the recent past.

The following quote points this out:
“They said although ODM pentagon member William Ruto urged residents to observe peace when he visited the area, a politician from the area met youths and held a meeting at Maemba running into midnight, where he supplied them with torches and gumboots.

The politician is reported to have said that those who had bought land in the area had rendered the indigenous people landless and consequently homeless.”

Just before the election, Hilary Ngw’eno -a Luo veteran journalist- wrote a series of “historical” articles in the Daily Nation on the role of the Gema (Kikuyu) mafia in the late President Kenyatta administration. It is now apparent that Ngw’eno was pushing the Kikuyu vs. Kenyans agenda even further. His articles were supposed to remind Kenyans of the “evil” Kikuyus and their conspiracy to control Kenya. President Kenyatta and Raila Odinga’s father parted ways politically because Oginga Odinga was pro-communism while Kenyatta was pro-capitalism. People who want to rouse ethnic animosity often leave this fact out and argue that Kikuyus pushed Luos out of the Kenyatta government.

ODM and Raila’s Odinga’s role in the current ethnic cleansing
The background above is what has brought us up to this situation. Raila Odinga exploited the above sentiments to gain support of people from Rift Valley and Coast province that are xenophobic. Raila Odinga has never been for Majimbo but he chanced his stand to get the support of William Ruto (hails from the Kalenjin group of tribes), Najib Balala (a Muslim from Coast Province), and William Ole Ntimama (led the 1992 and 1997 ethnic cleansing).

The election results are just an excuse used to execute a preconceived genocide. It is a shame then when Raila Odinga justifies acts of genocide by claiming that those engaging in the crimes are “peacefully” protesting against a rigged election. He has asked the president to step down if he wants the killings stop.
The following quote from Reuters doesn’t show a people who are protesting the election results but a people who are out to commit genocide.

As black smoke billowed overhead, one crowd waved machetes and yelled "Death to Kikuyus". Young boys swigged looted beer.
"We have just started. We will loot all Kikuyu shops and kill them on sight," said Richard Ondigi, 23, a driver.

There are many reports like these.
In an action reminiscent of the Rwanda, Kalenjin Raiders who are supporting Raila Odinga and the local MP William Ruto (promised to be PM) torched a church killing more than 50 Kenyans mainly from the Kikuyu tribe.

Raila is yet to talk about the Eldoret massacre. He has denied a instigating a genocide saying, "The security forces are shooting people on sight. It is Kibaki that should be blamed."

Until yesterday, the Raila campaign website carried rumors that the Army and Police chiefs had quit. This information has been on the site for more than 3 days. The site had also carried rumors that the Electoral Commission chief had been killed. All this was meant to rally Raila Odinga's supporters and create anarchy. (I can provide saved HTML web pages and screen shots).Raila Odinga, William Ruto and Najib Balala have the power to order their supporters to stop the genocide but they are not ready to. They think that the killings will earn them political capital but that is not going to be the case.

The international community needs to look carefully at the historical data that led us to this. We should not excuse those committing the genocide by simply pointing out at the election results. In Kenya we have a saying that loosely translates: “the raging river that you see was once made up of streams.”

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Kibaki must be held responsible for the bloodshed. ECK has no excuse, they too can be charged for complicity to commit genocide. Those who are looking at the tribal hatred and murder might be naive to try to blame Raila, but the truth is Kibaki number 2, must be stopped by any means necessary. The signs are very clear, "A Tribal Dictatorship." Kenyans had no problem in the last election when Kibaki, a Kikuyu ran against Uhuru, another Kikuyu. It is time for Kikuyus to stand up and smell the chai. Kikuyus are the poorest and the most oppressed. Shoot to Kill has always been used against Kikuyus "Del Monte." The only matatus that must go to the police station for a strip search, are the ones going to Kikuyuland. There are more Kikuyus in prison than any other group. Kikuyus just like they rejected Uhuru and what he stood for, can reject Kibaki for trying to bring back the KANU type dictatorship. Raila and Luos should also be very careful when making statements about the election. Kenyans did not vote for Raila the Luo; Kenyans voted for Raila the ODM nominee.