BY NAISULA LESUUDA
Today I want to just speak as Naisula without consulting anyone else apart from my God and my conscience. I am so heartbroken and shattered by the lives which continue to be lost among pastoral communities, especially those of women and children.
The same way I cried when I covered those stories when I was a journalist and even quit my job I continue to cry now as a Senator.
Don’t talk to me about which community they belonged to. For me, they are human beings that ought to live just like you and me. I am so tired of being told any time I raise issues to do with peace that I have to tread carefully because I’m now a politician and part of a government which made me a Senator – a government that is not doing enough.
I want to say I would rather remain with no title to my name but see those children, women and young men live.
When I raise issues of the value of life, I am reminded that I hold a seat that I didn’t even deserve. I thought being at the centre of leadership I could move things but maybe Naisula and others who have worked tirelessly for peace without titles are what it takes to realise the safety of those innocent babies; others still in the womb of pregnant women who were killed not because they were in the battle field but protecting their young children in a bush.
All this is happening when I am away from home, probably it will also be questioned why I’m not at home at this particular time and speaking the way I am. It has also happened many times before… All the concerns raised why those children and women had to die are valid depending on what side you are seated. Can’t we do something to just stop the killings then resolve the issues later?
When I look at those pictures I see a child who would have been a better Naisula, a Senator or even a President. My pastoral brothers and sisters, I beg of you to let those who have already died rest in peace by working together to save the living. No one needs to die for boundaries to be secured, for the equalisation fund to be realised, for livestock, for an individual to ascend to power, for access roads to be built, for our children to go to school, for the oil, wind power, for government weapons to be recovered, for marginalisation etc.
The power is in our hands; in what we say not to one another but to our very own to just stop the killings. I have said this before to our pastoral communities living in different parts of our country and I will continue to say either politically correct or not. The leadership and every child from these communities, let’s talk to our respective communities to just stop it!!!
I look forward to a time when peace will be realised just like it did between the Samburu-Pokot and Marakwet-Pokot; and I know the only regret we will have is not doing enough to have saved more lives.
(Senator Lesuuda (OGW) is a peace ambassador and chairperson of the Joint Broadcasting and Library Committee)