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The ghosts of elections past

By Yvonne Okwara | March 27th 2017
Kiambaa church massacre survivor

The re-awakening of the ghosts of 2007! Yes, I call them ghosts because we have never faced them as a country to completely exorcise them.

The President in one of his speeches in Kisii, this past week, brought back the issue. For some reason now he says he knows exactly who was behind the chaos. And that person, he claims, is none other than the Leader of ODM, the former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga.

That very day, Raila shot back, asking the President to look in the mirror if he wanted to know who was responsible for the post-election violence. The NASA rally that followed had people chanting a politician's name in relation to that violence.

Both the President and the former Prime Minister have lived in this country long enough to know that this is the last conversation Kenya needs four months to an election. If any of the two gentlemen truly had useful information about the post-election violence, do they have to wait for rallies to tell us about it?

The President had his day in court in The Hague, wouldn’t that have been a wonderful place to lay bare, the truth in all its nakedness? Why wait for a campaign meeting to purport to spill the beans?

As for Mr Odinga, I would imagine that he knows where the police are and what to do with crucial information regarding a crime. Why is he sitting on critical information about an event that still causes Kenyans so much pain?

The president in his coalition’s manifesto pledged to bring the country together. One only needs to go on social media to see how divided we still are as a country. So for him to bring up this issue when the state of our nation is still this fragile, only serves to divide us further.

For the opposition to take this up and revive the memories of the Kiambaa Church Massacre is utter irresponsibility.

Believe me, this may seem like political fodder that charges us up, but for the woman in this photo that has now become the emblem of our national shame.  

The back and forth by politicians on this issue burns much deeper than we will ever know.

What I would like to hear from my President is what efforts he has put in place to right the wrongs of the past; to heal us as the father of the nation. To ensure justice has been served for those raped, killed, orphaned and dispossessed of their land. I want to hear what measures he has put in place to make sure that this never happens again and what more he will do should he win a second term.

As for Raila, taking this bait and throwing the mud back only serves to stoke the fires. And for someone who claims to have an alternative vision for Kenya, it is a shame.

So gentlemen, please, give us a break! Sell your vision all you want, but spare us this madness.

That’s my take.


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