// Richard Dowden: The seeds of mistrust were sown decades ago, but this will not e
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Author Topic: Richard Dowden: The seeds of mistrust were sown decades ago, but this will not e  (Read 1396 times)
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« on: Jan 29, 2008 08:50 AM »

 peace be upon you

An interesting article which sets out some of the background to what's happening in Kenya.  Maybe some Kenyan bros/sisters can comment on how accurate it is?

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« Reply #1 on: Feb 03, 2008 10:49 AM »

I am a Kenyan who is saddened by what is happening in Kenya to Kenyans.

The rivaly between the Luos and Kikuyus has been there since independence.  Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga (Raila Odinga"s father) failed to see eye to eye as soon as Kenya got its independence despite the fact that both fought for Kenya to be independent from the British.

Kenya is composed of 42 ethnic tribes, each has  its own language, culture.  The majority are Christians but Muslims are found in each tribe.  There also Kenyan Asians and Europeans.

The seed of mistrust between the Luos and Kikuyus was planted then.  Most Kenyans have known this.

In 2002, Kenyans urged the opposition to put its act together and field one presidential candidate to remove Daniel Arap Moi and his influence from power especially as Moi had chosen Uhuru Kenyatta (son of Jomo Kenyatta) as his preferred candidate on the KANU ticket.  The opposition united through an agreement named as MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) on power sharing and its modalities.  Then Raila declared Kibaki as the oppositions presidential candidate with the slogan: KIBALI TOSHA!  Swahili, meaning KIBAKI IS THE ONE (or literally, KIBAKI IS ENOUGH). 

Once Kibaki was in power, he refused to honour the MOU.  Thus Government of National Unity started falling apart.  The Kenyan constitution was people driven in its amendement but was ignored by Kibaki and his cronies.  It was doctored by the government and put to a referrendum.  The government lost, embarrasingly because the people voted against it resoundingly. 

But what came glaringly out of the consitution referrundum was how the people of Central Kenya - the Kikuyus from whom Kibaki hails, voted for the government uninamously while the rest of the country voted strongly against it.  out of 8 Provinces, 7 voted against it.  It was a landslide defeat for the govenment but exposed the Kikuyus for the first to the rest of Kenyans.   

The 2007 elections went the same way.  But most Kenyans did not forsee the kind of election rigging witnessed during the vote counting. This added fuel to an already disenchanted population.  The issue of inadequacies in allocation of national resources has always been there but people used to just grumble about them.  Land grabbing has been rampant from colonial times.  An inquiry was commissioned by the Kibaki government on land issues and a report was produced called the Ndungu Report detailing irregularies in land allocation.  The report never saw the light of day.  It is believed that it exposes the Political Elite in massive land grabbing. 

There are old age grudges that have been festering.  Even Professor Wangai Mathai, Kenya's Nobel Laurette highlighted some of these in her acceptance speech of the Nobel Prize.  Kenyans have always been peaceful people but injustices have a way of awakening the buried beast of anger and resetment in people.  And once this happens, it turns out to be really ugly. Blantant election rigging happened to be the catalyst the finaly set that beast on fire.

Burning people in a church was chilling.  Hacking your fellow neighbour to death is animalistic especially since you have coexisted for years, helping each other, etc.  All of sudden the ugly face of ethnicity showed itself and all reasoning is lost.

Nairobi is enjoying a false sense of security though some of its neighbourhood has seen the worst cases of ethnic cleansing.  These neighbourhoods have been declared Phase 3 by the UN meaning they are no go areas while the rest of Nairobi has been declared Phase 2 meaning minimal movement and no outings at night.  The entire Rift Valley has been delcared Phase 3.  UN staff require security clearance to operate there.

The killings are still ongoing amid the mediation talks being brokered by Kofi Annan and group.

We hope for the best as we continue to stock essential commodities at home.  A colleague said that while HOPE is something good it can also be an enemy because while you continue hoping for the best, it can easily turn for the worse hence be prepared at all times.

Prayers are being conducted by all.  The Muslims have added the Qunut in every Salat.

It is a wait and see situation.

Halima, Nairobi.


The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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