Friday, 1 February 2008

A Kenyan in denial about this crisis

Never in my life of attending this bi-annual event have I seen so many Kenyans. They came in droves; they are busy telling the world what has been in our purview for a month now. They have met whoever has weight on the continent to deliver their disquiet.

But even beneath this you get the feeling that Kenyans are divided even outside their country. One individual took to the podium and painted the glossiest picture about Kenya. He was mocked off the stage. He eloquently defended the government, saying the pictures we see on television about the dead and wounded were concoctions by international media meant to hurt the economy.
He said the dead bodies shown on TV around the world were taken from the main mortuaries in the country. He went on to say that no one had been killed in the post-election violence. Somehow he was cut short, told that if he continued his litany, he was going to be lynched. He fled for dear life.

So I asked other Kenyans where this particular individual came from. Without blinking they told me he was a Kibaki supporter. I asked how they knew that. The answer was chilling: "His name is Mwangi and he for sure is a Kikuyu". And what tribe are the others; "we are Luo," they said.

I attempt to ask them whether all Kikuyu supported Kibaki, considering that I know two Kenyans about to lose their lives for speaking against the election. Those are exceptions, I am told.

Indeed the head of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, Maina Kiai, has been told in clear terms that he will be eliminated for the stance he has taken on the violence in Kenya. But for Maina, that has always been his life. He believes that truth is to be upheld at whatever cost, even if it's against your tribesmate. Yes, that cost that he is staring in the face right now.

In this conflict there are things that one will always remember. As a kid I read virtually all books written by James Ngugi, a.k.a. Ngugi Wa Thiong. His narrations in books like 'The River Between' or 'A Grain of Wheat' spoke volumes about a country ruled by a few at the expense of the majority.

But now, in this year and age, Ngugi my hero has turned his course. He has joined those who think that the Luo wronged the Kikuyu and that Kibaki won the elections fairly. As I finished reading his expose on the conflict in Kenya, it suddenly occurred to me that reason which we all aspire to have and use, is an illusion, a mirage! For if Ngugi can turn on tribal sentiments to assuage a government that he knows is illegitimate, then for sure things are no longer at ease.

Quotes from the country now reminds me of 1994 Rwanda by Dismas Nkunda

Mwangi, who the writer mentions in his article,who claims the pictures we have seen in the media have been concocted, clearly has a different perception of reality. He must have gone to the same school as the police officer who claimed the video of the policeman killing the two men in Kisumu, had been altered like the Rambo movies.

Each to their own.

I believe Mwangi is the type of guy who sees a green light, when the light is red.

No comments: