Links of the Day: Kenyan Heroes & Hopes

A Kenyan Pastor is doing a series of inspiring series of posts on “Kenyan Heroes

HOPE: (Nation Media and Standard top stories)

There was indication that the teams were making progress when Mr Odinga emerged from the meeting with President Kibaki and Mr Annan at the Office of the President.

It was a moment of relief as dignitaries, mediators and the media watched Mr Odinga move to the PNU side and shake hands warmly with people perceived to be his adversaries. He exchanged pleasantries and a hearty laugh with Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Martha Karua and Mbooni MP Mutula Kilonzo, both members of President Kibaki’s team to the negotiations.

The mood, captured live on national televisions, was a manifestation of what the country was waiting to see to restore hope.

The rest of this post links to:

  1. NEGST’s own Njeri has more sobering reflections on the long-term implications for freedom of what has happened here.
  2. The real reason for the post-election violence
  3. My mother did not shoot me, says Kibaki’s son
  4. A Ugandan calls Kenyans amateurs when it comes to vote stealing.
[See select summaries below]

    Njeri has more sobering reflections on the Kenyan situation . . .

    So now bus load after bus load arrives in towns and village centers all over the country, returning a disillusioned mass to start new lives amongst ‘their own’. Freedom to live and work anywhere in this country is a right that is slowly being eroded to the point that dreams of free enterprise and the entrepreneurial spirit of our young people is being squelched almost irrevocably. Driven by fear, anger, revenge and despair, the average mwananchi [people] is becoming more polarized by tribal sentiment…believing the only way to be survive, to be safe, to secure their future is within the cocoon of tribal based political patronage.

    The real reason for most of the violence (land):

    Judging by the form the violence has assumed in recent days, it appears evident that the poll outcome explosion was just but a cover for animosity by communities in the region against one another.

    Interviews by the Saturday Nation revealed that the increased population in the region had put pressure on available land, forcing some of the indigenous people to seek ways of recovering land that was “irregularly” allocated to non-indigenous communities.

    “Yes, we were unhappy about the election outcome,” says Mr Paul Yego, a resident of Uasin Gishu. “But more importantly, the presidential election result presented us with a good chance to ‘right’ some of the historical wrongs committed against us as a community.”

    In Uasin Gishu, the area that experienced the worst violence in the latest ethnic attacks, the land issue spans the two major phases of Kenya’s history: the colonial and the post-colonial eras of Presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi.

    . . . what used to be the open grazing and farming lands of the Kalenjin and Kikuyu were transformed into coffee, tea, wheat and maize plantations.

    “Instead of restoring our lands that we lost to the white settlers, a few individuals benefited, relegating the majority of us to squatters even with the attainment of independence,”

    Click here for the full story details

    My mother did not shoot me” said the president’s son.

    (Addressing rumors that have been circulating. But maybe his leg wound has healed enough now ;-). Just joking.

    A Ugandan calls Kenyans (and Ugandans) Amateurs when it comes to vote stealing.

    A neighboring country that deals with corruption (notice that another energy company from the good ole USofA is said to be involved.


    One thought on “Links of the Day: Kenyan Heroes & Hopes

    1. Eric Nyaga says:

      When leaders are committed to their subjects, they will seek to empower them. They will use their influence and rapport to improve people’s lives. Kenya’s leaders hold sway with a number of particular groups at the grassroots. These subjects will do literally everything the leader instructs even if it puts their lives on the line. The sad thing is the leaders exploit this loyalty to push personal political agenda. They will use these groups to protest, riot, attack other groups and all other evils. But what happens when the political agenda has been achieved? The leaders slide into a coma and turn a blind eye to the same groups’ plight. A lot is left to be desired; for example: why wouldn’t leaders call rallies to mobilize the people to work hard in their farms? Why won’t they lead a demonstration to protest against the rising prices for food and fuel? When will we see them moving from one continent to the other passionately raising funds to finance income generating projects for the masses with the same zeal they raised for their campaigns?

      Why will they year in year out campaign with what needs to be done yet they never make an honest effort to solve these problems even when they have a chance to solve that problem? It has been noted that these leaders who are considered “popular” have never pioneered any important motion that directly affects the situation of the masses. For example; the crucial sex offences bill was spear-headed by a nominated Member of Parliament who has since been sank into oblivion. How we get fanatical with popularists and totally forget the competent. The popuralists only used the masses as a political tool while the competent are a political tool in the hands of the masses. The popularists rule with strings attached. Even when they seem to be helping they have their eyes on something. It’s sad to say that their motivation is greed and service is only a public relations gimmick. They make us live with fear for tomorrow; having to start our lives afresh every five years. No wonder we will have to stick our tongue out longer to convince investors that it’s alright to do a long term investment in Kenya. Yet amidst the disillusionment I still hold the belief that there is a leadership out there. A leadership whose foundation is servant-hood to the needs of the people without necessarily being slaves to their demands. A leadership which doesn’t view positions as a way to escape from the poverty trap but as a chance to empower the least of their subjects. A leaderships which knows how to fairly distribute rather than how to selfishly accumulate. A leadership honestly and fully dedicated to service without caring who gets the credit; ever seeking the untapped potential of the nation and seeking way to exploit it for the benefit the masses. A nation doesn’t have to be endowed with valuable natural resources to turn itself around. For example: there are several established food manufacturing companies in Kenya. Almost all have to import even the locally available raw materials. For instance one of the firms imports sunflower oil from Malaysia. Don’t we have one intelligent leader who would come up with a friendly way of having these industries contract the local populations to produce quality raw materials by providing them with seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and specifications? Then the cost for these can be deducted from their earning. Or which other way is the government hoping to create jobs directly for the ever increasing numbers of young people roaming the country and terrorizing the cities? How is the government aspiring to sustain the back-breaking free primary education and health care unless it embarks on a well raid attainable goal for empowering the masses so that they can eventually afford these services? We don’t build a working nation by endless speeches and papers alone but by rolling up our sleeves and making everyone participate in the economy. Think of what would happen if every able-bodied individual contributed just a little in the economy every day? In a very short time we would have all the money we need for the infrastructure; crimes would go to near-zero; investors would be over each over seeking investment opportunities in Kenya and the relief agencies would be sent packing for good for lack of demand for their services. It sounds like utopia but that is the lie we’ve been made to believe. We’ve been lied to that there is no way around our problems. We’ve been lied to that our population is too large to feed itself. We’ve been lied to that hand-outs and the begging-bow is our eternal portion.

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