Rising insecurity very worrying
Raila Odinga, Kenyan Presidential candidate
Picture: Courtesy of Bunge
WE IN THE PENTAGON HAVE watched with growing alarm the spate of violence, killings and ethnic cleansing that is sweeping the nation in advance of the December 27 election. Writes, Raila Odinga in the Nation online.
A relic of the past
This is a pattern that Kenyans are frighteningly aware of from the elections conducted under the Moi regime, and which we thought was a relic of the past.
But the same vicious tactics are once again being used to intimidate Kenyans into either not voting, or voting for those threatening them.
It is unconscionable that such violence has returned under a government that repeatedly professes a commitment to human rights and the free and peaceful exercise of the right to vote, but whose record continues to show the very opposite.
In the last 24 hours alone, seven Kenyans have lost their lives in suspicious incidents, with other deaths the media is not yet aware of.
Politically-instigated violence has been ravaging Kuresoi, Molo, and Mt Elgon for some time. The Mt Elgon clashes have, in fact, been with us for more than a year now, and they represent the most glaring evidence of the State’s refusal to provide the security our people so desperately need.
This violence has now escalated further, and now Naivasha, Nairobi and its environs are being targeted as well.
Condolences to the family
I have, in fact, just come from Mater Hospital, where I went to express solidarity, and provide consolation to Charles Werangai Masinde, who was brutally targeted in an attack on Saturday, that took the life of ODM aspirant Alice Ondutto.
The circumstances of the killing, in which the killers trailed her car right to her sister’s gate but did not even attempt any kind of robbery, reveals that this was a political assassination.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer my profound condolences to Alice’s family and friends about this dastardly attack, whose perpetrators must be apprehended and punished by our courts.
Two months ago, another parliamentary aspirant, Ms Flora Tera Igoki, was also viciously attacked. The Government refused to condemn this atrocity against a vulnerable woman, and it is no wonder that her attackers are still at large.
A cache of weaponry
IN THE MEANTIME, AN ASSISTANT minister whose official car was apprehended filled with a cache of weaponry, is also a free man. An outgoing MP found with a similar cache was also set free.
These two cases reveal the lack of determination by the police to carry out their responsibilities, as well as the high-level interference that permits the continuation of these crimes.
In addition, the most inflammatory leaflets designed to unleash violence in the Rift Valley against the ODM leadership were printed in Nairobi and then transported by policemen to the province. It is in this kind of environment of impunity that Alice was so easily gunned down.
Forceful ejection of certan ethnic groups
ODM is also aware of certain ethnic groups being ejected forcibly from Kikuyu Township, Kawangware, Eastlands and Githurai by both official intimidation and by landlords determined to ensure a PNU victory. These evictions and the violence that has accompanied some of them is causing tension among people who, for years, have lived in these communities peacefully.
Execution of over 500 young men
While all these violent crimes designed to influence the outcome of this election must be condemned in the strongest words, the execution of over 500 young men in what are now being called the killing fields of Ngong has raised the level of murderous criminality to altogether another level.
This particular crime against humanity verges on genocide. The terrible development must unite Kenyans in voting out the PNU government, whose disdain for the poor has now been transformed into something much more vicious.
I have appealed to the chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya to exercise his authority in ensuring that such violence, which will only result in a flawed election, is immediately halted.
I also appeal to our international partners to intercede on behalf of Kenyans to bring an end to this violence. For more details on Raila Odinga’s campaign and manifesto click here
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