Tana River is gushing with blood. Over 100 killed in the most macabre circumstances in three bouts of madness in a month. Children are among those killed, and their only ‘crime’ that took them to early grave is being seen to be tomorrow’s warriors.
Also killed are hapless women and old men, entrapped in their homes by gun-wielding raiders – whose mission is to ring them in their homesteads so that the hatchet men can strike those fleeing their burst of gunfire at the doorstep.
In free Kenya, the raiders in one incident chopped at least 300 heads of cattle to death, not only as an insult to the targeted community whose treasure are the animals they keep, but also an act of impoverishment because the cattle kraal is their lifeline and literally their bank account.
In free Kenya, a people are banished from their homes in cyclic attacks. When news crew visited homesteads that were the other day teeming with humanity and laughter, they were abandoned huts; some of them burnt out and destroyed.
In free Kenya, which thumbs its chest as an icon of democracy and an island of peace in a region that often degenerates into chaos in the hands of bloodthirsty, roguish, and thieving tribal kings and corrupt leadership, human blood flows alongside Kenya’s longest and most treasured river.
That it is not the first time this is happening is an insult to our claim to a high sense of patriotism and nationhood. It is an indictment of our Kenyan hood, and confirmation we either do not care to stop the killings or just plain indifference.
Angels of Death
For it can’t be that we have forgotten that only ten years ago, the angels of death struck again in Tana River Delta, and when sanity was restored, over 200 were dead.
The question we need to ask, and should prick our collective consciences as a nation is, are we incapable of protecting our people, and are we that clueless of impending attacks?
Can’t our intelligence pick up the signs of coming trouble, and help stem the killings? Or is it that the National Security Intelligence Service is too busy tapping phones, tracking politicians, and monitoring who is saying what in the run-up to elections, to notice other threats to national security?
In this financial year alone the intelligence budget went up to Sh13 billion. Surely must this resource not be used to monitor what is happening even in the remotest corners of Kenya however peripheral?
Or have we, as a country, forgotten the counsel by Martin Luther King that, ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’?