Kenya Is Burning. Stop The Fighting!

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

Housekeeping

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.

News Update

  • 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)

State House

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)

State1 
Road heading towards State House, adjacent to the grounds

State2
The State House Junction

State3
Approaching the main gate

State4
The main gate

The Rally

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.

Rally1
A destroyed adjacent vegetable stall. They ate the fruits and took or destroyed the vegetables

Rally2
Another looted vegetable stall

Rally13
A torched stall

Rally4
Broken glass on the road

Rally5
A closer view of the glass. They broke 300 crates

Rally6
Pile of shattered glass

Rally8
A closer view

Rally9
A still closer view

Rally11
The distributor

Rally12
Attempts to recover

 Rally7
Uprooted bus stop

The following set is from the Engen Petrol station further down the road

Rally14
The empty parking bay

Rally15
The looted quick shop

Rally16
The broken door through which they entered

Rally17 
Thrown stones litter the parking

Rally18
Entrance to the adjacent restaurant

Rally19 
Windows of the restaurant

Rally32
An ignored plea in the restaurant window

Kenya Burns

I weep.

Riots1
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.

Riots2
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.

Riots3
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.

Riots4
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.

Riots5
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.

Riots6
Reloading

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.

Riots7
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)

Riots8 
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.

Riots9
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?

Riots10 
Still reloading

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!!!

Riots11
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.

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48 Responses

  1. Blupanther says:

    As a Kenyan in the US I can tell you that we appreciate the fact that we don’t feel the pain the same way that you do. We do, however, feel a lot of disgust and anger at the way the ‘leadership’ is handling it. People are dying and leaders are playing. This should have been handled days ago–all it is fostering is great tribal rifts and stupidity which begs the question, when we come home to our multi-tribal families, how many of them will still be friends? We are still praying and working on ways to send food to those with no access. Any suggestions?

  2. Frank says:

    Great blog. But I think you may be taking foolhardy risks. With the govt. under siege you may not live to tell the tale going so near State house, you may dissappear never to blog another day…so please stay safe.

    Good work though.

  3. wathiifm says:

    we need peace and nothing but peace

  4. abelian says:

    A miserable start to 2008, let it end better than it started. I hope we learn a lesson and try out best to distribute wealth and power equally.

  5. JM says:

    “an organism at war with itself is doomed!” (zeitgeistthemovie).

    Stop destroying Kenya.
    Stop the fighting.
    Stop the killing.
    Stop it.

    Let peace prevail.

  6. jay says:

    Was greatly enlightened by your GENESIS and EXODUS articles. I thank you. Eagerly waiting for any enlightened persons REVELATIONary expose on who the dead men walking around Kibaki are. Perhaps when you regain your strength you will be the one to tell me.
    I am responding to a sense that you are getting discouraged… its all OK. If i am wrong ignore all i am going to say. I cannot imagine that anyone seeing what you are seeing not being discouraged. You were given tears so that they must stay stuffed in. Doing so you would become dysfunctional. What you are witnessing is tough and you will not become dysfuntional. There is a passion for truth and justice that is part of your DNA and incase you thought that you were in control of it, it in fact is in control of you… actually no. It is guiding you. And please, in all this pain, do what you can to find rest. Tommorow still comes and you must make a choice. It will be a new day in which once again your passion will guide you, and prayerfully not into cynicism. I am so sorry that you have had to see what yu are seeing. i look at your pictures and i cry, yet still, I cannot imagine what seeing it live is like therefore i will not assume myself in any position. I deeply respect your commitment, please allow yourself to be in a position to be encouraged. Every morning when you wake up, and in the night when you sleep, may God renew your perspective on all matters. If you and others fighting for truth in one way or another permit it, hope, faith and love will not fail kenya. The greatest of these is love and may he prepare you for this coz it may call you to love your enemies, and even then He alone will give you grace… if you allow Him. God strengthen your hands and your mind and may His wind carry your feet quickly. Now i dono where you stand in matters of faith, but dare to trust Him. Love never fails.

    Will you be able to do a REVELATION on who these ones around Kibaki are, and what you think their influence/stakes are in this whole fiasco? If you can it will be highly appreciated. Thx

  7. Anon says:

    Very powerful message. God bless Kenya and hope all is sorted out ASAP. Kenya has been a peaceful and lovely country and to see unimaginable ugly incidences like these breaks my heart.

