Reflections from Onyango Oloo on the Presidential Address on Mpeketoni
I think it is very important Uhuru Kenyatta to remain President of KENYA.
Note where my emphasis lies.
It is not on “Uhuru”.
It is on KENYA.
Let me try this again:
It is very important for Uhuru Kenyatta to remain President of KENYA.
In other words, NOT the Jubilee candidate.
Not the TNA leader.
Not the former MP for Gatundu South.
Uhuru’s televised address to the nation startled many.
Coming after Al Shabaab had officially and publicly owned up as the mastermind of the Mpeketoni outrage, the insinuation that CORD, and its leader Raila Odinga somehow instigated the massacre reeked of malevolence and sinister motives.
Indeed, George Nyongesa, a well known blogger and activist with close ties to CORD has already put up the following Facebook update:
On the same social media platform, activist and former Nairobi senatorial aspirant Okiya Omtata expresses the following sentiments:
The Government should immediately arrest and prosecute Raila Amolo Odinga if it has evidence of his involvement in the Mpeketoni massacre. Otherwise, it is uncouth and not befitting of a whole President and his Government machinery to idle about and trivialise the deaths of some 60+ innocent Kenyans by using the genocide as a propaganda tool against Raila. Ashindwe na sanamu zake! The life of every Kenyan is precious and must be protected. Where it is criminally taken, the Government must pursue and bring those responsible to book. There is no room for anybody to go payuka payukaring like they are high on weed!
Kenyans will soon find out if indeed Raila Odinga will begin his fourth major stint as a prisoner of the Kenyan National Security State.
It will therefore be idle for Onyango Oloo to engage in further idle speculation.
I wanted to focus on something else.
In his remarks, President Kenyatta admitted that the national security and disciplined forces had PRIOR KNOWLEDGE of the Mpeketoni attacks but CHOSE TO DO NOTHING about these warnings.
George Musamali, a security analyst, appeared on QTV two days ago to discuss the Mpeketoni attacks. He revealed that Lamu County is one of the most fortified and highly secured parts of the country. On March 25, 2014 Dr. Monica Juma, the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Defence on behalf of the Kenya Government took over the Anti-Terrorism Unit located at Kiboko Camp within the Kenya Navy base at Manda Bay from the US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec. There is a GSU unit in Witu. Many of these security installations are within a 30 kilometre radius of the scene of the Mpeketoni attacks.
Why did it take hours for the government security apparatus to react, respond and send reinforcements to the victims and survivors who were being butchered mercilessly?
More poignantly why did it take 19 hours for the government through the Interior cabinet secretary and eventually the President to react publicly?
A clue to the answer of the question last posed can be gleaned from the very first few words blurted out by Joseph Ole Lenku and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Even before the cabinet secretary had left for Lamu County there was already a determination that CORD was involved in the killings of the residents of Mpeketoni.
Given the admission of responsibility by Al Shabaab, are Kenyans to now assume that Raila Amolo Odinga is now one of the main Jemedaris of the Mujaheedin of Al Shabaab? Is Senator Wetangula a trained suicide bomber? Is former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka that al Zawahiri of Kenya? Was the Tononoka Rally a recruitment drive for the CORD branch of Al Qaeda?
Do we have revealing photos, videos, screen shots, incriminating email messages and damning SMS implicating Bonny Khalwale, Hassan Omar and nominated MP Mwaura in a nefarious criminal plot to overthrow the Jubilee regime by violent means? Have there been some undercover Jubilee moles tracking Elizabeth Ong’oro every time she visits the Ladies for a short call?
During the April 11, 2011 Uhuru Park Rally welcoming back Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang from their from their appearance at the International Criminal Court the amount of venom, vituperation and sheer mindless hate against the so called “One Dangerous Man” would have made a Chinese tourist to believe that Kenya had just been invaded personally by Osama Bin Laden in the full company of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Papa Doc, Idi Amin, Augusto Pinochet and Pol Pot.
But that time, the Jubilee were merely expressing the sacrosanct, God-given constitutional and democratic rights guaranteeing freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, freedom of assembly and freedom of association.
President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke of “ethnic profiling” of a “certain community.”
I am writing these lines from the Weaver Room at the Silver Springs Hotel in Hurlingham owned by former President Mwai Kibaki. I am participating in a validation workshop organized by the Kenya Human Rights Commission to review a draft report on citizenship documentation and identification in Migori, Mandera and Wajir counties. One of the resource people invited to give his input to the draft is Senator Billow Kerrow from Mandera. In his remarks he stated that it is very difficult to be a representative of the Jubilee regime if one is from northern Kenya or any of the marginalized communities in the country. He revealed that NIS chief Gen. Gichangi told him to his face that “ALL SOMALIS ARE SUSPECTS.” He narrated his own ordeals in security Kenyan national identity papers. He informed us that the SISTER of the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization was yesterday detained for hours just because of her Somali ethnic background. Senator Kerrow told us of how a SENATOR from Tana River County was caught up in a swoop in Eastliegh. Even after producing his credentials as a Senator plus other documentation those were arrested by the cops who dismissed them as “FAKE.” Senator Billow Kerow then chuckled in remarking that he found President Kenyatta’s comments about “ethnic profiling” interesting in the light of the plight of the Somalis during the three month screening process at the Kasarani Concentration Camp. Many people whose only crime is merely LOOKING LIKE Somalis have had to part of thousands of shillings in bribes to corrupt police officers. The senator remarked sardonically that were the late Osama bin Laden to show up at the JKIA, he would be waved on and cheerfully welcomed to Kenya if he simply slipped a couple of US dollar bills into his passport.
The senator, who has a weekly weekend column with one of main newspapers received scathing tweets from employees from the Presidency- Dennis Itumbi and Eric Ng’eno to be specific- denouncing him as the “Senator for Suspects.” Another person who spoke at this workshop was a lecturer from Nakuru called Waqo (from Marsabit) who has been a resident of County for over twenty years. His home was raided by over 10 AP officers. When he produced his identification papers and inquired about why he was being harassed, the officer commanding the home invasion remarked that “Mr. Waqo, before you were a lecturer, you were born a “Waria” and therefore, a potential criminal.”
In any case, where is the EVIDENCE that members of the Agikuyu are being profiled? Who is doing the screening?
On a broader note, I join other Kenyans in expressing my shock at the resurgence of dim witted KANU era thinking from those Governors, parliamentarians and members of county assemblies who have been declaring fatwas purportedly “banning” certain politicians from venturing into certain counties. These echoes of “KANU zones” in the 21st Century AFTER the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution are simply blood curdling.
More seriously President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and the Jubilee regime should be reminded that theirs is the FIRST GOVERNMENT to be elected on the basis of the Kenya Constitution and therefore are duty bound to uphold the Bill of Rights and the rest of the provisions of that supreme law of the land. No has given them a permit to pick and choose what aspects of the constitution should be implemented and which should be abrogated.
Lastly it should be noted that Kenyans are among the MOST POLITICALLY CONSCIOUS PEOPLE on this planet. They are certainly NOT as IGNORANT as large swathes of the American people who were so gullible as to buy the HOGWASH that George Bush was force feeding them as Republicans sold their snake oil about the so called “War Against Terror”. Therefore, Jubilee has to do a lot better than relying on gossip, rumours, lies and half truths harvested from content free blogs and Facebook walls.