21 January, 2008

The Kenyan Stand Off !

Kenya is at a cross road with two portent forces tearing in different directions. On one hand we have the duly sworn in President of the Republic Hon. Mwai Kibaki and on the other side the Leader of the Orange Democratic Movement Hon. Raila Odinga who believes they won the 2007 Presidential election. The truth is that the power they each hold to unite or divide the country cannot be under estimated!

Honorable Mwai Kibaki is the head of Government and currently bestowed with the instruments of state and command of the Police and Military Forces which he is using to his advantage. Mr. Raila Odinga on the other hand commands a majority following of citizenry from 6 out of the 8 provinces and has almost fanatic adherents from the bulk of the Country which consists of the foresaid provinces. He has aptly proclaimed himself "the Peoples President!" Furthermore the ODM party has the majority numbers in the Kenyan parliament as currently constituted. Hence obviously he is a force to reckon with.

This scenario puts the dialogue that is to be steered by renowned former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan, and other eminent African Personalities including Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and Graca Machel in a quandary! For one, whatever solution that must be arrived in will have to soothe the bulk of the Country in the hands of Raila Odinga or else a crisis of greater magnitude will erupt in the future. That is the reality! The power of populist revolution cannot be underscored. The recent TV footage shows that ODM followers from the 6 Provinces after their skirmishes with the Police are now used to death and the sound of gunfire! Many believe those downed by Police bullets are martyrs thus their cause is slowly evolving to a violent long term affair! This is a dangerous position. Nothing can match a person who has a belief so strong that he believes he has nothing to loose even if he gives up his own life in the cause! It may be that their beliefs are based on a false premise but it is now a portent belief, so powerful, so strong, so destructive that many are assuming a cause of martyrdom! The police can shoot,will shoot until they run out of ammunition as it happened in Kibera.But the people will still keep on coming.The reality is that the ODM movement has a bevy of people by the millions ready to put their own life’s in harms way at the command of their leaders and that is dangerous! Real dangerous!

Kenyans love to brush significant problems under the carpet but this is one that won’t just go if an amicable solution is not sought. The perception may be among the communities that their election was stolen and their kinsfolk murdered under Police brutality! This perception may not necessarily be true but again it is a perception an idea that has formed and resulted in destruction of lives, property, and displacement of persons which seems not to be going away!

The Kenyan middle class and rich are in self denial as the staggering facts continue to unveil themselves. Many state that the politicians have let us down and it stops at that! They urge us to get back to work and soldier on as a period of relative peace /"normalcy" is being experienced at least in the well to do areas! Once again this is self deceptive! There is no normalcy, except for us who are afraid to loose what we have! Out there are people who can tell tales straight out of the instruction manuals of the Rwandan genocide! How do we expect them to deal with the transigent injustices! How can the mother who has lost her 10 year old to a police bullet, or the 80 year old grandmother who has lost his sons, daughters, and farmland just move on! Forget…!!! Assume a sense of normalcy? What has transpired is cess pit and breakdown of morality and spirituality! It will not evaporate to the horizon unless a higher form of justice is achieved! Divine justice that exalts the righteous and condemns the wicked whatever political divide, religious or ethnic affiliations the persons concerned hail from. The reality is that seems to be beyond us humans due to our limited foresight and insight on what has transpired and is transpiring before our very own eyes (1 Tim 3:1-7)

On the other hand the solution must also recognize that the incumbent President who has control of the instruments of the Country will not simply hand over power, basically to save face and also in order to continue to command respect and loyalty from his peers, kinsfolk, loyalties etc. He honestly believes that he won the elections at least in Public he exudes that conviction! At the same time power is sweet though it hardly lasts ask Hitler, Mussolini, George Bush, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Tony Blair, Stalin, Mobutu, Moi etc...The list of leaders continues. Striving to get or retain power remains a striving after the wind and it’s so sad to see that the humans tend to forget certain basic facts so fast! Today you are on top tomorrow you are on the bottom. No matter who is President, the problems of all Kenyans will not be solved, not now, never! The poor seldom remain poor, the rich get richer still and that’s where the problem of Justice stems!

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