  8. Ken Thumbi says:

    Two things
    First and foremost thank God you are safe, and secondly THANKS for all the updates…

  9. Allan says:

    Thank God for people like you who are able to get news to the outside world on what is going on. I know I am outside the country, but my heart is breaking everyday when I see and hear what is going on and then the gov’t comes out and says that everything is ok!

    Stay safe and God bless you (everyone there). We just hope and pray for a solution to come out soon!

  10. Once again, I commend you for an excellent post.

    I do strongly support you on the idea of a govt of National Unity.
    I have personally mulled this over and believe it to be the only viable solution out of the current stalemate (short of Kibaki coming clean and ceding the presidency to Raila — which I don’t forsee happening).

    While I believe (and it’s clearly evident) that Raila won the presidency, now would be a time to for him to accept the vice-presidency for the sake of peace in the country.

    However, instead of holding fresh elections accross the board, my opinion is that we should only hold presidential elections, since that is where the bone of contention really lies. What do you (and other folks) think?

    And please do be safe — I think it’s a little too risky to approach State House in the prevailing circumstances. Thanks.

  11. WK says:

    Thank you for your regular insightful passionate updates+ for taking responsibility over the comments section-don’t get me wrong, i am not saying u are responsible for what people choose to say, however, i am glad your not allowing your comments section to become a latrine. well done!i respect you for that.

    I agree with you that both the leaders have lost credibility and should not be allowed to run for another election.may we find redemptive, well-thought through solutions..

    BTW maybe one of your posts should be on the kenya we are not seeing in the news at the mo’ but continues to be there- in as much as i hear of neighbours killing neighbours, it is a small comfort that other rels continue because they are bigger than tribe+of people hosting each other when it would be risky to do so…

    I echo the other comments-stay safe!

    I dream of giving birth to a child who will one day ask me,’Mother, what was war?’ Eve Merriam

  12. kabinti says:

    Thank you M. I would like to reiterate what has been said above. You are doing an excellent job (you and other bloggers.) You are giving those of us who are outside of the chaos physically a chance to see what is happening on the ground. Thank you for your voice of reason and insightful pieces. Now, is Mutua reading this or is he still waiting for a civil war so there can be international intervention?

  13. toiyoi says:

    M
    I appreciate your suggestions.

    BUT,
    I do not think kenya will be the same again.

    I do not know if one individual instigated the violence-people seemed already very angry (or if they did, the magnitude surprised even them ). Perhaps it is time the US upped the head hunter’s prize on one Kabuga to say $200m.

    I do not think a coalition government will work in a Kenyan setting (i believe in 2002 there was a coalition government): the people involved have super big egos and Rambo attitudes. In addition, it is not difference in ideologies we are talking about, but raw hate.

    I think whichever group/government is in power ( ODM/PNU ) the one will want to punish the others ( and by that i mean “their people” ) and our setup allows it to happen, so we need a more drastic solution that protects the people who will be perceived as enemies by the other people.

    A “shared” government is patching to a fatal wound.

  14. D says:

    The stupidity of our leaders is embarassing to the wanaanchi of Kenya. How does one expect the mobs committing crimes on the ground to have sense when the leaders they are apparently fighting for have no sense either. Right now, I don’t really care for the politicians. I want peace and every Kenyan to be protected- their body, mind and soul.

    The trading of accusations between PNU and ODM alleging each other have committed genocide and ethnic cleansing shows how politicians in Kenya are far removed from the common man. For example, what is one to think when Mutua accuses ODM of planning the Eldoret church burning? Or when Raila stands outside a mortuary in Nairobi and accuses PNU of genocide? HAVE OUR POLITICIANS LOST THEIR RIGHTEOUS MINDS? People are dying, starving, being raped and violated, and they just grand stand and compete on who will make the most outrageous comment. This used to be what made Kenyan politics comical, but now in this environment, it is deadly.

    All our leaders have let us down. There is no integrity. There are no morals. How can Kivuitu come out and state he did not know who won, yet he does not have the morals to resign? Shame shame shame!

    Kenyans attempted to stress that they are tired of incompetent leaders by their vote. That vote has been disrespected. WE HAVE TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEM NOW so that Kenya can move forward. I truly wonder how Kenya will be in 2012? Kenya’s democratic innocense has been tarnished and I hope we can regain hope soon and that the next generation of leaders can rise up because our current crop have created a new standard of stupidity, selfishness, arrogance and incompetence. GOD BLESS KENYA! KENYA DAMU!

  15. Excess says:

    Lets preach peace. Glad u n mami r Sawa.

