I still hear the gunshots in Kawangware. I live next to Kawangware, my hood is inhabited mostly by people of a different tribe than I am. Maybe that’s the reason there are no protests. Just because I am safe in the house doesn’t mean all is well. One thing I ask Kenyans, must lives be lost every election year? Some of those considered as ‘collateral damage’ are children who did not even line up to vote.
The leaders who people are supposedly ‘dying’ for are now silent. What happened to the right to picket? The government seems to have turned a blind eye on the killings. I keep forgetting that the police are Government. That’s why they are using live bullets on civilians. After all, these ammunition have to be used up because they were bought right?
Helicopters are everywhere surveilling. I tune in to Citizen TV, only to see the wedding show. Bills must be paid right? Nonsense! I change the channels; NTV has the Catholic Bishops press conference. Perhaps too late to preach unity when all along you openly took political sides? We have been reduced to house captives relying on hashtags for our news. Hashtag #StopKisumuKillings
I hear more gunshots.
We are OK so long as we remain indoors right? That’s why we stocked our fridges with supplies. We anticipated this. We prepared for the violence, and then we sat in our houses and fought on social media. The irony is that our leaders, who we are seemingly fighting for, still shake hands; even though they have dissenting opinions.
The joke is on us Kenyans.
Those who go to the streets, live in the slums. Some of them are edged on by our very own hateful posts. Some of these people slept outdoors because the police teargassed their houses. Some of them are being attacked by the military in their shanties. Some of their children are being shot while in their houses. Surely, where did human dignity go to?
I grieve for my people.
Don’t get it twisted. They are not my people because I belong to a tribe. I have lived in the slum. I have family and friends in the slum. I know how things go when it gets sour.
Then I remember last night before I went to bed, my grandmother called me at 11pm, amidst all the screaming, some of jubilation, some of mourning. “Are you safe? Pray for us, things are not good here”. The police who are supposed to be protecting civilian lives are now terrorizing the very lives they are mandated to protect, even in the villages. Let people grieve in peace.
I fear for my people.
Lastly, I have seen the God card being pulled. This week I have witnessed vitriol from both sides of the political divide. Don’t pull God into your posts. My God is not party to confusion, neither is he a God of division. So please, don’t use God’s name or scripture in vain.
This post is because of the likes of the late 8 year old Stephan George from Mathare Area 2, even as CS Matiang’i calls reports of innocent deaths on social media lies. These are the criminal elements that the government is neutralizing.
We are simply dancing to an orchestra, one that comes every five years. This too shall pass. Soon we shall put our tribal cards back safely in our pockets- till next election. Just remember, the joke is on us.