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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kenya up in smoke as Britain, USA, EU, UN, AU and EAC watch from a distance

The world risks loosing over 33 million people in Kenya’s post election violence that has rocked the country over the past one month. The European Union, The commonwealth and the African Union raised concerns that presidential vote tallying was deeply flawed and fell short of international standards. Even local Kenyan observers and some Electoral of Kenya officials including its chairman raised the red flag regarding the legitimacy of vote tallying before announcements were made. Many believe that the hasty swearing in of Mwai Kibaki as the President of the republic of Kenya was a sign that his camp had stolen the December vote, a move that did not go well with many Kenyans, many taking to the streets in protest. Over 800 people have already been killed and property worth billions of dollars destroyed.

Despite the rising cases of violence related deaths and destruction of property, the situation has taken an evil turn after two opposition law makers were felled by the gun within hours in the past one week. The first MP Hon. Melitus Were was killed by under mysterious circumstances in what the Kenyan police have called “normal crime”. The Second Hon David Kimutai was killed in an apparent “love triangle” according to the Kenyan Police. A group calling itself the “mungiki” claims to have executed Mr. Were and issued similar threats to journalists whose reporting appeared to be “anti government”. The invincible hand behind all the undertakings is yet to show up in a country that was once was a beacon of peace and stability in Sub Saharan Africa.

The mere talk from Britain, USA, European Union, African Union, UN and East African Community suggest that they have failed to even recognize that there is trouble in Kenya. I can tell you now, Kenya is hanging on a thread. As a journalist I expected to hear and see firm commitment through action from these institutions relating to Kenya. People are dying and a country is falling apart and all we hear is just talk through the international press. It is shocking that No word has come from Tanzania despite the fact that Local Tanzania media is awash with such headlines as “Wakenya waendelea Kumalizana” (Kenyans continue to tear each other apart ). President Kikwete is yet to utter a word ever since the country erupted in chaos. I don’t mean that it is his problem but as the closest neighbor to Kenya, just a cough would be enough to show that he deplores or suports the status quo. EAC chairman and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni quickly jetted into Kenya earlier in January saying that he was “deeply concerned” about the situation in the country. That was the last we heard from him even though there have been allegations that he had deployed troops to “help quell” the situation. Early in 2007 there was simmering tension regarding the position of Tanzania in the proposed economic integration of East Africa. Apparently, Tanzania has always viewed Kenya with suspicions and one will be forgiven to think that the country is rejoicing when the purported economic powerhouse of East Africa is going up in flames. Of late there have been a lot of Tanzanian advertisements in the international media inviting people to tour the country as “the ideal destination”.

The US Secretary of State warned of “stern action” against leaders who fail to embrace dialogue to end the current political stalemate. Britain has also joined in the fray of TALK with no action while Kenya mourns the death of its people its sober leaders and democracy.

It started with Rwanda where millions of people were brutally murdered under the watchful eye of the international community including Kenya. No one had anticipated the magnitude of the Rwanda genocide until numbers of those killed started coming in. Millions had died and the country was just a shell of what it used to be. Southern Sudan has never stabilized; Somalia was quickly erased from the world map. Zimbabwe is now a basket case. History will indeed judge us harshly because Kenya is on the way.

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