A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Diary 2 (Our voices – perspectives on events in Kenya)

By Sheliya. [As KP I have asked readers to submit their own perspectives on the unfolding events. This is their voice.]

I have gone from optimistic to peeved to expectant to crestfallen… and no, I am not bipolar. This election was potentially an opportunity for most Kenyans to rise above the status quo but that may never be possible. You see to me it’s not just about another five year term for Kibaki… there’s more at stake. The outcome of this will determine our fate and that of our posterity.

Odinga’s demand for a re-run of an openly monitored election seems reasonable. Whoever is ousted by the ballot can forever hold their peace.

I will not waste space talking about the elections being rigged – we all know the reality of that. If both parties believe that the other rigged the election, then it seems in order to have it re-run in the open. In fact, the ECK chairman should already have exercised his constitutional right to annul the results. (See http://www.youtube.com/ntvkenya and http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=39&newsid=113952)

While I castigate the use of violence, I don’t think Kenyans should give up their democratic prerogative. Kibaki should allow people to non-violently express their dissatisfaction in the process and he should also provide for a way to amicably resolve the issues that exist between him and the majority of Kenyans. He is not even acknowledging the issue despite independent sources (EU EOM, ECK) condemning the tallying. Shooting at people with white cloths and branches says that you want war, so please don’t tell Kenyans you seek calm and order!
(PS: I understand that in order for him to stay in office he cannot admit to rigging the elections, but don’t you think it is too late for him to still be burying his head in the sand?)

2 comments to Diary 2 (Our voices – perspectives on events in Kenya)

  • Edwin Thomas


    Government of national unity or not, Let us not forget the underlying concern.
    We find ourselves in this situation due to weak public institutions. Kivuitu should never have been given so much power to decide so many people’s fate. And the president should never have overwhelming power over the judiciary.

    Kenya has law abiding Citizens that have lived peacefully with very low policing, even though, adequate policing would have prevented all the chaos. Instead the ruling class or/and the Rogue administrations have taken advantage of this weak institutions to raid, thieve and rape the country through Corruption. Then use the very police to protect their status.

    The events that led this problem all Smack of this ill, the Selection of the Election commissions, the misuse of government resources during the campaigns, ECK was helpless, or so it seemed. (Kivuitu is a lawyer and from my understanding, if he had bothered to dig deep into the ECK constitution, he would have found an option to resolve what transpired. or he would have given recommendations to improve the instution given the amount of time he has been there.) The Interference in the election process by parties involved, the announcing and Swearing in of the president and the running around to rally the small parties by bribing them with the promise of positions in the government are all instances of corruption.

    This Ruling Class definitely has good reasons to want to keep the statuesque. Our president, ministers and all people in leadership position have broken the law in the past and even in the present with impunity. They have held the courts in contempt, without any consequences.
    We all know that in Kenya a banana thieves will get a bigger sentence in jail than a Billion Shilling / Dollar thief, who corrupts his way out.
    In the past regimes public institutions have been used by this class to steal from the citizenry. When these institutions fail, the tax payer’s money is used to bail them out in the name of saving a few people’s jobs. Please… That would have been an opportunity for another Kenyan to make an entry in to the market.

    It takes quite a while in Kenya to save enough to start a business, and by that I mean a grand business enough to make some one wealthy, Learned or not. And even for the business, the market is not readily available unless its for the essentials, Such as Electricity, water, school, roads , Commerce, etc which by the way are run by the government through the parastatal on that scale. These Bodies have been the milking cows of the guys in the government and those with a “tall brother/relative”.

    Instead of privatizing this institutions or letting them die Like Uchumi, if they are mismanaged, they are instead, held off the sale or bailed out with tax payer’s money.
    That gives the favored Class enough time to accumulate from personal savings and from the loot made from these institutions and others.
    It goes without saying that you will have to belong or be loud enough for someone to want you to shut up (that can go either way.)
    When all is done and said, they then split the shares and buy these institutions for themselves. they will throw a few shares public and the rest are use to invite foreign Investors to bring in the expertise, but all the local shares are shared among biz/drinking buddies, This petty Bourgeoisies like to keep the statuesque, and any talk of real change like Raila wanted is a threat. It was a matter of urgency that he didn’t make it.

    All Kenyans want is a country they can work had and be sure their sweat and effort pays dividends. The Government should be the least of our impediments. It is supposed to facilitate growth. We want perfect capitalism not pure capitalism.

