They’ve done it again. I for one had faith that with an issue as crucial as saving the Mau, the government would keep its promise to cater for the evictees.
I was not the only one who had faith in the government. The media has worked tirelessly to show the detriments of settlement on the Mau. We have encouraged, cajoled and bullied ‘squatters’ living in the crucial water catchment area to leave, to save this country.
I am ashamed now to have been a part of that. Not because I don’t believe in saving the Mau, but because I will have nothing to say to the woman sleeping out in the cold that has no idea if her little baby will catch pneumonia. Nor the man who is frustrated because he probably convinced his wife to leave the forest and now can do little to make things better for his family.
There may still be time for the government to save the evictees from more hardship, but the agonizingly long seven days since the exodus began have left a lot to be desired. The evictees turned IDPs have gone hungry, slept in the cold, been heavily demoralised by the lack of support; now that even aid agencies which are a crucial fall-back when the state forgets its duties, are broke.
During that same week, the nearly 200-man honourable Cabinet – including Permanent Secretaries – were holding a very expensive meeting to encourage each other not to air their dirty linen in the clean public. As they ate their fill and probably played beach soccer – I stand to be corrected on this one – the evictees were hungry and weeping in the cold.
I agree that the meeting was an important one, but the timing could not have been more off.
To make matters worse, the fact that the new IDPs are hurting is being used to drive a political agenda. Note, the entire weekend, the rallies there offered no solution whatsoever. They simply stirred up the anger and pain of those in the camps and dumped it on their political opponents. I am so fed up with politics. However crafty and skilful, it brings more harm than good.
The government seriously needs to rethink its priorities. The fact that human life can be used as a pawn to further a career should be frowned upon, to the point of derision. The fact that a costly linen and grumbling conference can take place in total disregard of voters’ suffering should be ridiculed. The fact that 2012 is a topic of choice when the blood spilled in 2007 remains a stinking curse that is causing our beautiful country to rot, should be very carefully considered.