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Using Victims for Political Ends is Immoral

Recently President Uhuru Kenyatta toured Kisii County to seek for votes. Never mind, it is illegal for the President to keep using state resources to engage in pre-mature campaigns but that is what he has been busy doing for the last long time. It is clear that the President and his inept government have done nothing to show for the people of Kisii and so when the President hit the ground, he was soon to realize that the ground was hostile. Hostile, not because the people are naturally so but because the people do not feel their government on the ground and hence do not find reason to listen to a President who has done nothing for them, tell them about his re-election story. They were, clearly not ready for that story, at least, not from a man they never trusted from the start and who went on to prove that they were right, after all.

Majority of the Gusii people who inhabit that County did not vote for this President and there was reason they didn’t. It is likely they won’t vote for him again because the very reason they never voted him in the first place has not been addressed. These are some of the people that were worst hit by the post-election violence of 2007-8. In fact, it appears that many people focused so much on the Kalenjin-Kikuyu divide that they forgot about the killings, destruction and displacement that happened to the Abagugii people of Kenya during that most trying moment in Kenya’s political history. President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, both of whom were accused of perpetrating that violence went on to successfully seek the presidency of this country. They spent much of their time, not leading Kenya, not addressing the plight of the victims but struggling against the ICC. One of the reasons the Abagusii never voted for Uhuruto was the fact that the duo stood accused at the ICC in 2013 and the Abagusii people, having been victims and having been left out in the reconciliation rhetoric by Uhuru and Ruto to reconcile their communities (Kikuyu and Kalenjin) had no justification to vote for the pair. What the Gusii nation wanted is justice; what they have been longing for is justice. Justice that has remained elusive; justice that the Uhuruto government has shown it cannot render to them. This is the reason, they do not seem to have time to entertain the President and hence the hostility that the President encountered in his tour of the region.

Then the worst was to come. Having realized that the people did not have a listening ear for him, the President resorted to immorality. He went into a territory he should not have gone. He made a terrible mistake; a mistake of putting a hot nail into a wound that had started to undergo natural healing. He started talking about the post-election violence and telling the very victims, stories about whom he thinks was responsible for the ills. That was off. That was very sad. That was immoral.

Now that the President and his government has failed to address or has decided to ignore the plight of majority of the victims of the post-election violence, perhaps the best service him and his government can do to Kenyans - victims in particular - is to simply keep quiet. Bringing it up as he did in Kisii County was sad; very sad indeed. No justice has been done neither to the living victims nor to the dead. The people of Kisii know where the graves of their loved ones are. Why should a President remind them about who killed their loved ones when his government has done nothing and is not ready to do anything about it? It is immoral. The President has no business starting another dance on those graves. Let the dead rest in peace and let the victims living with scars of the violence heal slowly.

If President Kenyatta knows the perpetrators of the post-election violence, the most honorable thing he could have done or should do is to provide evidence to the ICC or indeed any other court of law with the jurisdiction to determine that matter and deliver justice to the victims, anything short of that is not welcome. The President may have succeeded in whipping emotions of “his people” to supporting him in 2013; he must not go to whip the emotions of the Gusii people and seek to turn them against the opposition leader by asserting that it is Raila Odinga who caused the violence. It does not result in a vote for the President, neither does it translate to making the people feel any better, in fact, it is immoral.

In his response the leader of opposition, Raila Odinga, said that if the President wanted to know the people who caused the violence, he should look around him and on a side mirror. That was unwarranted. If Mr. Odinga too, knows the perpetrators of the post-election violence, he should have done or should do the most honorable thing by providing evidence to the courts of law. Anything short of that is cheap politics that seeks to exploit the plight of the people of Gusii and to which they have every right to say NO!  If both the President and the opposition chief know who killed our people, they should have provided this information when the Kenyan status was at the ICC - they still can do it now and help the court reopen the case in light of new developments. But they never did it; they are not doing it. They cannot, now start toying with that very emotional issue for political mileage. It is IMMORAL; it is UNACCEPTABLE!
Using Victims for Political Ends is Immoral Using Victims for Political Ends is Immoral Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on March 28, 2017 Rating: 5

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