Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Things fall apart

There's one thing that's become eminently clear during the last few days: neither Mwai Kibaki nor Raila Odinga deserved to serve as dogcatcher, let alone president of the Republic of Kenya.

Over 300 people have been killed in post-election violence. And the toll mounts daily.

Odinga and his party accused Kibaki of stealing the election. Kibaki's hasty inauguration to pre-empt legal challenges only gave further credence to the accusations that his 'victory' was a fraud.

Odinga and his followers were little better. Odinga chose to inflame the already volatile situation by comparing the election to the rape of Kenyans. Meanwhile, his supporters did something far worse: they torched a church where dozens of suspected Kibaki supporters had taken shelter. 30 people were killed in the blaze.

The massacre brought back eerie memories of the genocide in Rwanda, where such atrocities were frequent.

The two parties traded charges of genocide.

Certainly, the election should be re-run. As National Public Radio noted:

The head of the country's electoral commission, Samuel Kivuitu, said he had been pressured by both sides to announce the results quickly - and perhaps wrongly. The country's oldest newspaper, The Standard, on Wednesday quoted Kivuitu as saying, "I do not know whether Kibaki won the election."

But that is no excuse for plunging the country toward the abyss.

The ethnic communities have lived in peace with each other for decades. Intermarriages are common. The only time there's ever been any problems have been during elections. They've been betrayed by their misleaders.

Nearly every country that borders Kenya (Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia) has suffered through brutal civil war and/or genocide in the last quarter century. Despite this, Kibaki and Odinga seem willing to risk this in order to get/keep the intoxicating drug called power.

And sadly, far too many Kenyans seem willing to kill and die for these 'men' who have proven they are traitors to the Kenyan nation.

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