Last night we received two text messages from the Kenyan Government, the first at 1.48am and the next at 2.37am. The first read: ‘The Government of Kenya advises you not to take part in any unlawful assembly that may result in violence!’
It is the day of ODM’s mass demonstration today. Sadly Raila Odinga insists the demonstration will go ahead but Government and police have banned the rally – creating an explosive situation before anything has even started. Neither party seems at all willing to back down. People all over the country are mobilising and if there is police resistance there is bound to be anger, frustration and violence as a result. On Monday when Raila first talked of ‘a rival inauguration ceremony’ in Uhuru Park, which was postponed as the opposition leader was placed under house arrest, the police and GSU (special forces or ‘General Service Unit’) had to fight hard to stem a surge of human traffic from pushing to get out of the slum of Kibera and into the town.
As we speak, thousands are walking into town carrying leafy branches and what looks like petrol containers?! Tear gas has already been used by police on some crowds.
The second text stated: ‘The Government of Kenya advises that the sending of hate messages inciting violence is an offence that could result in prosecution’
The media ban on ‘live broadcasts’ made a couple of hours after the election result was delivered by ECK was largely directed at local pirate radio stations who were broadcasting hate messages with an ethnic slant. Mob violence, in this case largely carried out by young males in Kenya, is fuelled by this kind of incitement. If you have watched the film ‘Hotel Rwanda’ you might remember that radio stations broadcast 24 hour hate campaigns directed between the tutsis and hutus, adding fuel to the flames of civil war that was raging.