  16. Wamuyu says:

    how wonderfully put: “an organism at war with itself is doomed!” (zeitgeistthemovie).
    i wish all the citizens of kenya had access to zeitgeistmovie. it changed my life.

    Thank you Thinkersroom, for your crucial blogging. you are mostly a lifeline for us abroad, i hope to meet you and the other bloggers soon when we’re at a better place, to place a string of flowers around your neck in thanksgiving for your work. you are everykenyan, just as we all are.

  17. Joshua says:

    Thanks for saying it M. The more this thing drags on, the obvious it is that these two leaders shouldn’t take the helm. I mean WTF! How did we get here. More than that, why are we still here. And to think of all those lessons we learned as Kenyans living together and growing up together. Then a fool can incite us to turn on each other?

    We need new and a better direction in Kenya. None of these leaders have it. Raila, I am sorry that your victory was stolen, get over it since Kenyans are dying. Kibaki, you are a thief and a murderer. But then again, we wouldn’t have been having this discussion if you were a better man. Grow up. If any or both these leaders can act “great” we will find a solution to this problem. And that is a big “if”.

  18. brainz says:

    beautiful post. Very well put.

    What will out politicians rule after they destroy it?? i like the whole idea of kibaki and raila not standing up for elections.

    GREAT POST M. U just said what clearly needed to be said.

  19. Max says:

    You’re an idiot!, despite all the reasonable things youve said, one thing still comes out clearly, you dont respect the law.

    If you did, you wouldn’t have taken photos of State House. Secondly, you would recognise that Kenya has a president, anyone with any qualms should visit the courts.

    If your neighbour steals your tv, you don’t kill him or hold demonstrations, you go to the cops and let the law take its course.

    Peace.

    Kenyans are being hacked to death. Their houses are being burnt. Their property is being looted and destroyed. And you have the temerity to complain about me taking photos of state house?

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at you my son. I’ll leave history to judge which between the two of us is an idiot. I doubt it will be me.

    You make sure you have a good day. This is the last exchange I intend to have with you

  20. SS says:

    It’s good to see someone putting forward solutions rather than just lambasting the politicians that nonetheless deserve it.

    But what is important is restoring peace and stability for the Kenyan people – and this is where efforts must be concentrated. To this end, what needs to be brought under control is the hatred and anger that has sparked the violence in the first place. Kenyans need to see past the divisions created by the political elite and recognise their unity of purpose and spirit. There is only one Kenya.

  21. SMaK says:

    Max…What if the cops have allowed the stealing to take place? Who do you go to?

    No I am not advocating any form of rioting, looting or violence. But there has to be a solution. I was once told if you use reason you can win almost anybody. Just takes patience. I dont know, and at this point, dont care whose “fault” it was. Just restore sanity…first then we take the next step.

    I just discovered this blog…amazing job M.

  22. Cleophaus Achollah says:

    I think majority of the authors of the articles here are piling blame on the politicians of Kenya. I am shocked that still most people have no idea who is the cause of carnage in Kenya.

    The person who betrayed Kenyans is none but Samuel Kivuitu. When asked whether Kibaki won, he responded, “I don’t know” as the Chairman of ECK he had all the power and the stake of the country was in the palms of his hands. Kivuitu is to blame for all these deaths not Kibaki or Raila. Blaming Raila or Kibaki is wrong. Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki have called for peace, but it is the anger within there supportors that cannot be contained. The fact that Kivuitu does not even know who won is hurting very much.

    Please do not accuse people who are not responsible for what is happening, blame Kivuitu for everything and may he pay dearly for his stupid and irresponsible judgment he made. Kivuitu you are a coward.

    If Kibaki thinks he won election he should agree another election to be held, I don’t need to talk about Raila because in his cause, Kivuitu had already admitted that the figures were doctored.

  23. Bee says:

    Max

    You are the dodo one here. Do you know this blog has kept the sanity of many Kenyans who are abroad by seeing pictures and getting news raw from the ground? You sound like a govt. spokesman or Mwizi Kibaki’s apologist bent celebrating the decline of democracy in Kenya.

    Right now people care about peace sp shove your nicompimpous claims of technical legalities.

    Please.

    Thinker keep it coming – your work means a lot to those of us away from home.

  24. Ishara says:

    I cannot support a govt of national unity. To me, that is tantamount to the wholesale endorsement of illegal conduct(coersion is illegal) and rewarding it with no less than the presidency of the nation of Kenya.

