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Update from Concerned Citizens for Peace Meeting Jan 28th


General update

* The night vigil went off successfully. About 250 people attended, speeches made, songs sung.
* Flower Power will take place on Wednesday 30th January at 10am with flowers being placed at Freedom Corner, Uhuru Park
* Received advice, information and expertise from religious leaders in Sierra Leone, Sudan and elsewhere on how to find a way out. Want faith based leaders to help find solutions
* Patients at Kenyatta Hospital are being discriminated against. A women’s delegation meeting today at Silver Springs Hotel at 3pm will discuss, fact find and report back
* Nation printed a disclaimer on Saturday over sms messages circulating that said their CEO, along with Kirubi and Uhuru have been involved in mobilizing guns in newspaper vans around the country. Lot of concern that unless these rumours are being properly exposed to scrutiny, they will continue to circulate within the system and be believed.
* Is also apparent that this information was spread widely through word of mouth on the street a fortnight ago, and that CCP and others such groups are actually 2 weeks behind as regards what people on the ground are hearing and reacting to.
* More analysis is required on what is actually happening, and how and where thugs are moving to. Problem of misinformation as a tool in a power game means that the population cant separate right from wrong
* Prayers are being conducted in Tanzania (1000 people vigil) and in other parts of the world that our situation may heal

AU summit

* AU meeting in Addis. CCP representative went. Countries under discussion were Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Was met there by a group from Peace with Justice and Truth, who didn’t have invitation but who CCP rep invited to meeting. Summit was critical of what was happening in Kenya. A communiqué – which reflected the views of Peace with Justice and Truth was created for distribution to various councils. Points included:

AU must seek justice. Current situation is unconstitutional

Investigation of human rights violations

Sanctions against unconstitutional change of government

Advice with Peace and Security councils to promote a peaceful and just solution.

* However AU are saying they don’t want to see a coalition of ODM and PNU. This stance is not viewed favourably here in Kenya, where coalition may be a necessary short-term option, pending constitutional adjustments. On plus side, there was much admiration for the way civic society had taken the initiative to work together.

It was stressed that, regardless of emphasis, the various civil groups working for restoration of order and peace need to ensure they speak with one voice. Message is essentially the same, even if approaches vary.


· MP’s should be asked to go back to their constituencies to talk to them and prevail upon people to stay calm. There is silence all round from Parliamentarians. Former MP’s also critical of government for not taking a stronger stand earlier to quell violence. In two weeks the unrest countrywide has reached appalling levels – with no signs that citizens intend to settle down.

· A rep from CCP also going to see the Speaker to ask what plans he has to use his chair to activate peace initiatives through Parliament

· New MP’s must be encouraged to work in a different way to change the current political game playing. They need to be clear about halting current fighting.


· Kepsa briefed Kofi Annan on the situation, and made him aware of the deaths and rapes as well as the economic catastrophe growing in the country. Private sector provides 95% of Kenya’s budget, but won’t be able to in coming months. Kepsa stressed the extreme PNU and ODM positions to ensure Annan was aware of the size of the divide – and that the protagonists are hardening their stance

· With top level so polarized, new effort is being made to target mid level MP’s. Meeting organized to meet and pressurize them to pressure those above them to insist on cessation violence.

· Must move towards constitutional reform

Nairobi Peace Forum

· Mungiki in Dandora and Githurai have asked Luos to leave the area. Violence felt in Kangemi over the weekend

· Street talks – want to diffuse tensions, but youth very excited about idea of war and hot blooded. Many think that Annan, like the others, won’t be able to do anything and are waiting for him to leave before acting. Threat of more trouble imminent. Much hinging on the mediation talks

· People are no longer being forced to move out of IDP camps

Rift Valley

* Religious leaders met and condemned the looting and stealing. They have requested people to repent and change to save the nation from calamity. This coming Sunday has been earmarked as a day of prayer and repentance
* A committee has been set up to investigate and document the cost of violence. Training people to record, interview and write stories would be welcomed
* There is a need to initiate positive dialogue with the Kikuyu in Rift Valley and Central.


