About one hundred Kenyans in London presented what was described as “a strong worded statement” to Gordon Brown at No.10 Downing street on 8th February 2008 asking him to support the government of Kenya.

It is a poorly conceived tribalistic document riddled with grammatical errors that claims to speak for Kenyans in the diaspora. It reflects the stereotypical and simplistic thinking of its creators and I am ashamed that any Kenyan could put their signature to this document. This is how Kenya’s entire “history” is described …

Luhya’s occupy Western Province and are mainly farmers and office workers.

Kalenjin’s & Maasai’s occupy Rift Valley and are good at keeping cows, goats and sports.

Kikuyu’s dominated the business world; commerce/trade and usually work hard and as a team.

Luo’s occupy the Lake Region. Their main activities are fishing and office working.

Naturally Kikuyu’s are wealthy by all standards because of working hard. When Kenya got independence from the British, many Kikuyu’s bought land from the British and settled in Rift Valley and elsewhere.

Jared Odero submits a report on Kenya’s internally displaced with eye-witness reports from humanitarian workers who describe the horror.

The number of refugees from Central Province to Nyanza and Western Province is just increasing. I did not know that there were a lot of these people living there. About 500 people arrive daily by bus from Central Province to Kisumu. The Red Cross is doing a wonderful job. Some refugees are so much traumatised by the situation that they hardly talk about it. Some said that in Central Province, some road blocks were erected using heads of the Luo. The Mungiki (a banned sect) beheaded Luo men and used their heads on roads as barricades/road blocks. One Luo woman was given her husband’s head to take with her along the way, and she carried it up to a camp in Kisumu.

Kofi Annan is thinking of moving the ODM/PNU mediators out of the glare of the media to sleepy Lamu. Earlier conciliatory statements made by Raila Odinga in which he claimed that he had dropped demands for Kibaki to step down were contradicted when he spoke to supporters in Nyanza. He said Kibaki “must step down or there must be a re-election – in this I will not be compromised.” . His supporters have threatened to burn down his home and his molasses factory if he does not return to Nyanza as Kenya’s president.

Kibaki has tried to put the “Kenya open for business as usual” sign up in the shop by announcing free secondary school education for all. A welcome move but during the mediation and when there is no security or stability yet? What planet is he on?

In Chepilat, a small trading town in western Kenya an MP Lorna Laboso visited the scenes of the recent battle between Kisiis and Kalenjins. Photobucket

“The police are killing people, right left and centre instead of protecting them and their lives and property,” Ms Laboso said.

Eyes on Kenya describes the strain on Kenya’s health care system by the recent violence and displacement of people. Latest estimates put the number of IDPs at 600,000. This displacement has also affected many health workers which makes the job of consolidating health provision more complicated. Many women need treatment for rape and trauma. Health workers are carrying out an arduous task to make sure anti-retroviral drugs get to these women.

The situation on the ground is much worse than the media representations that I have read so far.

“The number of sites hosting IDPs appears to increase by the day,” the agency said in a statement. “Initial WHO assessment has found that these sites are very crowded, with poor shelter, water supply, sanitation (in some camps, toilet to person ratio is 1 for 500), food shortages, no cooking fuel, precarious access to healthcare and shortages of antibiotics, children’s medicines, malaria medicines and life-saving drugs for chronic illness. Nearby hospitals are also facing similar shortages of drugs and supplies.”

In Tigoni the situation is diabolical. Red Cross workers are accused of stealing food that is meant to be distributed to the people most in need of them. People are being abused.

I saw people who were cut with pangas (machetes). I heard stories of the slit throat and bared stomach. People who needed help from the Red Cross were being beaten by a Camp Manager right in front of my eyes. I couldn’t react and just offered help within my powers. Some Red Cross staff members stole food and refused to give the IDPs food in Tigoni and Kisumu.

It pains me to reprint this but something really must be done to protect people from this abuse. It’s an abuse on so many levels. People donate to help the needy not to put food in the bellies of officials.

Kenya’s ban on live media reports and public assembly has been lifted. Kenyan Minister of Internal Security George Saitoti said that the security situation had generally improved


1 Response to “Update”

  1. 1 Shailja February 17, 2008 at 3:08 am

    Hi Carol,

    How do I reach you backchannel?

    Want to respond to your email re ethnic cleansing…..

    In community,

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