    I find it laughable that the law is being broken six ways from sunday by the very individuals who have sworn to uphold it….these self same individuals then turn around and have zero qualms in asking others to seek leagal remedies for problems they actually instituted…there may be nothing new under the sun but I believe I’ve just seen something!

    In any case, who’s to say somebody will not try hijacking a Kenyan election in 2012 or beyond, I mean if crime pays then doesn’t absolute crime pay absolutely?

    If I were criminally inclined I would have to take a stab at accomplishing the same thing as Kibaki, because even if found out in the end it would not matter, what matters is I would be President.

    And I would refuse to resign.

  25. Shaqattac says:

    However this nonsense ends we will be scarred forever!! It will take decades to convince people that kenya is a safe country to visit, and even more decades before certain goups of kenyans can go about their business without fear in certain parts of the country.

    All the riggers and inciters should be found and charged! They should be made to pay if this country is going to heal. This culture of impunity should be stopped! People should start paying for their crimes we have had enough!

    And why don’t we see pictures of looters or murderers arraigned in court? This would have been the most simple way of showing that their is an authority and people will think more. Now it’s like total anarchy!

  26. Thank you for the great blogging. I am following the sad situation closely and am working hard to raise awareness and money. Please join the facebook group I have created to help spread the word.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8563806021

    Thank You,
    Hussein Fazal

  27. SMaK says:

    Oh and I could not help thinking about how 5 years ago majority of the country from 8 yr olds to 80 yr olds were singing “I am Unbwogable”. Well we sure are “Bwogad” right now.

  28. Coco says:

    Thanks for your elloquence M, you stand as a model, a person of good will and an ambasador of peace.Am on my knees praying that long, dark and mournful days of hate and tribalism will one day come to pass but as it stands now, it will not be any day soon. The only thing you can do for me now is to tell the government puppet called Mutua to ” shut up” he lives his own world ” of insanity” and people have no clue where he has been harvested. Here in US, am uniting with you in prayer.

  29. paul says:

    I love you Kenya why are we breaking up?

    I have lived in naivasha, nakuru also schooled in different parts of the country and never gave a damn about realistic lines at all, never gave a damn bout the kikuyu, or luo or embu in short had no ill feelings to any tribe I mean am young and the group I know we do crack some jokes here and there along tribal lines but now nobody is, we cut it off due to what’s going on.

    what happened people, what is going on in Kenya, i sit here and ponder does me killing a kikuyu or I hear an embu help me, no no people no. and what’s with the burning of the church, i know we are of a third world country but a church you got to be kidding me, you playing right!

    my fellow Kenyan man we got to grow up i do know that racial lines, tensions will always be there that’s human but sometimes its human to think too. I have no clue how we are going to pull out of this but man if we do let the Lord ride us on this one.

    its a shame what we have come to burning little kids you mean little children u got to be kidding me I mean little children, they have no clue what’s going on. seriously what about the women who gave birth to us, the womb, you just stole that too.

    its a shame man its really a shame, do people sometimes print out this pictures, the gruesome pictures at the morgue, on the streets, alleys and worse of all carcasses of people so that these heinous crimes can be seen by all? and lets be honest here for a little bit each tribe has lost somebody right its just barbaric how these has happened.

    now lets talk about our two year old kids, our politicians who of course cannot think straight and know that lives are at stake here,. Mr. Kibaki you very well know you are not suppose to be there, you like a kid holding on to a candy stick. Sir please think of what’s going on and I mean right now. Your own people are dying and you think while you sit there at what you call state house give a sheepish address and go back helps. As these man gone out of that place anyway to the streets and seen what’s going on. Kenya is burning brother, Kenya is burning and who will pour in the water.

    Sir please please think I know you are a father think and think. If you keep sitting k have no clue then, you know Raila is not stupid to say I am going to court hello they aint go do nothing! and so will a recount help. Can you guy seek help from outside do something. Man kibaki was doing good till now. Is it really that hard to leave that famous sit for the sake of a brother living is it?

    My second born child raila you probably know that they might listen to you and I mean the protesters they are out there dying for you, why cant you walk out there and ask them to stop and I mean plead with them, its time to stop all this raila it is. One thing I do understand is I know the courts will fail you I totally agree but is there something else you can do. Peacefully!

    I love Kenya I do I really do love Kenya, we were doing so so good till now. Why Kenyans why, why did we have to bring mama African pride down why.

    Get up be proud and ask ourselves what are we really doing. Yeah I know something was wrong with the vote but we can stand up peacefully and cry ourselves out.

