I wrote an article which I ensured would be a measured and fair appraisal of both Kibaki and Odinga’s situation. I completed it just the other day but now it is obsolete because of the pace of events in Kenya.

Then I had to take a break from blogging to take my youngest child for an overnight stay at a famous London hospital and was not able to monitor the news or internet for the past two days and when I returned home I found the landscape had changed so dramatically I could no longer recognise what was happening.

I saw two men who had been grand-standing now shaking hands and smiling at one another as if they were long lost buddies. Which in fact they are.

Best Friends

Odinga and Kibaki are the elite. Let’s not kid ourselves. This was an inter-elite battle for control of government apparatus. Hence the calls for unity by Kenya’s business and middle-class. Those unity calls weren’t directed at the impoverished who had taken machetes to each other but to the elite factions who were eyeing each other up and seeing who would blink first.

The deaths that occurred in Kibera and other slums around the capital city of Nairobi and those in Eldoret and Kisumu arose because of a war of the poor against the poor incited by both these men. There are close to half a million people displaced by this violence too.

Internally Displaced Persons living in animal pens at the Agricultural Society of Kenya Show grounds… Feel Proud Kibaki and Odinga!

Both millionaire men will benefit from having a vast reserve of labour to exploit, it’s in their interests to have these people living in the slums that one demonstrator said were not good enough for pigs.

I am sickened. The worst thing is there was a time when I thought highly of both men. Throughout this ordeal that has gripped my motherland I held out hope that one of them would present themselves as the true leader of Kenya’s people. Instead, we have two men fighting over the spoils, senseless to the wails of grief that rise from Kenyans who have lost loved ones through their face-off.

I console myself by reminding myself I was not fooled by either one and sounded the warning trumpets for those who were prepared to listen … but I had hope, not only for myself but for the people of Kenya who believed in democracy.
Kibera 18.01.08

Kibera. Mother of Rosina shocked.

This of course is no solace for the parents of Rosina Otieno, a 15 year old girl who died at the entrance to her simple home in Kibera, or 22 year old George Williams Omondi Onyango who was shot dead after pulling faces at the GSU in a slum in Kisumu called Kondole. Nor will it bring back to life the 35 women and children who were murdered by Kalenjin who torched a church in Eldoret where they sought sanctuary. Or the other 650 -1500 who have died to date because one man wants what the other has. Kenya was set to be a power house. And now?

For the people of Kenya there are no winners only losers.
Kibera 18.01.08 Kids film journos with mud cameras

Cute as a button. Children in Kibera fashion video cameras out of mud to turn on journos

Photo: Rob Crilly


2 Responses to “Betrayal”

  1. 1 kenyanobserver January 25, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    It’s all beginning to look like a farce after lots of hopes were raised initially.

    Hope your child is doing well.

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