This week was just devastating for the Kenya Police Service. We lost 42 policemen in an ambush that can only be described as utter treachery and an attack on our very sovereignty. The fact of the matter is this; Kenya is not a nation at peace. We haven’t had peace in this country since independence because we have communities in this country that make it their livelihood to be cattle rustlers. Stealing livestock is not just a favorite past time, it’s a way to acquire wealth.
Its incredible to consider how culture can influence one’s world view, such that rather than work hard to acquire property one simply goes out and steals whatever he desires and kills whoever is standing in his way. No wonder we cannot define integrity in this country, even by law, because right in our own homes there is a cow that we are milking that does not rightfully belong to us.
It’s a barbaric culture, frankly, primitive and retrogressive. The reason why 42 young recruits were so brutally murdered is a herd of cattle that some greedy people refused to return; I mean really, how can we trade the lives of our young men for grazing beasts!
More disturbing is such an ancient culture is openly encouraged and protected by politicians who themselves probably own stolen cattle. Why else would they be so against a military response to an act so brutal and treacherous as to kill our police? Lets face it. They MUST have known what was about to happen, and that it would be a deadly ambush. How sick must an MP be, to know about a killing about to occur and then not even warn the victims so that they can save their lives?
So, here is where a culture that has survived with impunity and protection finally faces up to the reality of consequences. Consequences such as having the military invade and eliminate all perceived threats. Loosely translated, we know the military is going to sweep these cattle rustling people into oblivion.
Is a ruminant really of such high value that hundreds of people must die? The truth behind the situation in Suguta valley is that this has less to do with cattle, and more to do with electoral votes and power. Its no secret that vested interests in this region and other parts of the country like Tana Delta are intent on furnishing and encouraging skirmishes in order to secure votes and favor from rural people.
We, as a nation, are such a backward lot, steeped in our miniature hatred, suspicion and dislike for other communities and cultures that at the drop of a hat we will slaughter our neighbors’ over an animal. The politicians know this, they understand how horrifically mutilated our social fabric is, how disassociated we are from each other, all they have to do is ignite flames of suspicion and hate every 5 years to stay in power. It’s our own fault we live in such fear and insecurity, no one else’s.
We get the leaders we choose, we get the leaders we listen to and we never listen to rational, level headed or national statesmen. We always listen to petty, vindictive, morally reprehensible and corrupt tribal chieftains’ because that is exactly how we are as a society. We are primitive and selfish, later on, when so many die, we turn around and blame the government for not acting sooner to save policemen who we ourselves killed, because of cattle.
Isn’t it interesting how we can thus have uproar about how the President is slow to respond to the situations we ourselves create? Such illogical, irrational behavior speaks to our very mental state. Kenyans seem to be out of their minds to some extent, unable to connect action with reaction, unable to link cause and consequence, and always willing to abrogate responsibility for the state of security, justice and peace in our country to government.
In the coming elections, the responsibility for how many people live through a so-called “democratic” process is entirely up to us, not the police, not the Kenya Defense Forces, and certainly not the Judiciary nor the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. Its each Kenyan’s choice on whether the elections will be violent or peaceful and it is our own choice if we want to live free from government repression through force.
Certainly, I don’t find the idea of a military state of emergency appealing in any way. But some of us Kenyans are monsters and as we all know very well, you must crush monsters when they are small or else they will grow and destroy everything. It’s a damn shame that we can call ourselves a democratic republic when the truth is, we are really people who must be controlled by government, we lack self control or independence, and worst of all lack humanity. Kenya is a totalitarian state, and we seem to like it that way.