    By the way I am a kalenjin and proud of who I am, proud of those I have met, those I have befriended and those that loved and been loved by me. I love each one of you as a Kenya except for the barbaric creatures that slaughter little children that to me is extremely sickening and unforgivable. I put this on out high ranking officials remember that the honorable, misters and mistresses. Think and sleep thinking this is all on you.

    Love Kenya.

  30. nerimake says:

    I admire the risks you are taking to keep us informed on what is going on. For those of us not in Kenya at the moment, this is invaluable reporting.
    Unfortunately, its not just the elite who sit back in their cosy homes doing nothing. As a Kenyan in England, i am sad to say that i am disappointed by the reactions and attitude of the people here who will sit in their homes and complain and denounce the recent elections, but will not leave the comfort of their heated homes to show solidarity in a peaceful demonstration to demand for peace and some form of international mediation in Kenya. These are our so called ‘middle class’ citizens who will complain but do nothing, demand for change when they cannot be bothered to take the initiative to instigate the change.

    Please keep on with the blogs.

  31. Pete Quily says:

    What about proposing a nation wide economic boycott of the top 10 – 30 companies that are the largest financial supporters of Kibaki’s party of national unity, and Kibaki himself, until Kibaki steps down or hands over power to someone else?

    I.e. the real winner Raila Odinga, a respected independent person, or perhaps an new presidential election overseen by independent outside observers, i.e. the UN?

    Perhaps people could stop buying any goods or services from their companies, and stop selling to them.

    It might be a way of allowing those that are frustrated by having their election and their voices stolen from them to express that frustration in a more peaceful way, i.e. no violence/burning/ethnic cleansing or risking being killed by the police while protesting.

    It would also have more impact on Kibaki than killing/ chasing out some poor street vendors who unfortunately happen to be members of the same tribe as him. Hopefully at least a few of the top 10, 20 or 30 financial supporters of Kibaki’s party would not all be owned by Kikuyu’s so that might help reduce tribal hatred a bit, by making it more about the party and the leader than just members of one particular tribe. This might be a step towards decreasing the ethnic hatred in the country.

    It would allow people from all tribes to participate, even Kikuyu’s since it’s not directed at a specific tribe, more directed at pressuring the financial backers of the party that shamelessly stole the election and fiddled while Kenya’s people and economy burned.

    It would be more likely to have some impact on the party if the financial elite started hurting, they are more likely to be able to influence Kibaki and his party to give up power than someone just running a small business or market stall.

    As a Canadian, I don’t know Kenya very well, so I don’t know how feasible this is or in what ways it would need to be modified to be effective. Perhaps ideally this could be discussed, modified and proposed by people from many different segments of Kenyan society including some prominent Kikuyu’s. Something like a national salvation council type group.

    Kikuyus may be the largest tribe in the country, over represented in the political and financial elite, and many of them backed Kibaki’s party, but even with being 7.5 million people out of 34.5 million, (according to the BBC) they’re still out numbered by members of other Kenyan tribes 4.6 to 1.

    I think that some of them might welcome a way to get other Kenyan’s to focus their anger and hate more on the elite financial backers that are propping up Kibaki and the PNU instead of just the nearest members of their tribe.

    My guess is that Kibaki probably thinks if he gives up power now and tried to live in Kenya, he’d be killed or jailed for life. Perhaps another country might allow him to move there so he’d be more likely to give up power more quickly with less bloodshed and damage to Kenya.

  32. kirima says:

    Again very good post M. I definately intend to follow your plea on preaching peace to all people I can it is only the citizens who can put an end to all the fighing since the leaders are content with just playing lip service and whipping up emotions for thier respective causes. The only challenge is how to communicate this message to the people in the slums and in rural kenya who don’t have access to TV and Blogs. I am not tired of telling people that this is not about protecting individual tribes but about Kenya rescuing itself we must have peace and justice.
    I STRONGLY echo your view that Mr. Alfred Mutua should just SHUT UP his statements are neither informative, useful nor calming in any way.

  33. Half n Half says:

    Thanks M,
    First and foremost I agree with you that the fighting must STOP before anything else can happen. I want to see MPs elect and raila and crew out there preaching peace! I want them to get out of Nairobi and into Kisumu and Eldoret to preach peace! And he should stop the rallies! They are not helping anyone

  34. JK says:

    You should have told me that tale before I agreed to be your acomplice. LOL.

    The fighting, the wanton destruction, the burning, the killing, the bloodshed, they all must stop. Until these people who are preaching hate meet a mother with her three hungry, ill toddlers, until they put a face and real emotions to bloodshed and death, until they see their only means of livelihood razing, until then will they really understand what what we want is peace. That all that other bull pales in the face of the crisis we are facing right now. Let us preach peace, not hate.

  35. joe says:

    Both Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki received approximately four million votes and in meeting with the predictions of opinion polls, there was not much more than 200,000 to 300,000 votes between them either way. Indeed, it was Raila’s assertion, prior to the release of the results by the ECK, that Mwai Kibaki wouldsteal about 200,000 votes but would come in just behind ODM.

    The 300,000 figure (the higher limit) is about 3.3% of the votes cast. It is not unreasonable to assume that the inflation of ODM figures in their areas of strength (as has been shown repeatedly to have happened) could also easily fall within 3% of the total votes cast. This manipulation is likely to have happened before figures were recorded onto Forms 16A, especially as the lack of opposition agents in these areas meant that ODM had unfettered access to such methods of electoral fraud. In the absence of PNU agents it is necessary that independent organisations stand in to give us these figures, for example, local or foreign observers.

    At this stage it is almost without dispute that there was rigging in PNU’s favour of the sort mentioned in Molo, which consisted of changing the figures recorded on Form 16A. It is likely that the total impact of this vote manipulation to the advantage of the PNU would also fall within the 3%. Strangely however, Raila was recently reported in the Nation newspaper claiming that Kibaki’s votes were inflated by over one million. I am personally doubtful of the validity of this number as it would mean that Mwai Kibaki ended the election with a count of about 3.5 million only – a number that is not only inconsistent with the wealth of votes he harvested from Central and Eastern Kenya, but also ignorant of the very high turnout experienced in Central Kenya.

    So who won the election? I do not know, no one really knows. The ODM and some of its supporters have been claiming that the statements of the foreign press, Kivuitu and Amos Wako prove that Kibaki ‘stole’ the election, but the truth is, with all the reported irregularities and the closeness of the election, it is impossible to tell who really won the December 27th vote.

    To put a firm answer to this question would have required an immediate recounting of the votes (impossible given transportation and vote integrity issues as witnessed in the 1992 elections) or an auditing of the Form 16As by the ECK (this would help uncover the later rigging while acquitting the earlier methods. One interesting mystery is ODM’s assertion over several days that they had collected a total of 4.2 million votes, yet the final ECK announcement ascribed 4.3 million votes to the ODM .

    Outbreak of violence

    Even had President Kibaki won the election fairly or by a larger margin, there would certainly still have been riots. The ODM did not prepare its following for the possibility of losing the election. In fact they primed them towards an outright rejection of a Kibaki win, preaching that any such result would be indicative of electoral fraud.

    So it is not for the irregular manner of Kibaki’s victory that we have blood in the streets, rather people are rioting because of the Kikuyu factor. (I must apologise for all the Kikuyus who have been responsible for bringing this country to such a woeful place, whether in the ECK or around Kibaki.) Still, the facts speak for themselves. The ODM galvanised half the nation around the logic that since Kibaki is a Kikuyu and Kikuyus are thieves, are corrupt and are against devolution thus keeping you from getting your right and just share of national wealth, it follows that Kikuyus are bad and that Kibaki must go. Kibaki Toka! This strategy worked overwhelmingly in five provinces giving the ODM a massive one hundred seats in parliament.

    There is similar non-tolerance in the Kenyan blogosphere and Internet forums for anyone who does not support the ODM, the logic being that the overwhelming majority of the four million plus votes cast for Kibaki were Kikuyu (president of one tribe) and that Kibaki did not garner a significant number of votes in the rest of the country.

    Finding a solution will be difficult if the leaders stick to their dug-in positions. Raila Odinga seems so intransigent he is unwilling to stop insisting that Kibaki step down. The president on his part, and he is supported in this by Archbishop Tutu, insists that the ODM and Raila first accept that there is a governing authority in Kenya. We will keep praying for greater flexibility and a faster resolution, for heaven knows we need a peace, and we need it fast.

    The way forward

    It now behoves the head of state to take charge, to reach out to the opposition and to bend over backwards to accomodate them. It is important that he has made concessions regarding the composition of government, but he must also find a way to have the ODM leave any such talks with an element of pride.

    The ODM on its part must stop talking about Kibaki as having the support of only one or two tribes. The effects of this strategy are already visible around the country and it is most important that the leaders who inspired this seperation, whether in the ODM or in other parties, work hard to heal the divide.

