Save Kenya from this agony

One of the most desirable qualities in a CEO is the ability to make decisions.  The CEO is always presented with two or three comparable options out of which he/she must choose one.

In the absence of hindsight, a high element of risk-taking comes into play, knowing full well that the conclusion could have catastrophic consequences.  Regardless of this interplay, the CEO must make a choice after having carefully weighed the pros and cons.

It is with this background in mind, that I express my displeasure at how our government is dealing with the anticipated prosecution of the perpetrators of post-election violence. 

One and a half years after the choas, and after having been indulged with extensions by the International Criminal Court, we are nowhere near taking a decisive stand on this matter. 

I daresay that I feel the apathy of Kenyans in deciding whether to go to the ICC, set up a local Tribunal or utilise the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission.  Most of us are less concerned about the process, and more interested in the delivery of justice.  When you consider all three options, there is none that is without its disadvantages and especially so for vested parties. 

Where does that leave the victims of the post-election violence?  Do we keep playing to the tune of special interests at their expense?  Let us make a decision and stop this dilly dallying.  There is truth to the words that justice delayed is justice denied.

Meanwhile, I was very surprised to hear the government’s chief resettlement officer state that all Internally Displaced Persons have been resettled.  Whereas this statement is arguable, I am more interested in whether it is enough just to resettle them. 

According the ‘Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement,’ developed by the UN Commission on Human Rights, national authorities have the obligation to ensure that they meet the basic rights of food, water, shelter, security and dignity for the IDPs.  Can we say that our government is adequately meeting these needs? If not, we must be very wary of the consequences.  

Hypothetically, if a mother at a camp in Naivasha for instance does not have food for her five children with whom she shares a tent, to what lengths do we expect she will go to ensure that they are fed?  Would I be wrong in supposing that she will engage in transactional sex with truck – drivers in exchange for food?  At this point, she cannot even afford to sing the ‘safe sex’ song.  So, what happens next? 

Take that same scenario and replace that mother with a 20-something year old young man who witnessed the killing of his brothers and father.  To what extent do we expect that he’ll take matters into his own hands?  Should we then be surprised if we witness a rise in crime in the towns surrounding resettlement camps?  I expect that we will experience the multiplier effects in an increase in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, crime, drug-trafficking, prostitution etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for a situation where IDPs are fed hand to mouth.  No, I am advocating for easier access to basic rights.

On top of that hopeless situation, we seemingly cannot make a decision on how to prosecute the perpetrators of post-election violence. 

I am also saying that by our government’s delay in ensuring justice, they just might be propagating negative feelings towards other ethnicities and consequently, a continued division of Kenya along tribal lines. 

It is of no use for us to keep hammering the ‘Najivunia kuwa Mkenya’ tune while on the other hand IDPs continue languishing in so-called ‘transit camps’.

Let us join hands and tell our leaders that we are tired with their lack of decisiveness.  We expect them to behave like able-minded CEOs and give us answers today, not in July 2010.

Let us deal with this conclusively; it will be one less issue for IDPs to contend with.  It is the only way we can move forward and start healing the division amongst our people. 

Whatever option they choose, we are keen on ensuring that justice is delivered to the victims of the post-election violence.

Why is Kenya home to thousands of refugees running away from their countries, yet we cannot spend money and time to give our own mothers and fathers decent accommodation after they were involved or affected by the struggle to support one the other leaders who are now enjoying power?

Who will support the future political leaders, if all they do is abandon the people who give all their lives and wealth to support them only to be forgotten?   Is it really worth it?  Kenyans should ask themselves, "Why did we have to suffer?  Why did we destroy our lives and that of other Kenyans?  Really, was it worth anything?"


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