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VAS

Kenya’s unsung heroes with bloody hands

STUDIES
By | November 16th 2009

It used be normal for public transport vehicles to carry standing passengers. Then one day in 2000, one of those overloaded and speeding contraptions tumbled down the Nithi Bridge, killing 45 people on the spot.

The resulting public outrage led to one of the toughest traffic crackdowns in history. Have you ever seen a standing passenger in a bus since?

When Mt Kenya Forest was a lucrative marijuana plantation, who cared? It’s only when the rivers dried up and months-long power blackouts ensued that Government functionaries discovered that there is a mysterious link between that forest and lit electricity bulbs.

The Mau mess didn’t happen in a day, either.

Occasionally, the Government would pummel the illegal squatters with gun butts only to belatedly discover that it had an election to win. In quick time, a grinning politician would be photographed rewarding the same squatters with title deeds.

The effects of that tomfoolery have been severe enough to jolt the Government into action. It’s now even possible to hope that politicians will never again exchange entire forest for votes.

And speaking of votes, it’s possible that people whose pastime has been slitting peoples’ throats to gain political office will never do it again. Of course, this only became possible after the 2008 post-election violence.

Thus, if the second liberation — complete with a brand new constitution — becomes reality, it will not be because of the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy, the Rainbow Coalition or the Orange Democratic Movement. Instead, we owe it to the selfless and gallant efforts of heroes who slaughtered hundreds of citizens so ruthlessly that we were compelled (by Ranneberger, the illustrious Wanga and Kaya elder) to act.

Viewed in this light, the perpetrators of post-election violence and the masterminds of the Mau Forest disaster are no villains. These are national heroes who deserve the OGW award — Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya — not persecution from Moreno-Ocampo.

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