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Was 2017 worst year in history of independent Kenya?

By Roselyne Sakwa | Published Mon, January 1st 2018 at 00:00, Updated December 31st 2017 at 21:46 GMT +3
Administration Police officers remove a boda boda motorcycle that was burnt by protesters at Outer Ring Road on 19th NOVEMBER 2017. [PHOTO: DAVID GICHURU STANDARD]

A lot happened this year  that easily qualifies 2017 the worst in the history of independent Kenya. In that year, the country experienced great turmoil that had a common denominator; death. In the early part of the year that has just ended, doctors went on a strike that lasted approximately 100 days. The number of patients who died as a result has not been established to date.

Days after doctors called off their strike, nurses also began a strike that lasted over five months. Without nurses to attend to patients, the death toll could only go up. As if that was not enough, an acrimonious campaign period saw the country polarised. Political differences spilled into the streets where the police and demonstrators engaged each other in running battles. Because such are not friendly engagements, a lot of people lost their lives.
The beginning of the last month of the year was terrible, with accidents claiming hundreds of lives in a matter of weeks.

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Diplomatic relations with Tanzania soured. Rwanda and Uganda opted to have an oil pipeline built through Tanzania than through Kenya as earlier planned. Corruption has been on everybody’s lips with little effort being made to fight it. Drought has robbed the pastoralist societies of Kenya all their livestock as hunger ravages both man and animal, then there is the issue of Al Shabaab who raid Kenya and kill at will.

These, with a combination of other factors, make 2017 the worst year since Kenya became independent. We pray 2018 brings plenty of peace and love among Kenyans.

Ms Sakwa is a business lady in Kakamega


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