Monday, January 14, 2008

LISTEN TO YOUNG KENYAN HEARTS BLEED

I could not help holding back my tears as i read this story posted on kenyan pundit

I no longer think my government listen to me.....

By Allan Kirui

I have been reading your blog and other and I must admit, like many others, it is a much better source of information than the actual news pages! Thank you!!

Personally, I was too young (or perhaps also too na├»ve) in the Moi era to know whether he rigged himself in, or won unfairly. People tell me about it and I have no doubt it happened, however, all I remember is that things were still relatively peaceful after elections and life still continued. The one time I remember elections mattering was after the first multi-party elections. When that happened, the effect at a school level, from that point on (sadly), a child’s ethnicity was something that was noticed more. Not necessarily in a negative way, but just that it was now more talked about. Before that we were all Kenyan pupils.

Today, this seems to be a repeat of that time and suddenly the elections have brought up a person’s ethnic heritage to the surface again. I wonder when we will get to the stage where we vote in a leader and not fall back to ethnic divisions when we feel an injustice is committed. I thought we were there up until the last point. I was so hopeful and whichever candidate won, I was happy that at last we had gotten to a position that people’s voices had been heard and taken into account. I was happy for that man/woman in the village who had gotten out early in the morning to try to make a difference in the country.

The main thing I hear now from people is that they are genuinely hurting at the election fiasco (separate from the aftermath). I think the main difference with past elections (correct me if I am wrong) is that this was a lot more transparent. I followed it on the nation web, with the province by province results, the news was also following it closely… so people had HOPE. When the irregularities happened, it was so obvious and open to people that something was going on.

On top of that, for the people (those who still felt that perhaps it was plausible) to be denied the chance/privilege to take part in the swearing in of our president; either by actually turning up at the stadium, or watching on TV, singing our national anthem etc. To be denied this just further demonstrated the lack of respect that those in power have for the people. It just shows that they don’t have the country’s best interest in their hearts and minds. If they did, they would have realised that a swearing in ceremony is more powerful in unifying people than a blanket media ban and statements from a gov’t spokesman asking for calm.

I don’t know if I speak for my generation, but for me, Kibaki (and his advisors) will remain in my mind as the first president to openly and blatantly rig an election; and also the first to deny me the chance to witness his swearing in.

That said, I still have a lot of hope for our country and our people. We will survive.

PS. As I am writing this, I wonder if anyone involved in the rigging will read it at some point. If they do, will it matter to them? I guess that is the main outcome of this whole saga… I no longer think that the gov’t listens to me. That is the unsaid feeling that remains, even when life returns back to normal and tempers cool.

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