Uhuru and Ruto must stop mocking the victims of PEV:
I began writing this from Paris where I had come for a special meeting of the Emerging Markets Forum hosted by the Governor of Banque de France.
The theme of the meeting was “Striving for a Just, Prosperous and Harmonious Global Community.” It was attended by various world leaders and particularly President Alassane Ouattara, President Horst Koehler, Michael Camdessus and Hiroshi Watanabe.
While in Paris, I learnt of a medieval dance that originated in France called the “danse macabre,” which is French for “the dance of death.” It started in the mid 14th Century and involved a procession in which people danced to the graves of the dead in their community in celebration of death.
As I thought about this very perverse type of custom and traditions, I could not help but compare this with what President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have planned to do at Afraha Stadium tomorrow, April 16, 2016.
Firstly, I wish to explain my position on the collapse of the cases. I did congratulate my friend Hon. William Ruto for being free from the cases, as I had also done to my brother President Kenyatta.
Ruto’s freedom was of particular concern to the Orange Democratic Movement as it proved, as we had always maintained, that ODM did not plan any violence against other Kenyans. Ruto could not have planned for the eviction and murder of so many ODM supporters in so many parts of the country including Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru and Kisumu. Ruto certainly could not have evicted so many perceived ODM supporters from the remote parts of central Kenya where the party then had to hire buses and ferry people to Kisii, Kericho, Kakamega, Kisumu, Eldoret and other parts of western Kenya.
The collapse of the cases brings little to Kenya in terms of justice and an end to impunity. While we all agree that our leaders got caught up in a mixture of botched investigations and subversion of the administration of justice, we must admit that the collapse of the I.C.C engagement with the Kenya situation denied this country the only chance it had to end the culture of impunity that has condemned us to an orgy of violence with every election.
As we reflect on the cessation of our engagement with I.C.C regarding the post election violence, we must moan the continued lack of justice for those who were killed, the helpless women who were raped and the multitude of persons who lost their homes and were displaced.
Clearly, as a nation, there is nothing to celebrate about. Instead, we have to reflect on the many critical decisions that we need to make. We have many people who we still need to condole and reparate and a national sense of justice that needs to be reconfirmed.
In light of these circumstances, it amounts to mocking the dead and the surviving victims of Post Election Violence for the President and his Deputy to assemble their political supporters at Afraha Stadium to celebrate the end of the pursuit of justice over the atrocities of the mayhem in 2007/2008.
The only picture that comes to mind is that of the President and his Deputy leading a procession of Jubilee followers performing the ‘danse macabre’ over the graves of their fellow county men.
What Uhuru and Ruto should be doing is keeping their jubilation in check and thinking of the pain that abounds in the country. There is pain over continued lack of justice for the hundreds of young Kenyans shot in their backs as they ran away from the steaming barrels of AK47’s. The children who helplessly watched their mother’s being beaten and raped are hurting. The thousands whose homes, property and places of worship were incinerated beyond imagination remain pained. That elderly father who had to identify his son’s maimed body from a sea of blanket covered corpses, the young girl who discovered her mothers body lying in a pool of blood as stray bullets tore through their “mabati” home, striking her mother in the chest all remain in pain.
Kenya does not need a self-absorbed jamboree hosted by the Presidency but a genuine engagement to pursue truth, justice and reconciliation. Justice was always intended to be our shield and defender. Without justice, the shield is gone, and we are exposed.
Uhuru and Ruto must cease this continued mockery of the victims of the Post Election Violence and lead this nation towards the truth and reconciliation that will save us from what is quickly becoming an irreversible descent towards another orgy of violence.
We need truth and reconciliation in our Presidency. Barely a couple of years ago, the Deputy President was complaining that people close to the President “fixed” him. With the Jubilee Coalition constantly marketing itself as a partnership to unite communities, these loudly pronounced accusations must be addressed openly to remove the suspicion they have created among the people.
We need truth and reconciliation in our institutions. The National Intelligence Service provided a lot of the evidence that I.C.C cases were riding on, and in particular what is now known as the confidential Exhibit 19 and 19A of the Waki Report. These are the exhibits that were compiled by then Director General of NIS as evidence against Ruto and other ODM members. The president must now make these exhibits public if he is serious about truth and reconciliation.
The President should open up the envelope and let the people deal with the I.C.C ghosts and exorcise them from their national psyche.
Similarly, the Police must come out openly regarding their operations in the 2007/2008 period. We need to know how they ended up shooting close to the declared 500 people. We also need to know the exact number of people the police shot. Most critically, the police must answer the yet unanswered question of what happened to the over 1000 Kalenjin youths that went missing during and after the post election violence.
We need truth and reconciliation among our communities. In 2007/2008, neighbours rose up against neighbours. Long time family friends picked arms against each other’s parents and children. They burnt each other’s homes.
We can’t sweep these realities under the carpet and move on. We must bring people together to talk and make peace. This has been done successfully in South Africa and Rwanda and we have seen it bring lasting peace.
And lastly, we need truth and reconciliation in the whole country. The President must now publish the list of all the people who died in the Post Election Violence, those who were injured and those who were displaced. He must also publish what reparations his government has given to each of them.
Just last week, we observed the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda. That was on April 7. I ask that we consider undertaking a similar initiative like Rwanda’s village courts.
I think we can have “Baraza Courts” in villages that were affected by the Post Election Violence. Let people come together and say what they did, why and on whose instructions. It is never too late to pursue truth and reconciliation.
APRIL 15, 2016.