Kenya Crisis: Mr. Munene Got His Facts Wrong
I would like to thank Mr. Joseph Munene for calling on all Kenyans in Stockholm to have discussions regarding the situation in Kenya. This is a positive thought although I have a few concerns regarding his facts. After reading Mr. Munene´s views on events in Kenya, I paid lots of interest on some key issues he raised.
Mr. Munene stated that in Nakuru town, ODM promised boda-boda cyclists doing business that they would be given Taxis if ODM won elections. I have personally taken contact with a man in Nakuru who runs boda-boda business. His bicycle is numbered NM 42 (NM stands for Nakuru Municipality). According to him, he attended most of the rallies and the promises he heard from ODM are as follows:
That ODM will protect them from harassments from Matatu drivers. Matatu drivers believe that cyclists cause lots of obstructions on the Kenyan roads. ODM promised to construct better roads to solve this problem.
That ODM will ensure that the issuing of licenses to boda-boda cyclists would be speeded up. He might have missed the rally when the wonderful promise of Taxis was made!
Mr. Munene, I want to be open as much as possible. After all, this is what you have asked for. Kenyans have, in the past, received many promises from politicians which, to date, have not been fulfilled. No Kenyan has fought back physically for failed promises.
In one meeting I attended sometimes back in Eldoret when Kibaki was heading to Marakwet to thank them for voting for him in 2002, he told Kenyans: “Asanteni na mujienjoy!” Some people in the crowd asked him “tutajienjoy na nini, toa kitu mzee!”
He answered: “fanyeni kazi na mtapata pesa”. People asked: “wapi kazi?” and he said “mimi sina kazi, tafuteni!”
He had forgotten the promise he made before he came to power that his government would create half a million jobs per year. People just laughed. They never fought Kibaki.
Kenyans are sensible people. The promise which every Kenyan voter looked forward to and which they expected would be fulfilled without any problem was the delivery of a new and democratic Constitution within 100 days after Kibaki seized power 2002.
Hello! It would have been a record and would have kept Kibaki in the hearts of Kenyans forever had he kept this important promise.
Instead, Kenyans fought back wisely. This time round, they voted Kibaki’s government out of power (my stand is Raila won.) Currently, Kenyans are fighting for democracy. For a government to be called democratic, it must respect the majority principle during voting, among other requirements. Kibaki`s government did not respect this benchmark of democracy hence qualifies to be called “anti-democratic”.
ODM, like any other political Party, made promises. Kenyans are used to promises that are never fulfilled. Former dictator Daniel arap Moi made so many promises while in power but he never fulfilled them.
For example, he promised teachers a salary increment in four phases but later said that the government had no money. Moi lost teacher’s respect (Do not forget he was teacher number 1, apart from being farmer number 1!).
Thanks to Kibaki who implemented some of the undelivered phases when he took over power in 2002 on a popular vote. Kibaki earned respect from teachers, but the big promise, at the time of the 2007 2l2ction, was still pending – THE CONSTITUTION.
MUNENE’S SKEWED ANALYSIS PROMOTES TRIBALISM IN STOCKHOLM
I wish we could all understand one thing: Kenyans have never fought before after a General election. Why are they fighting this time round? The answer is simple. Elections were rigged in broad day light! (How I know this is an issue that could be discussed in an “open debate.”)
If Moi had handed over power to Uhuru in 2002, instead of Kibaki, I am sure Kenyans could have fought him violently. Moi had power to do that, but the little logic he still had told him to do the right thing – hand over power.
It is not logical to say that Kenyans are fighting because they do not expect changes in their lives with Kibaki as President because they had been promised more things by ODM. My reaction to this statement is: If ODM made promises which Kenyans thought could change their lives to the better, then they did the right thing, voted for ODM and the Party won. Kibaki should have handed over power after losing election so as to test whether ODM could deliver on its promises. Instead, Kibaki rigged elections.
2) The second issue mentioned by Munene is that ODM created illusions in people’s minds and that this is what has been driving them to do what they are doing.
ODM won elections and whether or not they created illusions in people’s minds is no explanation (as Munene would want KSB readers to believe) for the violence that has been witnessed across the country. To suggest that sheer illusions are responsible for the violence is to miss the big point because Kenyans and the world know that the violence is a direct reaction to rigged elections.
It is wrong for Mr. Munene to claim that ODM created illusions in the minds of supporters because since the Party was prevented from taking over power as a way of fulfilling its promises, it is too early to classify the promises as illusions.
The Taxi example used by Mr. Munene to underline his point is lacking in fact unless Mr. Munene can produce strong evidence that such an impossible promise was made by ODM. Majority of ODM rallies were well documented and I challenge Mr. Munene to come forward with evidence. In any case, how could the hawk-eyed Kenyan media have missed such a phantom promise?
Another issue is the recent fund raising which, according to Mr. Munene, was attended by one ethnic group. I wish Munene had used the terms “few Kenyans”. Do you now see that tribalism is deeply rooted in people’s minds? At what point did you start categorizing those who attended the fund raising in terms of their ethnicity? This kind of skewed analysis is what is promoting tribalism among Kenyans in Stockholm.
I had read a report by Mr. Muraya saying the fund raising was a success though the turnout was low. I support Mr Muraya when he says the turnout was poor, given that there are about 1000 Kenyans in Stockholm. Personally I was already involved in another humanitarian group. What is important here is: Are Kenyans in Stockholm doing something to help those at home?
My stand is, it is not ODM supporters who are fighting. It is Kenyans who know the meaning of democracy who are irritated. Personally, I am not a supporter of ODM. I support democracy and that is why I feel that if one understands this word, then he/she should fight to ensure that democracy is restored in Kenya (if we have ever had it).
In this case, ODM won elections and for Kenya to be seen as a democratic country in the eyes of the International community which Kenya is part of, the will of the majority should be respected. Kibaki and his PNU do not have the people’s mandate to rule Kenya and the protests which have so far been witnessed in Kenya is a Statement to this effect. This is the simple truth. Mr. Munene should not mislead Kenyans with cooked logic.
Chebet Keter, Stockholm.