Thursday, 28 February 2013

Kenyans must save Kenya

I must admit. I know Kenya’s Chief Justice, Dr Willy Mutunga as the man you can’t shake leave alone intimidate easily. I also know Mutunga as the power, among others, behind many changes that Kenya enjoys today. Under his initiatives many NGOs for Human Rights and Democracy such as Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and others were formed all aimed at pressurizing the then Moi regime to usher democratic changes in. You can take this to the bank.
True, you can trust Mutunga. He means what he says as he was recently quoted by the media saying, “I have given most of my life to a better Kenya and if taking it is what will be required to consolidate and secure our democratic gains in this election, or even thereafter, that is a price I am not afraid to pay,”
Those who happened to meet him will agree with me that Mutunga has no life out of what he believes in. I was honoured to meet with him and Professor Makau Mutua at Gitanga Rd at KHRC headquarters. Simple and down to earth as he always is, Mutunga welcomed me in Swahili saying “Karibu ndugu.” He narrated his story about living in Tanzania as a refugee. In fact, from that day on we became friends who would touch base whenever time allows. I left for Canada and we kept in touch. In a nutshell, Mutunga is the guy who budges not to die shall anybody try to intimidate him.
According to recent report Mutunga was intimidated at the airport when he was leaving for Dar es Salaam where he was invited to give his expertise in constitutional matters. He didn't succumb. He triumphed.
That was the beginning. For when he returned back home, he received what is now known as poison-pen letter. Mutunga did not take things lightly. He called a press conference and told Kenyans how he and some judges were targeted by what he called Muingiki Veterans Group/Kenya Sovereignty Defense Squad.
That Kenya will have her general elections next month; the whole world would like to see no repetition of what transpired in 2008 when over 1,000 people lost their lives.
Strategic as Kenya is in the region, it will be a blow shall Kenyans not heed the calls asking them to refuse to be taken for a ride. Although PEV's blow's always been blamed on tribalism, Kenya does not have tribalism but fear and poverty for those who are used in such crimes like PEV. Given that the new constitution guarantees wellbeing and prosperity for Kenyans there is no reason for anybody to live under fear anymore.
Kenyans should be made aware of the challenges ahead for their nation especially the war against Al Shabaab in Somalia. Kenyans should not give Al Shabaab victory by turning against each other. For this will not weaken them but will also make them vulnerable.
One would challenge Kenyans to take a leaf from Rwanda after 1994 genocide. Instead of becoming the source of anger and vengeance, genocide in Rwanda, has been interpreted and has been used positively for the good of the nation. In Conflict Resolution Studies we have one saying that what we have ahead of others is the ability of using conflict productively and constructively. PEV did happen. Nobody can deny it. True, Kenyans did not fell one other in 2008. Let bygone be bygone. Let Kenyans prove the world that what transpired in the said period was an accident and something undesirable that they are now making good out of.
Although Kenyans are accused of destroying Kenya in the 2007-2008 Post Elections Violence (PEV), this time they have the chance to rectify the situation and reclaim their good name.
I know many have already written tonnes and tonnes of advice to Kenya. Mine today is, no lo olvidemos nunca literally No lest we forget. How can the whole nation forget? I heard many people complaining that foreign forces are interfering with their internal matters. Again, we need to understand. When Kenyans butchered one another, literally this was the invitation for foreign forces. Never shall Kenyans invite foreign forces anymore this time. They'll be one to blame in lieu of blaming others. Kenyans, please make us proud and happy. There is no East Africa without Kenya. So bear in mind that whatever you do, its shockwaves will be felt all over the world.
Importantly, it should be noted. Kenyans must save Kenya this time around come March 4th. Ameeeeen.
I wish you very serene and peaceful elections. Long live Kenya long live peace long live democracy.
Source: The East African Executive Magazine Feb. 27, 2013.

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