    Third, rallies must be held in all regions of this country to persuade the people to calm down and to desist from wrecking the very economies of their regions. I laud the actions of KISS and Citizen radio stations, and of the mainstream newspapers to this end.

    Finally, politicians must realise that there is for each side one half of the country that is represented by the other. This little fact means that it is impossible for the one side to vanquish the other except by destroying the nation. Such ideas as the Million Man March rallies and the like do not help promote harmony and a return to some semblance of unity. What they do instead is bring us closer and closer to confrontation. Remember both sides could call four million person rallies!

    Here is an idea, Mwai Kibaki should sit down with Raila Odinga and negotiate. Mwai Kibaki says “Give me the Banana constitution and I will give you the Presidency.” Handshake. Done.

  36. Mutumia says:

    I trust and hope that you are keeping well and safe. Thanks for these updates- they were very, very useful. I’m praying for Kenya, I’m praying for my family- and for those who have lost family members in the senseless violence. Barikiwa M and please, please stay safe.

  37. abelian says:

    I have an email from one of the Students from Baraton ( the private Uni near Kapsabet)she wrote this a few days after the violence erupted. This is more than a stolen election!

    Dear Talkback Forum,

    I wish to share with you the terror and nightmare we are going through of Ethnic War. I am emailing from Baraton and the situation is bad! It all began soon after lection results were announced! Then several groups of community around broke into war songs. They broke into the shopping center next to the university and looted all the shops that belong to Kikuyus and Kisiis. Then they broke into rented offcampus houses of students..

    A crowd of about 1,000 people surged to the university gate and wanted to storm the university. They demanded that all Kikuyus, Kambas, Meru, and Kisii people leave the university within two hours. That was the only way to save the university from being stormed. They remained at the gate until it would be seen done. About three armed policemen arrived and spent time negotiating with the crowd. Finally the police advised us to evacuate the named ethnic groups. We put the faculty and students numbering about 250 into three university vehicles and were taken to Kapsabet Police station under police escort. They are still there as at now. A few of us are on campus!

    The Division tried to evacuate those from Kapsabet Police Station to Eldoret international Airport but the next road block was a no-go-zone. Inspite of the police escort, the university buses had to return to Kapsabet. The is no way anyone can get out. One baraton group is holed up at Kapsabet police station while faculty members from Luo and Luhyia community, international workers and students are holed up within the campus. Those at Kapsabet have no food or water The worst fear is not so much of food but possibility of police station being stormed. The police are few and overstretched.

    We have been having threats a almost daily at campus. On one occassion, we had to give out a bull for them to slaughter and guarantee us peace.. Then they came and demanded milk which we also gave. Then we succeced in pleading with the malitia to allow us transport food to those at police station. They allowed us first day and we transported it on varsity tractor. It took three hours to go through road blocks to reach Kapsabet wich is only 15 kilometers away.

    I attended a meeting yeasterday with commaders and malitia leaders who came to meet university adminstration. We confirmed that Malitia had had their own meeting and resolved that on humanitarion ground, faculty with kids and pregnant mothers be allowed to return to campus. They also told us students of other communities should come back. It sounded good news. We shock hands. We asked them to transport food to Kapsabet. They agreed and used their own vehicles. But the food never arrived. The malitia who were escorting the food we beaten and vehicles destroyed. The fact that you negotiate with one malitia group, remember the next and several others groups have their own policy. It is like you need visa to cross several of them.. We have about 130 Kisii students and workers stranded at police station but cant leave for home. I know of Mr Obuchi whose wife is pregnant! I know of Pr Elijah Njagi and wife, Nyarangi anf wife, etcThey are sleeping in the grass and some in university bus parked at the police station. There is no food and I have never witnessed this.

    As I write this email, have just been informed that a crowd came to university gate 15 min ago and demanded that we go out and join them in mass demonstration in the street. That means we shall be put on front line to meet the armed police. University PRO has negotiated with them and the crowd has now chained the university main gate, locked it and gone with the key. No vehicle an come in or go out. We pray that they dont come to force us out.

    It is a nightmare to meet them. All of them are armed with matchets, rungus, arrows and bows. Some are drunk and others baying for blood. I have never seen this! We are fear frozen and prayer takes a new meaning! My home is 100 km from here but how do you pass those road blocks? We have Luo workers who want to get out but we hear the Kisii are grouping to fight Luos on Kisii/Luo border. We are boxed in. The road blocks are manned by not less than 500 people. The road block at Cheptrit has a thousand youth manning it. Police told us that Mosoriot has ten thousand worriers camping there. It is a no-go-zone.

