2012 politics must be about you and me

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BY NGUNJIRI WAMBUGU

Friends,
On the last day of February 1992 a group of elderly rural women descended on Nairobi with a potent demand. This group chained themselves together in solidarity and went on hunger strike at Freedom Corner.

Despite being forcefully dispersed by government agents and even transported back to their rural homes they regrouped at the All Saints Cathedral and got into a vigil that lasted well over a year before the KANU government relented and did what they wanted.

Their demand was the release of their sons who had been detained by the KANU government.

These women were talked about far and wide. They had achieved what no one before them had ever been able to do. They had forced Moi to accept a popular decision and release prisoners who he had detained. The incident catapulted them into national and international fame.

Last week some members of this group arranged a meeting with the Prime Minister. They needed his assistance on several issues that trace their origin from that battle with the state 20 years ago.

Despite being hailed as being Kenyan heroes their lives after the event had actually become much harder, rather than easier. As I listened to them I could not help but imagine the many other Kenyans who felt like them. I thought about the families, friends and descendants of Waiyaki Wa Hinga, Koitalel Arap Samoei, Mekatilili Wa Menza, Muindi Bingu, Ojijo Oteko, and Dedan Kimathi, all who knew their loved ones had died as heroes during the struggle for Kenya’s independence.

I thought of the families of Jean Marie Seroney, Chelagat Mutai, Jaramogi Oginga, Bildad Kaggia, Charles Rubia, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Willy Mutunga, Paul Muite, Raila Odinga, Wangari Maathai, George Anyona, Koigi Wamwere, Ken Matiba, James Orengo, etc: who had all watched their loved ones detained, tortured and persecuted for political reasons.

We also had the families of Tom Mboya, JM Kariuki, Pio Gama Pinto, Robert Ouko, etc, who were all assassinated for political reasons.

All these were Kenyans who had been hailed as heroes having stepped up when Kenya needed them, but their lives and the lives of those left behind actually took a turn for the worse because of that action.

I realised that whilst other countries built their nation’s legends around their historical heroes Kenya seemed to be ashamed of its own, and quickly shed them as soon as they went through each event.

As I listened to the mothers walk away with confidence after the Prime Minister’s assurances I also realized that it had everything to do with politics.

No one represented Kenya’s heroes in the corridors of power, to speak for them, seek compensation for their sacrifices, ensure their families were assisted by the government.

On the other hand all those who would be adversely affected by the pursuit for justice for these heroes had brought political pressure to bear to ensure that any attempts by any government to solve such issues were thwarted.

The pre-independence collaborators and home guards, beneficiaries of the KANU political injustices, and/or perpetrators of various other injustices had ensured they had allies in political power to directly and indirectly frustrate any government policies that would benefit the victims.

The families and friends of our national heros must understand that governments work for those who put the politicians into office. The mothers of political prisoners understood this because by going to the Prime Minister they were telling him that they expect his politics to be about their needs.

Our heroes and the victims of social injustice in Kenya need to realize that they must get their own political representation. Allies in Parliament who will ask why the Mau Mau history is not told to our children, why the victims and survivors of Nyayo House Torture Chambers have not been compensated: why IDPs have not been resettled, why other tiers of PEV perpetrators have not been charged, etc.

If the over 650,000 Kenyans who were directly affected by the 2007-08 Post Election Violence, including all those still living in tents as IDPs and the ones in Uganda living as refugees ensured they only vote for someone who guarantees to ask such questions: if all the Kenyans seeking compensation and justice around the Mau Mau, Nyayo House Torture, Extra Judicial killings, illicit brews issues, voted for their own: Kenya’s politics would change fundamentally.

If those affected directly or indirectly by the 2007-08 asked themselves what would happen if people suspected to be perpetrators of the heinous crimes against humanity of those 60 days, or their allies, got into political office, we would vote very differently in 2012. (How would we expect such a government to seek justice for PEV victims?)

If all those who believe Kenya must deal decisively with impunity, corruption and ethnic politics made the 2012 general elections a political contest about who will best meet this need, we force each presidential, parliamentary and/or county candidate to tell us what they will do for us. We could easily change Kenya’s political culture in 2012.

This is what is called Siasa Mpya and you can be part of the process by emailing [email protected]

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  • Oludavin

    Well said Mr. Ngunjiri, Kenya needs siasa mpya though best on the continuous fight for justice and unity of Kenyans. Looking at the current presidential candidates, only RAO stands a chance of realising the fruits of the second liberation: kenya free from impunity, free from corruption, free from ethinicity, free from drug barons, free from land grabbers, free from insecurity, free from hunger, free from unemployment, free from high cost of living, free from illitracy, free from Athur brothers, free from corrupt incompitent police  force, free from IDPs…! I say RAO because of his past reacord and his stand as the living political hero based on; His fight gainst Moi dictatorship, fight for a second liberation, firght for the new constitution, strong stand on peace deal in Senegal after PEV, Mau conservation, Against Hague process, Introduction of Kazi kwa vijana initiative, demolition of houses on road reserves, tot forgeting the Kibaki tosha among many others that needed risk taking and alot of courage. Raila has passion, ideas and courage. In all these efforts he has been demonised by every evil force but has come out muepe kama pamba.

    • Bmutai

      I just wanted to point out that Rao is not a saint… You’ve glossed him too much! I do agree that he’s better than the other options available, but he’s not the best that we can have.
      Does it strike you or anyone for that matter as strange that Rao has never fired any ‘Luo’ EVER? Either they are exceptionally good (read loyal) workers or that could be his imperfection…
      Just saying… 

  • Anonymous

    Hehehe. Tumekutoa pangoni Saint GONEjiri. You can no longer continue hiding behind vague articles ambiguously alluding to  ‘peace and reconciliation meetings’ or ‘siasa mpya’. Clearly, you now have no choice but to come out in the open and state (as you now have thank you) that you are fronting for Dr Railer himself (PhD in PEV and Anarchy, 1982,2007/8).

    Hata pesa vile zinaingia is public knowledge Saint GONEjiri. That new house in a leafy neighborhood. Your life is suddenly changing for the better bwana. Kudos for the instant ‘savings’. Indeed Change Associates is delivering change that GONEjiri can believe in. Could it be bakshish from the Mahindi scandal? Ama hizo ni za Triton? Maybe KKV? Sisemi kitu! 

    Mambo nikujichanua. Ponyoka na nyumba. Hehehe. I have no hard feelings with mwanaume anatafutia their family. Seriously, ponda mali now while the sun shines. Railer and the Hyacinth Mafia are engorging like there is no tomorrow because they know 2012 is the year of retirement for them. 

    You are free to campaign in Luo Nyanza for Railer and the Hyacinth Mafia. While at it you could give an inspirational pep talk to the stone-throwing subjects of the King of Kondele. I would urge that you focus your talk on how humanity has long transitioned from Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus where stone implements were the in thing. Of course, do not forget to obtain clearance from the King of Kondele lest you become another in a long line of stoned statistics. 

    Next Railer propagandaist on the chopping block?

    • Hachore84

      YOUR RESPONSE ABSOLUTELY MAKES NO SENSE!!!!!!!

    • kimani waweru

      kumbaf. ata wewe si ujichanue? rumour mongerer.

  • Beatmuthm

     ngunjiri you project will not work some of those you are saying are one of us we have seen them when thy are in power so  you opinion is better for you keep 4 uaself

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