Vote Of Thanks
Many thanks to everyone sending all those emails and text of concern. I am alive and well and taking good care of myself. I am a bit flooded with emails but am doing my best to respond to everyone.
Special thanks to all those sending in news and information. Special thanks to WathiiFM for updates from the Buru Buru area and first class pictures
I fondly believe that most of my readership are adults of sound mind with a modicum of maturity. In case you are not, allow me to tell you this. This is not a site to propagate hate and rumours. I have spent more time than I should moderating obtuse comments. I am tired of that. I have many other things to worry about. Henceforth if you post something even remotely advocating hate or violence not only will I delete it, I shall blacklist you from ever visiting my blog again. I shit you not. If you think this is a convenient avenue for your hate, think again. I have no time for your nonsense. We want solutions, not more problems.
My connection is not the most stable so henceforth I shall be uploading a huge combined post whenever I can.
- Official death toll is now 300. Unofficial death toll is much larger
- Yesterday there were skirmishes in Bahati, Maringo, Kangemi, Arwings Kodhek, Industrial Area and Thika Road
- A man was killed on Thika Road when police fired in the air, severing an electrical cable that fell on him
- ODM rally was moved to Saturday
- At long last Mwai Kibaki addressed the nation in a lackluster speech long on hot air, ambiguity, vagueness and lethargy and short of concrete solutions
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu arrived and met with the ODM leadership. The grapevine has it that Kibaki initially refused to meet with him. Subsequently it turned out that a meeting was indeed scheduled for this day.
- Again proving that no matter how low the bar is, stupidity will always find a way to slither under, Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua, rose eyed lens firmly on, castigates the international community for interfering.
- Flies on the wall allege that Kibaki himself is pretty amenable to negotiation. But as is the hallmark of his regime other elements in his administration are taking hardline positions.
- Same flies say that Kibaki is willing to form a coalition government with the opposition. This I have to see to believe.
- Nairobi water company allays fears that the city water supply is poisoned.
Kibaki’s Speech Highlights
- He is deeply concerned
- He condemns the violence
- Kenya is a peaceful country (Is it now?)
- Justice abounds in Kenya. No one has ever been denied justice
- He too, just like other Kenyans, was made aware that he was won in that same press briefing of the ECK
- He has followed the law all the while and will continue to
- Anyone with problems with the outcome should take it up with the court
- He would seek solutions once the situation calms down. (WTF?!! People are dying while you wait!)
- He had no time for journalists’ questions. If they had any they should come tomorrow. (People will be dying while we await for you to be comfortable with questions)
Earlier today I drove past State House. A continuous flag like the one that is put on public holidays is very much in evidence. I took some very illegal pictures juggling camera and car. It is no idle rumour that the security personnel there are overzealous. A friend of mine once stopped outside one of the far flung entrances and within minutes a truncheon was being bounced off his amazed skull.
Personally I would take down that flag. It can be construed as a celebration of Kibaki’s new term. I don’t think there is anything to celebrate.
Here are the pics (Quality is not the beast because I was driving and some were taken through windscreen)
Road heading towards State House, adjacent to the grounds
The State House Junction
Approaching the main gate
The main gate
I’ve been roving here and there to capture developments on the ground just after the skirmishes took place. The pictures are sobering indeed. My heart breaks when I photograph what some Kenyans have done to others. Scarred indeed are our weary souls.
The following set is from a looted Coca Cola distributor on Arwings Kodhek. I spoke to the proprietor and the owners of the adjacent stalls. The angry mob repulsed by the police in Hurlingham wreaked havoc. The vendors lost their fruits and vegetables. Hooligans would bite a mango and throw the rest at cars, buildings, etc.
At the depot they broke bottles from some 300 or so crates.
A destroyed adjacent vegetable stall. They ate the fruits and took or destroyed the vegetables
Another looted vegetable stall
A torched stall
Broken glass on the road
A closer view of the glass. They broke 300 crates
Pile of shattered glass
A closer view
A still closer view
Attempts to recover
Uprooted bus stop
The following set is from the Engen Petrol station further down the road
The empty parking bay
The looted quick shop
The broken door through which they entered
Thrown stones litter the parking
Entrance to the adjacent restaurant
Windows of the restaurant
An ignored plea in the restaurant window
Rioters burn tyres behind a locked gate
I need not tell you that as I write this our country is on fire. Flames stoked by the ineptitude of the current regime and outright tribal polarization by politicians have finally exploded in a shocking turn of violence and destruction. Neighbours are turning against each other. People are suddenly afraid.
The rowdy mob makes its presence felt
Myself included. As I was driving to visit the missus who lives in an area that happens predominantly of a single community I wondered what exactly I would do if I was stopped by a mob and asked to identify myself. One of the names given to me by my folks happens to be Luo, and it is proudly there on my ID. The fact that I am not actually Luo would not help be because assumptions would probably be made on the strength of my ID, as is happening in many places in Nairobi, let alone Kenya. I have two friends in hospital who has “the wrong names” on their IDs.
