Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi On Violence
On behalf of the IDP family that I have come to know over the last four years, I take exception to the statement attributed to the Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi that all of us Kenyans are guilty of the post-election violence of 2007-2008. If this statement is correct as it was reported a few days ago, Mr. Mudavadi owes this family and many others an explanation as to how the members of the family can be both victims and perpetrators of the violence; how they can be both plaintiffs and defendants in the same case.
To the best of my knowledge, none of the members of the family attacked anyone before, during, or after the elections of 2007. They did not expel anyone from land and homes acquired legitimately through years of toiling in the blazing sun and pouring rain. They did not maim livestock belonging to others. They did not lay claim to land, houses, and livestock belonging to other Kenyans. They did not set fire to homes and prayer houses nor throw children into bonfires. They did not plan, months in advance, or put in place the resources to make it possible to unleash violence on innocent Kenyans. What is more, the eligible adults in this particular family did not vote in the 2007-2008 elections and it is doubtful they will agree to vote in the coming elections. They are opposed to voting with unbelievable zeal. Members of the family lost more than thirty years of hard work but hopes that the government will find a piece of land for them so that they can pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. It is difficult to find the logic, rhyme or reason that could be used to convince people such as this family that they are guilty of the violence of 2007-2008.
Saying that all Kenyans are guilty of the 2007-2008 violence is profoundly hurtful to the survivors of the 1,300 Kenyans who perished, or the 600,000 whose lives were shattered as they became essentially refugees in their country and their lives were uprooted, never to be the same again. Spreading the guilt to all Kenyans does not console these Kenyans or the members of their extended families who have been supporting them for the last four years, right along with the Government. Spreading the guilt to all living Kenyans makes light of what happened in 2007-2008, namely, people who had done absolutely nothing against anyone were attacked for the simple reason that they exist. All Kenyans did not attack others. Some Kenyans did. All Kenyans should not be blamed for the actions of a few. About the only thing that spreading guilt to all Kenyans achieves is to assuage those who planned and inflicted pain on others. It gives such people cover as they disappear in a huge crowd made up of all of us Kenyans! They feel secure, safe, insured.
But in all fairness, we should wait to hear from Mr. Mudavadi in the coming months as he campaigns to be elected as President of the Republic of Kenya. May be he will explain to us how those who were targeted could also be the perpetrators of the violence. Let us wait and hear.
By Githua Kariuki
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