I had planned to post this up over a week ago but due to the fact that i never received permission from the author of the email in question to post it on here (emailed but no response yet), i had put it aside. But sugabelly's comment on The Situation in Kenya spurred more rethinking on the issue so i decided to go ahead and post my preamble to the intended post, and a teeny weeny paragraph from the email which should at least give you another perspective into the violence in Kenya, i hope.
Below is an excerpt of an email from a Kenyan professor at the University of Newcastle about the crisis in his country. Reading it forced me to re-examine my earlier feelings towards the violence in Kenya. I most certainly don't condone the 500+ deaths that have resulted from Kibaki's "re-election" (Blame the pacifist in me but I don't think the loss of ONE life is ever justified, no matter how high the stakes) but I now have a better understanding of the struggle. I pitied the Kenyans for not having the fortune that we Nigerians had in seeing our elections end in peaceful (resigned) acceptance of the corrupt practices that went on across the board. But now I see how unfortunate it is that we continue to take the slaps of our leaders and turn our cheeks repeatedly because after all, we are the resilient, "happiest people in the world", right? I wish I had an answer to this problem of unaccountability in Nigeria. But I don't. I wouldn't say the Kenyans have the answer either, but at least they're not about to sit about waiting for another 4 years to see if the answer falls in their lap. They, unlike us, will not sit by and watch their government make a mockery of the people it is meant to represent.
It is only with the restoration of peace that reason will prevail. But there can be no lasting peace without justice. There is an urgent need for an open and thorough public inquiry to determine the veracity of rigging allegations.
It is disheartening that Kenyans are losing their lives senselessly because they wish to express disapproval on a flawed process. Many of these are ordinary people who can see a 'loaded dice' but importantly refuse to let the lie go away just because the higher ups think they can get away with it! This is the biggest crisis ever for Kenya but I think we will get through it. Though the news talks about ethnic fragmentation--Kenyans as a whole tend to have a greater sense of nationalism rather than ethno-centric parochialism. We are smart enough to be rational, what hurts the average Kenyan is the senseless loss of life. We are Kenyans and part of the reason that we are the most heterogeneous African community that has never had a civil war. We believe in the State but should politicians force individuals to thinks as ethnic collections, it will be a very sad day indeed for a country that has resisted and served as an example that bucks the trend against the so called “normal” ills on the continent.
Thank you, Funke, for sharing this email!