I expect all sorts of mischief and foolishness from Uhuru and his government but this was just absurd and truly insulting to all Kenyans.
Uhuru is asking parliament to pass a Kshs. 10 billion pot of money to address historical injustices. Uhuru intends to use this money to promote their “Building Bridges” initiative to reconcile communities.
According to Uhuru this money will be used to build some structures to bring communities together. I don’t know what these structures will be but may be some “parks for peace” and nonsense like that.
Uhuru says he will use the money to build “Heritage Sites”. Oh dear.
Apparently people will visit these places to be reminded that we all need to live as one community of many communities.
This move according to Uhuru will help Kenyans reconcile with the electoral violence that has been part of the Kenyan political landscape for decades.
It will help us deal with the horrors of Moi tortures and murders. May be it will help with healing the wounds of those whose lands has been robbed by those in power.
This will be a one cure all slum dunk against historical injustices in Kenya.
So why is this insulting?
For one thing it is plain dumb and stupid. It is embarrassing to anybody’s common sense about our country.
Now for starters there are actually hundreds if not thousands of Kenyans who have successfully filed cases against the Kenyan government for abuse of their fundamental rights as human beings including torture and the Nyayo House Torture Chambers, unlawful detention and imprisonment up to and including murder in police hands.
Just a month ago. Two good friends of mine, Prof. Edward Oyugi and Prof. Kamoji Waachira were awarded Kshs 34 million each for the abuse and torture they suffered in the hands on Kenyan government officials.
I talked with Prof. Kamoji who now lives in the US and he told me they are now fighting to get the money paid.
I told him it will take something between 5-10 years to get paid if ever. In fact the general thinking is that once you get awarded any compensation the government basically waits hoping you die sooner than later. Those who refuse to do so must wait. And then wait some more.
I got my compensation for the same abuses in 2013 when Justice Isaac Lenaola ruled that the government of Kenya violated my fundamental rights and thus owed me a compensation.
I am still fighting to get full payment. We forced our way to get some payment in May 2018 and my lawyer was in court again this week on April 2, 2019 still fighting to get the balance paid.
We were told the ministry of Interior which is supposed to pay us is waiting for the money. It was supposed to have been there by end of March 2019.
Now they have until June 15, 2019 to come back to court. And this simple battle for payment (forget the real battles) started in December 2013 when the High Court ruled I was entitled to compensation for torture and abuse by my government.
I will know next about this on June 15, 2019.
Just a few days ago Koigi Wamwere probably one of the most frequently detained and jailed political activist in our country put his case to the public saying that himself and some of his colleagues were owed Kshs 154 million. He asked Uhuru to pay them.
Prof. Githu Muigai before leaving office, told Kenyans that the total amount of money owed to victims of torture based on cases already decided was more than Kshs 1 billion.
If Uhuru really wants the country to deal with our history of abuse of human rights, for the love of god, please pay the victims of torture who have already gone to court and won their cases.
Their names are at the Register’s Office and with the PS of Interior and National Government Mr. Karanja Kibichio.
Pay these citizens what they are owed by the government that tortured them and so many other citizens of our country and then we can start further talks on National Reconciliation and building a healthy social fabric for an inclusive nation called Kenya.
In fact the better would be if Uhuru and his government would address the whole issue directly with the victims and survivors of this horror show without waiting for them to go to court.
A whole population of these victims and survivors have never gone to court. They are trying to survive the best way they can now. They have no time for the long court drama.
Uhuru is doing everything in his power holding court rulings in contempt by refusing to pay victims of abuse by the state who have gone to court and obtained rulings for compensation and now he wants to come up with some fake reconciliation plot to collect Kshs 10 billion to do some imaginary structures.
Kenyans have to say NO to this. And we still support the Handshake.
Of course they are going to spend the money on their own things and build a toilet of reconciliation for us in Uhuru park. So we can cry for reconciliation in there. We can’t wait. Or can we?
Then we have the much hyped Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) which produced its report dealing with historical injustices and recommended ways to address them. Uhuru has refused even to send that report to parliament as required by law so it can be discussed and acted on. That report is rotting somewhere in the State House.
Here is the Nyayo House Story as we wrote it.
Secondly, how can Uhuru even utter the words reconciliation and historical injustices when he is hiding the TJRC report from Kenyans precisely because he and his friends in power are afraid of the revelations of those very historical abuses and injustices of which his family is a big part.
If Uhuru really wants us to deal with historical injustices, he should first and foremost release the TJRC report to Parliament and to the Kenyan public. Let us discuss it come with strategies to address the recommendations. If that is not going to happen don’t talk to us about historical injustices.
More urgently and even more pronounced are the victims of 2007/8 post election violence and the victims and survivors of the 2017 electoral violence.
I was in Kenya in the last election and it was just horrifying to see everyday images of people being brutalized in Nairobi and Kisumu particularly. We show little kids shot and killed right in their homes.
We had kids in kindergartens being tear gassed and brutalized. This is public information known to the Uhuru government. Is President Uhuru ready and willing to address these specific issues? When?
The nation is waiting. On a daily basis. We all love our country. Always.
On the issue of forgiveness what happened to Baby Pendo? What about her? Nothing? This is how the violent 2017 elections went down.
Who is responsible for this, Mr. President.
Of course the generalized violence committed by the Kenyan police and security agents during the last election was horrific. It was a shoot to kill operation and the police were given full immunity by Uhuru and his government. Matiang’i was Uhuru gunman at that time.
By the way does anybody remember Chris Msando, the IEBC ICT Chief murdered in cold blood just before the elections in 2017.
What happened to the frenzy of investigations about his murder. Now he is all forgotten by both handshakers. Talk about injustice and reconciliation.
Now Uhuru is telling all those victims of two cycles of mass violence against Kenyans by the Kenyan police and security agents sent by Kibaki and then Uhuru himself to just forget that and go visit whatever structures and they will be healed.
Please Mr. President get real for once.
And Raila of all people with his handshake business will have to face us and tell us if he supports this convoluted piece of confusion.
Yes Kenyans need and are already investing and undertaking significant steps into national harmony of the citizenry even when some political leaders and parasites are rolling out bad pages of the past like the tribal violence in 2007/8.
That thing just must never happen again in our country. Ever. There are no other options. To that extent I am very supportive of the Handshake and Bridge Building Initiatives.
I fully support to effort to build our roots as Kenyans first regardless of anything else. I mean we only have only one country. Right?
But this Heritage Site fund is just a bad idea.