Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's worse, it's planned and it's definitely ethnic

In reading Nanjala Nyabola's article of yesterday, I have found myself appalled at the myths that pass for truth in Kenyan discourse, and especially that such myths proceed to become the basis upon which political decisions and alliances are made.

Take for example the account on President Jomo Kenyatta and the opening of the New Nyanza Hospital in Kisumu. It is true that Kenyatta's bodyguards opened fire on crowds, but this was only after the crowd at the rally heckled and threw stones at him. The security forces certainly overreacted, but it is inappropriate and misleading to suggest that the victims were shot because they were Luo; the violence broke out because hotheads at the rally attacked first, because the bodyguard had reason to believe that its employer was in danger. This has clear implications for this year's riots as well, especially with politicians claiming that the police are aiming to kill members of certain tribes.

Read more from Daniel Waweru here.