    We have no where to buy food, no calling cards available, no fuel! But we are finding a new meaning in prayer. I hope I can keep updating you of what is happening at Baraton. You can get from internet what could be happening in other parts like Eldoret, Kakamega and Kisumu.

    I have to leave for a crisis meeting to try and avert any attack on the campus. I hope internet access will remain open so that I can keep updating you. I can see helicopter flying over us but seems to be passing again! American Embassy called yesterday for the sake of their citizens. This is a no-go-zone! We need to be evacuated from here! Promises of safety from some malitia groups cannot be trusted.You need to be here to feel it. Whatever the political arguement, it is a nightmare! The ground issue is not how you voted but ethnic affliation. Some are using it to settle personal scores! There were some leaflets from one group saying that all non-Nandis get ready to leave. Other Militia groups say no. But God still keeps us safe!

    Caesar Wamalika.

  38. udi says:

    I told someone the same thing. When youth are burning everything in site, the elite are eating at Karen Country club. On the day of the thursday violence at Arwings, a friend spotted Railas son at Karen Country club having dinner. I am sure Kibaki and Lucy were having food delivered from France. Yet the guy who owns the soda depot that had 300 crates crushed (i actually buy crates of soda from him), was trying to figure out what he did to lose his business. as of Jan 7th, neither the Engen nor the soda depot had re-opened.

  39. George Awuor says:

    @Joe- Ive always thought you were a Kibaki insider! Ive realised you do not know the man. Take charge? Has he ever? And btw, for your information Kibaki was glad the Banana constitution was thrown out!!

    @abelian- A Nigerian newspaper,Punch of 6th January published that same story from Baraton and attributed it to a Caesar Wamalika,Chaplain at Baraton speaking to BBC.Its virtually word for word ,with some embellishment!! The Punch’s says its source is bbc.co.uk. Can someone please verify this story??

  40. Thanks for the photos, this is great journalism. As the international media circus dies down we will be relying on bloggers to report the situation. Keep it up.

  41. abelian says:

    George Awour,

    This is a true story, I know some of the students who go to uni there and this is actually what happened

  42. joe says:

    George lol its call tongue and cheek i know kibaki wanted the banana constitution to fail . the honest truth is kibaki won and he is not upto negociating jack with odm thats the honest truth

  43. mudskippah says:

    Maybe it’s time someone wise proposed a new form of government for African countries. Because democracy just doesn’t seem to work in such ethnically divided countries as ours. Or maybe regional “power rotation” should be written into our constitution, calling a spade a spade, accepting that Kenya is divided into Central&Eastern/Western/Rift Valley/Coast&northern. Then have a way of shuffling executive power checked by parliament. A neutral judiciary would serve as referee to keep the players within the rules while the civil service would do implement policy free of interference. Or something like that.

    I suggest that because democracy looks good only on paper. As much as it is evident that PNU stole
    this I am not convinced that ODM did not do their share of stealing either. Neither Raila nor Kibaki are untainted, IMHO.

    For a quick fix, a re-election managed by a neutral body should address one big issue: who do most Kenyans want as president? Simple as that.

    The bigger scarier issues beyond that are: tribal division and economic disparities. Wealth distribution here may actually be the soul of the monster, because if all Kenyans felt they were equally involved in the whole business of sharing our limited resources (which is what politics is all about anyway) then it would not matter so much what language your grandmother spoke.

    Sorry I have overflowed, I’ll even copy this to my blog maybe expand it. But not, enough for now.

    BTW, you haven’t posted for a few days, hope you are still with us.

  44. shook_1 says:

    My pal once said “This country has its owners”

    George Carlin also said “It’s one big party, and you ain’t in it!”

  45. Quizzical says:

    Kenya like most of Africa was formed to serve colonialist ambitions, not for the benefit of the people themselves. The judicial and political systems echo the same.
    Africa is a tinderbox waiting to ignite, just look at Zimbabwe. Sadly, as one poster says, the media will have a fleeting interest in the population’s plight and then abandon them as soon as a juicier story comes along.
    Having been fortunate enough to visit Kenya since 1995, I lament for the damage which is undoubtedly being done to a beautiful country with enormous potential, and a proud group of peoples caught up in such appalling internal struggles.

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  1. Monday March 10, 2008

    [...] This is today’s news update from the Kenyan blogger M., writing at Thinker’s Room: [...]

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