· Many stories and compilations of information coming out of Mathare from Groots. Many meetings of different tribes split into women and youth meetings at village level to discus the numerous problems in Huruma and Mathare North. Kosovo is now largely Kikuyu and Mathare 4A is Luo, while Dubai and Kijiji have been razed. Landlords evicted from their areas were organizing to violently take back their property. But committees are being formed – there are heated meetings, and clearly a lot of misinformation, but 6 points of agreement have been reached at a meeting of OCD, Elders, DO’s etc. Decision is to not allow segregation and that tribes have to find way to live in mixed communities. This happening in Mabati.

· Ability International has been touring Mathare to contribute food and clothes. Were overwhelmed by the level of need, which is also due to problems present before the election chaos. They are arranging a gospel concert to involve national stars including Jua Cali and Nameless, international singers from Rwanda and Congo, Muslims and Asians. Plan to tour the country, singing and preaching messages of peace and raising funds. All help welcomed.


· There has been a more holistic response to the problem. Religious leaders, DC’s, Business and community leaders meet and work together. As a result 4 camps have been closed and only one remains. People given money to either rent alternative accommodation or to travel to relatives. Goods have been returned to shops. Information as to unrest or trouble arrives immediately through network on the ground and is acted upon in coast wide initiatives. Idea is to implement same in Nairobi and other towns across Kenya


· Problem is not going away. Major Siaia (sp) has been involved in peace discussions in the area since 1992. He spoke to Kibaki in 1997 about the need for apology to allow the community to own their problems and try to move on. Nothing happened. This current bloodletting is manifestation of larger issue. Most concerning is that young people defy authority directly, in front of TV cameras. They block roads and ignore police. Situation is not in control of authorities but those ruling on the ground. Murder of church minister in full garb is one example of what can occur when this happens.

· Press – a comprehensive press strategy needs to be formed. People have taken positions in the media also


· There is relative calm, but it is not peaceful with much undercurrent. Many killed in Freehold area in the centre. When George Gachara called Mohammed Bakuli at the police station to get some of his friends and their family out, he was first asked which community he came from and then was told the police where overstretched.


· People in camps not going absolutely unwilling to go back to their homes. The chiefs are very aggrieved – and it is important to reach out to them. Oathing ceremonies are taking place among the Kikuyu in the camps.

· There is tremendous emotional pain and a desperate need for counseling

· Great concern that Kikuyu are being isolated as a community and that even liberals struggling to remain impartial.


· Stories of unrest emerging in a previously peaceful area. Need to bring elders together to stave off explosions seen in other parts of Kenya


· Youth leaders Forum met with UNDP and Kofi Annan on Saturday and agreed on a 10 point agenda.

· It was clear in meeting that many young leaders don’t consider that Kibaki stole the vote from Raila. They consider only that their vote was stolen. Raila is only a disposable symbol. Actual issue is theft of right to express through voting.

· Universities due to open and there is much concern as to how students will live in dorms, deal with each other in class and on campus. Many of them are the same young people out on the streets at the moment.

· Christian Union has 40 groups among different campuses. A total of 115,000 people are committed within these groups to bible study, prayer and working for peace.

· There is much concern that youth have nothing to fear, nothing to protect, nothing to lose. Therefore violence is a focal point and a cause. A solution must include providing for jobless young or it won’t work

· Worrying mutterings about creation of a long term plan for all Kikuyu and Kikuyu sympathizers and friends to be removed.

· TV, Newspapers and traditional communication forms not reaching the groups of marauding young. A new strategy for communication has to be found to access them and diffuse the violence.

