It’s difficult to know what to write today. The political stalemate continues, but at this point, after days of violence and the international media flooded with images of angry mobs torching and rampaging, it is important to paint a picture of how
Kenyan people are well educated, most speaking three languages fluently (English, a tribal dialect and Swahili). Although this crisis has sparked fighting along tribal lines, it is not a ‘a deeply tribal place’ as Sky News stated, or as has been described in the international press, because the majority of Kenyan people have been living side by side harmoniously for years. Intermarriage between tribes is very common and by talking too much of tribal tension in the press, there is a danger of it becoming a self fulfilling prophecy. Even demonstrators yesterday were beginning to ask themselves; ‘is this worth it? We are the only people who are getting hurt’.
The country is not simply made up of politicians, poorer people and slum dwellers. There is also a huge middle class, who live comfortably, own a car, earn a good enough salary that allows them to take frequent holidays, eat out at restaurants regularly, go to the gym. There is a free press who have not been afraid to speak out against corruption in the past, or openly criticise their politicians. Kenyan people have informed opinions and over all want things to be fair and peaceful. Their views have not been adequately illustrated by the press because they have been hiding indoors, waiting for the crisis to end. The expatriate community makes up only a tiny part of this scene and they certainly do not hold the wealth of this country.
What is clear is that many are losing faith completely with both Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga who are failing to act for the people in this, or for the greater good. They have not visited the people worst hit by this crisis, for instance, in Eldoret. They are not helping anyone by shifting blame from one to the other in a puerile manner and make press statements saying things like:
Raila: ‘I am not in a position to stop the violence’ and Kibaki publicly alludes to the violence caused by the actions of; ‘some leaders.’
On the radio they were calling for foreign leaders who have made statements like Condoleezza Rice and Gordon Brown and the chairman of the African Union, John Kufuour to actually come here to help.
Following other controversial statements, she said ‘If this is our last day on air, then so be it.’