    This Guys have no peace over there ill gotten wealth. They don’t care how many people are maimed. It is about how they can protect what they have, given the overwhelming evidence against them.
    That they have refused to strengthen our public institutions for fear of being caught in their dubious acts or reprisal is totally understandable. But, this is working against them. It’s like building on shaky grounds. One your investments are not secure, two, you won’t attract a lot of interested investors,
    The USA’S War on terror is working against this guys, The Western Governments now know who has what money in what account and where. That is how they tell who is corrupt and who can travel to their countries and who can’t. We know who has been named in those lines in Kenya. So Most of these Guys are choosing to keep there money local. That gives them even more reason to want to stick on power to protect there ill gotten wealth.
    Raila has declined to concede because, who is to say the next elections will not be a repeat of the same fiasco?
    Who is to say that in case another community takes over they won’t do the same thing? My take on this is we need concrete resolutions, if we have to live together for along time peaceful.
    We need strong institutions that have people’s trust, like the Election Commission, that will leave no shadow of doubt, court system that will have equal representation and address all concerns effectively and justly.

    We already have one very strong institution, the Army .kudos to them, (Hopefully they don’t turn around and surprise us as well) the army, which is strictly professional. We should take a leaf from these guys and use this opportunity to build all our vital Institutions on the same professional principle with little interference from the legislature or Executive or the Judiciary for that matter. Penalties should be spelt out and promptly used when laws are broken. Tenure of office should be guaranteed for those holding venerable positions.

    This is an opportunity to map a course that stuff like this should NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN but also make sure that the set up is representative, so no one feels like Raila, about our court systems right now. If he knew he would get due process and recourse in our court system, or that the Courts could dispense justice without fear or favor, we would not be experiencing this chaos, and we would have been sure breakers of the law, whatever their social status, would get due process.
    We need the policing of our cities and villages to be localized so we can effectively deal with outbreaks of chaos such as this, (Devolution); we are spending too much money time and resources on protecting thieves of our resources instead of developing a police force that will protect us from our own “little failings”

    Now, I close with one thing, Kenyans; quit voting on tribal basis, and think about yourself first, vote for what makes you as an individual work better, perform better and live better. Most of all, Vote for those who have used your tax money to provide for the basic services stipulated in the budget, such as roads, Electricity, communication etc, Vote for that manifesto that will protect your rights, that will give you more say in the direction of your life and the future of your kids. I have said before, a tribal leader is concerned about his stomach, Kibaki wants to stay rich without being threatened with investigations, Given the current constitution, who knows, Raila might get there and entrench himself as well.
    The question is where does that leave you? As a Luhya, Kalenjin, Kikuyu or Luo, White or black Asian etc? I know…, poor and hoping that some day some “tall relative” emerges from your own and hopefully brings something your way. What a waste of time and Stupidity.

  • sam dc

    Your approach is not only a solution for now, but for the future too as well as a lesson or example to other African leaders, I must say, to avoid a repeat of what took place ways of election mornitoring must change. As we see, everything is put on line (even peoples’ lives) every time elections take place and so much money spent so atleast if we are going to spend it, let us do so wisely.

    Here is what I suggest: Besides tally sheets or forms (16a etc) live Video taping can easily be done locally as votes are being tallied. You might think this could be too expensive, but would it not be a cheaper than re-voting? What price do you put on human lives lost, let alone the current & future financial losses and implications? Don’t you think the the public would have more confidence of getting justice by going to court with that hard core evidence in their hands? Do you really believe Kenyans would have resorted to violence if they believed in their judicial system’s justice?

    Here is my proposal, the people from within & wituout, international organisations and all developed countries donating financially or otherwise to Kenya must demand the government to agree to having international observers live recording the the vote tallying. A fund to raise enough cost for video recording devices can be easily set up through NGOs or other monitoring international organisations. Most Kenyans living overseas (as well as any one else be churchs or friends) who have been glued to their computers blogging or listening to BBC etc and have a video recorder at thier homes, I would apeal to all of them to lend their video recorders out for a months or so ( without any promises of getting them back, but the price or donation would be worth it).

    Brothers and sisters, a solution to this kind of mess must come from us or else we keep burning and destroying ourselves and every progress made. This is my suggestion, a suggestion that might give hope and some confidence that may convince the general public to believe that this time or in future when they cast their vote, it won’t be in vain. They will be sure their vote matters and they got who they themselves chose to lead or represent them.

    To ask anyone to go back to re-vote under the same old rules defeats the purpose and pontentialy a repeat of what we have at present. A wise man once said: “When you repeat doing the same thing the same way, the chances that you get the same results are high”.