* Weekend violence and killing took place in Eldoret, Molo, Nakuru, Naivasha, Nyahururu and Kangemi

12 comments to Update from Concerned Citizens for Peace Meeting Jan 28th

  • Andrew

    It’s difficult to believe, looking at the violence etched in the faces of marauding young people pictured on TV here in Europe, that anything other than greed, hate and perhaps frustration is motivating them.

    I think it’s possible that they are rioting and killing simply because they can. They have realised that order in society depends on consent to govern. Once that consent is withdrawn or evaporates, all hell breaks loose. Almost literally.

    I wonder whether those in power really care about any of this. My feeling is that they don’t. They are motivated entirely by greed and it’s easier for them to steal from their people if the country is in chaos. Mugabe provides an excellent role model in this respect. They still have their large houses, German cars and – most importantly – offshore bank accounts.

    Kenya could disappear in flame and violence but Mr Kibaki and his cronies will be safe for the rest of their lives in their foreign villas.

    Unless some way is found of controlling the gangsters running African governments, Kenya will not be the last country in East Africa to melt down.

  • mzaas


    Thanks for this. It is good to know that there is action on the ground that is trying to stem the tide on multiple fronts, even as clouds darken. Like the boy with his finger in the dyke–every effort counts.


  • Isindu Mwangaza

    Thank you…*sigh*!

  • Anon


    Ory, you are provding us with the information that will help us begin to move forward towards healing vs. getting stuck in this web of hate that main stream media is propagating.

    Peace and blessings

  • Kamau


    At least there is some good news amidst the bad. My $64M question is where the country leadership is …It is absolutely unacceptable that in the last one month Kibaki has come out to address the masses …..ONCE – and he showed how overwhelmed he was. The man is not equal to the task and history will put the responsibility squarely at his feet. He and his ilk may not care much about history but we will never forget and it is my hope that we will learn from it as we try putting pieces back together.

    In the meantime there’s a propaganda war to be won let’s all do our parts in dispelling the misinformation. It’s true that lies may travel around the world before truth puts on the shoes but I strongly believe that truth will always triumph punctuality not withstanding

  • sue

    Dear Kenyan sisters and brothers,
    I want to express my profound respect, gratitude and pride for what what you are doing out there to stop the madness that has seized our beautiful country, instigated by greed for power.
    I know you will make the violent mobs listen to your reasonable voices, and stop killing each other. We are, after all, just pawns in a game that we may or may not understand too well.
    Thank you for what you are doing. Bravo!

  • Anna

    Here in Ireland coverage of what is happening in Kenya is often not on the front page -usually page 9 or 10 and even then not a lot.Are people becoming de-sensitised to stories of many killings?Other more ‘news worthy’ stories are put on front page.

  • debaba

    I hear you Andrew, of late I am lost for words, I peek at BBC or CNN as they bring the news about Kenya for a second and then it is gone, It was sad to read about the two germans killed in Diani beach, there goes our steady income from tourism. However there is still hope at the end of the day the truth shall come out through God Almighty, how about a minute of silence for all those fallen heroes who have gone within the last month, prayers to those children, women whose innocence and dignity have been stripped from them forever, when all is done and said there is going to be spread of diseases, Hep C, A, B venerial, HIV AIDS, TB, Lord have mercy, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joe

    I gather that a large number of very wealthy Kenyans have recently booked into this hotel inDar es Salaam – http://www.hotelwhitesands.com/

    It’s difficult for me to express exactly how much that thought sickens me.

  • Mzungu

    I’m hoping to organize some fundraising on my university campus here in US for relief work in Kenya. Can anyone refer me to a group that is trustworthy, i.e., that isn’t funnelling monies to someone’s pocket, or worse? How is the Kenya Red Cross?

  • On Jan 22, I posted a letter to the Kenyan people on my PeacePundit blog. It argued for a cessation of violence. It didn’t do much good, but for those who are interested, here’s the link:

  • […] Pundit has an Update from Concerned Citizens for Peace Meeting Jan 28th. The night vigil went off successfully. About 250 people attended, speeches made, songs sung. * […]