Sunday, February 17, 2008



By Jerry Okungu

Kenya is a land full of hypocrites, liars and opportunists. We love to exploit even some of the most bizarre situations. We never stop to seize any opportunity to make an extra coin from the donor community or add extra media visibility to our moribund humanitarian organizations.

The behavior of some of our eminent persons, religious leaders, peace makers and humanitarian workers in the last few days since Kenya exploded into an orgy of violence has been amazingly disgusting. All of a sudden, war mongers and tribal chauvinists became peace makers and nationalists! All of a sudden, aging politicians who have been the cause of our miseries all our lives combed hotel meeting rooms to join peace initiatives to bring order and sanity back to our burning nation.

I have watched on television screens some of the most pathetic individuals masquerading as peace makers searching for peace. I have asked myself this question: where were all these clergy and peacemakers when Kenya was gliding into turmoil? Where were they when all signs were there that elections would be rigged and that Kenyans would this time not sit back and see their democracy mutilated? Where were they when criminals were causing mayhem and buying votes in various parts of the country? Where were they when a cabinet minister set his goons after his political opponents in Nyanza?

I have been praying that one of these latter day saints would raise a faint voice and ask for the truth and justice as loudly as they are asking for peace!
It is true the violence that rocked five of the eight Kenyan provinces needed not to have occurred.

Many Kenyans lost their lives unnecessarily. Billions of shillings worth of goods went up in smoke. Survivors lost their livelihood and jobs. Others will be maimed for the rest of their lives. All this happened because Kenyans turned a blind eye to the truth. All this happened because we gave a wide berth to basic social justice. An unjust society where we thrive on lies and hypocrisy has landed us in unprecedented turmoil.

Other than pray for peace, let us stop in our tracks and ask some basic questions: why did Kenyans turn on one another with crude weapons to bash one another’s heads? Why did the Mungiki sect butcher its own ethnic community for a whole year without anybody praying for peace? Were the Mungiki victims not Kenyans just like the three hundred Kenyans who have perished in this last episode? When government forces carried out extra-judicial killings of nearly 500 Kenyans, did we believe the Kenya National Human Rights Commission and condemn the government?

Bishop Tutu flew in last week to mediate peace between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga. Madam Frazer also jetted in from the US to come and broker the same peace between the two protagonists.

This, not withstanding the efforts of the former Sierra Leonean President who initially came as an observer to the now discredited elections.

Now we have John Kufuor of Ghana, not to mention Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and Joachim Chissano of Mozambique for the same mission
The mere fact that world leaders are getting involved in negotiating a peaceful settlement out of our crisis just confirms that something went terribly wrong with our elections.

The fact that President Kibaki is talking peace and has formed a coalition government confirms that he did not win the last elections as his handlers would like us to believe.

If indeed presidential elections results were tampered with by the ECK at the KICC as Samuel Kivuitu and four other commissioners have admitted, then it is upon this government to step aside so that the real truth can be known and justice, not just for Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki, can be seen to be done for our nation.

Kenyans who voted for a new government want respect from their rulers. They don’t want to be governed by those daring enough to steal their rights and dignity from them. They don’t want to be governed by those that choose to embarrass them before the international community. They want to know who planned to steal their election from them and they want the culprit punished in a court of law!

Real peace will only come to Kenya if we expunge impunity and arrogance on the part of our leaders.It will not come simply because we have trooped to our churches and mosques and shouted endlessly for our gods to hear and forgive us our sins! It will not be realized simply because a few self-serving elites have gone on television and bought space in newspapers to preach peace. It will only come if Kenyans come to terms with the reality on the ground; that knowing the truth is the gateway to attaining justice and when justice is done even the souls of the dead will rest in peace!