Monday, November 29, 2010

Letter to Raila Odinga after he fails to uphold minorities in Kenya

Sunday 28th Nov 2010

To: Raila Odinga: The Prime Minister of Kenya

From: Philo Ikonya ( A Kenyan citizen)

I know that KiberaKENYA has been seen to change a little of late but - I do not wish to stigmatise those of us who live in such inhuman conditions - in more than slum cases most Kenyans also in rural areas live in terrible conditions too. I know it is still not possible to say that the high level of rape, incest and this includes defilement have gone dramatically down from as reported by (Lacey. 2001 ) in a study on combatting Aids. I am greatly disturbed by your priorities as vice president and would be President of Kenya. Lacey and most people have found rape, murder, incest are prevalent crimes there. I also know from experience that many people in Kibera suffer police brutality.

You have just given an order as the Prime Minister of Kenya that any homosexual men and women found engaging in sex must be arrested by the police. For me it is also important that I did not hear the words that after arrest people must be charged in court in 24 hours. We know that police in Kenya have often disappeared people after arrest. I am of the opinion that to a reformed and a reforming police force, you ought to quote the Criminal Code and the Constitution, not your office.

I know too that police are most likely not to find any man in the circumstances with another man nor any woman since already their matters are so stigmatised in Kenya.. ( you heard the crowd roar and this time there was no one to answer you, "Unga!" like that time when you were there and the people brought you back to basics from your excellent ability to hype them). But I know that police will arrest some poor innocent people in Kibera and in other places and tell them they are homosexuals, torture them and humiliate them as they do those whom they call prostitutes after arrest. When you left Kibera, there was more fear than the show of might and bravado that you saw in the early afternoon.

Since you have the power and the media and the umbrella of the AU and the UN, we are left trying to reason on how to make our Kenya a more humane society at the risk of being called all sorts of things and even not managing to live at home. It seems you are enjoying having the kind of police in place who tremble when politicians speak. The type who are promoted when they brutalise those who dare to say they want to and do defend human rights. You have opened another door for them to stigmatise human rights even before you answer to us why police and Kenyan intelligence have decided to lump human rights activists with those whom the nation fears and says they belong to proscribed sects. I still remember how many people rushed to your office and you received them when Oulo G.P. O Oulo and Oscar King'ara were shot dead on State House Road and you GAVE THEM HOPE. We know no one wears a sign of belonging to anything on their forehead and you also know that human rights are just that. HUMAN RIGHTS. I want to imagine that if your own child or relation were a homosexual you would not even know it and that if they were found by police.. strange thought... and let us just follow your mind, they would not even be arrested. I was told by police that when your child was driving without a licence (under age) and was in an accident at night, all they did was mention your name and the police left them alone. The kind of mentality you spoke from and the law in Kenya has always been against the poor and the ones without a name. Look how many they are.

The 3 000 disappearances of Kenyans ( Re: Philip Alston s Report) and the last five in Githurai, one extra-judicial killing in Mathare last week and one in Kisumu and the bodies found dumped in Lari and Kobatek are on my mind. The very recent violence in Kenya after the 2007 General election as documented by many and as in the Waki Report where it shows a high number of people were killed by Kenyan police is on my mind. The many Kenyans who never reach home in the evening, both women and men swooped for strange reasons until they pay bribes are on my mind. The many who tremble on their way home daily are on my mind.

Hitler is on my mind. Auschwitz is on my mind. The tall, blonde and blue eyed people.. are a story no one has forgotten.

Raila, you know who Kenyan police are. YOu also know what misused power is, you were in detention without trial under Moi.

Raila Odinga, the Boundaries Commission has is struggling on the verge of failure, the Kenya National Human Rights Commission is under stress for reasons you know well, the Committee for Implementation of the new constitution has not been set up. The work you have to do is laid out in the agreement you signed on our behalf during post poll violence. It is not part of your office to tell police what crimes to prosecute we do have a code... and even it is not friendly to all minorities and especially the poor and even if it penalises for sexual offences as defined therein so far no one has misued it the way you have done last Sunday. You are aware of what has happened in recent years in Uganda and even if it does not matter who he is and what you think of him, you are not unaware of Obama s reactions on the same. But you spoke for East Africa.

I remember you got the baptism of immersion, submerged in water by two preachers in two churches. In St. Stephen s Church on Jogoo Road you had a ceremony in which Ndolo then aspiring as always to represent Makadara. Before then you were an atheist and not that I really care what faith you confess now, if you do not mind my openness. I only want to remind you that you use the church and the church uses you whenever the two of you need one another for a purpose. After that, you dump each other. The church tries other politicians. The people remain with Raila the enigma.

But this is what a typical politician does in Kenya.... you sacrifice minorities, beliefs, religions, families and many, many people to get to power and you stay in power in the same way.

I was just remembering that

During the constitution campaign you wore green ith Kibaki and that was good. The people could not come for you on the basis of religion as some had in the last election... mind you, I did not side with them and Raila, the only time I felt I should never again try to politic in my village is when they said things about you that I will never say to anyone. I stopped them at my own risk. If I repeated such now, I would be no better, I would be tearing again a wound so unhealed. I felt so bad that you, then the minority in that conversation and so dignified on my mind as ever, even if I did not go there physically with you in spite of some calls from Mumbi Ngaru, were suffering this kind of thing stigmatisation, so neatly sown by the government. Would you turn against another minority so, now?

I know that you now need fundamentalists and so called believers who fought so strongly against this constitution for many reasons. It is time to use faiths and dump them again. I would like very much that you consider your accountability to all Kenyans. If you have an amendment to make to the current constitution, you and those who believe the same know how to go about it. To give us a new Kenyanness better than the one that is all the time shredded in us you might lead the people in following the constitution.

"Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said homosexuals should be arrested, saying homosexual behavior will not be tolerated in the east African country.
"Any man found engaging in sexual activities with another man should be arrested," Times LIVE quoted Odinga as saying at a rally on Sunday, in the Nairobi town of Kibera. "Even women found engaging in sexual activities will be arrested."

Read more:"


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