Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Love Triangle Sparks the Latest Flame

After a leisurely lunch with some friends, Rock let me in on the latest news: ODM MP David Kimutai Too had been killed by a police officer in Eldoret. Within minutes of Rock hearing this on the news, Hubby called to verify my whereabouts and fill me in on the same. As I said to Rock at the time, I had been foolish to let a mere day of peacefulness allow my hopes to rise.

Unsurprisingly, Raila Odinga grabbed the chance for a sound bite before having all of the facts. "I condemn this second execution of an ODM member of parliament. The purpose of this killing is to reduce the ODM majority."

According to reports, the truth has less to do with politics and more to do with romantic jealousy. It seems that Too was having an affair with the policeman’s girlfriend. The policeman, who has been arrested, shot his girlfriend twice in the stomach and then turned on the MP “hitting him four times in the head.”

Upon learning all of the details, Rock echoed a fear that has become commonplace here among Kenya’s Kikuyu’s lately, “They are going to take us all one by one.” This latest news, you see, had come on the heels of a discussion he had with of the other staff here at our building. For instance, the home of one housemaid from Kibera had been looted and burned yesterday – although she and her family escaped unhurt, they now have nothing and are living with friends.

At the same time, such uncertainty affects other groups as well: we heard from our day guard today that police were shooting tear gas into non-Kikuyu homes in Kibera and then letting the Mungiki gangs have their way with them once they were flushed out.

Even those who have not been physically affected yet are feeling the effects as landlords from one tribe have started raising rents for tenants who come from a different tribe. Other landlords have outright kicked people out of their homes. As Tori told me yesterday, “There is no safe peace anywhere. Even locked in my house I could be a target.”

In case you’re wondering where Kibaki is in all of this, he is currently attending the African Union meetings in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, also present at the conference, was quick to point fingers of blame in both directions, “President [Mwai] Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga... have a special responsibility to solve the crisis peacefully. I call on the Kenyan people: stop the killings and end the violence now before it's too late."

The two men may do well to listen to reason lest the local military start listening to Rwandan leader Paul Kagame who all but called for a military coup to solve the situation. “In the wake of such senseless killings with no immediate solution, if anybody suggested that [military] option to me, I would say I agree with it.”

I have tried my best to remain impartial when writing about recent events in this blog. I have also tried to blame both Raila and Kabaki equally for the violence that has broken out across Kenya. As stressed out as I have been over the past month, I am a white woman who lives with guards behind big walls – people like me are safe and almost apart from what is going on. But I cannot help but cry out that if someone doesn’t do something soon, the Kenya I love will soon be no more.

Won’t somebody please listen?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And how much longer can you remain safe?