An unfortunate is arrested
However I refused to succumb to this situation. I refuse to be a victim of the greed of the political elite.
GSU personnel run after a mob
The fact of the matter is that the political elite is very comfortable in their homes. I drove by State House this morning and not only is the road clean and uncluttered, there are flags all over presumably to celebrate the Kibaki victory. Unlike my hood where there is debris and ashes and broken glass and stones all over.
A GSU office reloads with tear gas
Our politicians are not suffering. They have running water. Milk, eggs, bread, meat and even cake are delivered to their doorsteps.
It is me and you, my friends, who risk being beaten up by mobs and shot by the police as we look for milk and bread for us and our own.
A GSU officer ready for anything
The political elite are enjoying cartoons and soap operas and football on their DSTV and GTV. It is only me and you who are watching KTN and K24 and Al Jazeera and NTV to see the carnage being visited on our country. (KBC is not a serious news station. They’ve been showing cartoons and comedy clips as the country disintegrates)
Fully reloaded the GSU set off after rowdy mobs
The political elite sleep soundly in the peace and quiet Kitusuru and Thigiri and Riverside. It is us unfortunates who have our sleep interrupted by screams and shouts and gunshots.
The press in the thick of things
The political elite have access to fist class air tickets to fly out of the country. It is me and you who have nowhere to run to. If Somalis and Rwandas and Ugandans and Sudanese flee here, where o where are we to flee to?
And while our brothers and sisters and cousins and nephews and nieces are dying, pseudo-leaders wallowing in crass stupidity appear on TV to grandstand, blaming the chaos on each other.
Listen, nitwits. We are not interested in your grandstanding and finger pointing. We want solutions. Alfred Mutua, we have no time for your foolishness Kenyans are dying. We need all the help we can get to contain this situation. Accusing the international community of interference is nothing short of obtusely crass stupidity. This is not an episode of your half baked pesudo-thriller Cobra Squad! This is real life!!!
The GSU at work
We’ve had enough of nonsense press statements from comfortable hotels and the State House lawn. Come and make those inane gestures from Kibera or Mukuru or Thika Road or Kangemi. I dare you. Come down like me and other Kenyans who have no security detail and do your grandstanding!
What Should Be Done?
- Every politician and their offspring should have their visas canceled and should be denied new ones. Let you and your children experience the Kenya that you created! Let your children come back from the US and Australia and Canada and England and live with the consequences of what Mama and Papa created like the rest of us!
- The grandstanding between the government and ODM should stop. We are not interested in your foolish finger pointing games. It is we, not you, who are suffering. Shut your mouths and give us solutions, not problems. The media (local and international) should give the ilk of Alfred Mutua a total blackout.
- Kibaki and Odinga should visit the affected areas and make their statements for there. If they are so sure they are right then there should be no problem in facing your people.
- PNU and ODM must negotiate without pre-conditions. This is no longer about you.
- This is not merely a matter of getting peace. We need to treat the disease, as well as the symptoms. The disease is justice, or lack thereof. If we don’t sort out this root cause then the violence will just flare up again later.
- Recounting the votes and re-checking the tallies I fear is no longer an option. It would seem that some form 16As have been conveniently stolen from the safe in which they were stored. Presumably ballot boxes are being stuffed with votes as we speak.
The ideal solution I would think, would be along the following
- Kibaki and Odinga agree to a government of National Unity, with the former as president and the latter as vice president. The cabinet would then be split between PNU and ODM
- In 6 or so months, fresh elections to be held
- Neither Odinga nor Kibaki should offer themselves for election. They are even more polarizing than they were before. We need a completely new shift in governance. Those political fossils still in power need to go before they sink us all
- The election should be overseen by an imported Electoral Commission. I would not trust the ECK to hit the water if it fell out of a boat
- Usage should be made of all the TV footage and camera pictures. Neigbourhoods and communities should be called upon to identify the murderous and destructive fools that have been the instruments of destruction. They should be dealt with ruthlessly once identified.
As with most ideal solutions this one has a fatal flow. Neither Kibaki nor Odinga have demonstrated putting the welfare of the nation above their own.
What can we do?
Stop the fighting.
Go into your hood and talk to people. If you’re waiting for someone else to do it you’re part of the problem. You have youth groups and fellowships and estate committees and outreach programs and tuition groups. Go and talk to them. Go into the community and preach peace.
People in the slums do not have TV to watch the televised campaigns. The most powerful voice is yours. The people know you and they probably trust you so they’ll listen to you.
If I do that and you do that and the people you talk to do the same pretty soon we’ll have covered this country.
Stop the fighting. Why are we losing our lives while the elite, who don’t care, are comfortable?
Show them they no longer have power over us. Show them that they work for us, not us for them.
Show then their days of lording over us and using us as cannon fodder are over.
Stop the fighting.
Stop the fighting.
Stop the fighting.