I attended a street exhibition dubbed ‘PICHA MTAANI’ over the weekend which is a youth led peace initiative supported by UNDP that primarily seeks to create space for young people to reconcile through peace building, violence prevention and promoting peaceful co-existence among young people in conflict affected towns. And what I saw through an exhibition set of images taken during Kenya’s 2007/2008 post election violence was unbelievable; the initiative steers to instill individual reflections on the horror that was inflicted to different people during the period.
With less than three weeks left to the end of Year 2009. Looking back it was a year filled with activities here in Kenya-Ringera’s resignation ,Ocampo coming,completion of the harmonized draft constitution,Mau forest saga,power rationing etc.
It is natural to feel anxious about the effect that addressing the past might have on our national fabric, especially since lawlessness, looting and pillaging of public resources for private gain was at some point regarded as unofficial government policy. It is also the case that it is virtually impossible to find anyone among our political elite who is untainted by the corruption of the past. And so we continue to pretend that the past did not happen.
Over the last 45 years of our independence, successive governments have studiously refused to undertake and lead a process of dealing with painful periods of our past and to bring perpetrators of gross injustices to account. Year after year, we have continued to celebrate our achievements while failing to acknowledge the very real pain and suffering unjustly visited upon our sisters and brothers by people who hitherto lived side by side with them as neighbors.
Survivors of ethnic cleansing, like children of a lesser god, continue to roam landless in our towns and countryside scavenging for food; women who have no platform to speak of the sexual violence they endured during the clashes in Molo, Burnt Forest and elsewhere, bear their pain silently, with only bitter tears shed quietly to avoid spoiling the party, as they are casually invited by the government spokesperson to juvunia kuwa waKenya; families of assassinated politicians still wait for official acknowledgment that government agents actively took part in the demise of their loved ones and the subsequent elaborate cover-up.
We have also decided that bringing to justice the perpetrators of gross economic sabotage through the massive looting of the public purse and the misappropriation of public land by a well connected few is a luxury that Kenya cannot afford. I personally feel that year 2009 was just filled with politics and more politics. I don’t it to be personal but just let Kenyans know what you generally feel about everything that happened this year. As we celebrate this blog too