Photo: International barrister Miguna Miguna the latest of the Kisumu sons to suffer cruel hand of the regime.
By Joshua Odhiambo Nyamori
Blackmailing the residents of Kisumu city that they can only get a new stadium if they allow it to be named after Jomo Kenyatta is akin to telling the Palestinian people that they can only benefit from a stadium if they allow it to be named Benjamin Netanyahu.
In 1969 Kenyatta referred to us as “vinyang’arika”, abused our mothers by uttering “*** mama zenu” and ordered his troops to use live bullets in mowing down hundreds of our people. He ordered arrest and detention of many of our people and leaders and presided over a purge of anyone whose name started with the letter “O” from military, police, public service and institutions of higher learning, save for the few puppets he created to curmoflage the organized destruction of the luo community.
Kenyatta banned Luo Thrift and Trading Corporation and ensured that our cooperatives and marketing boards were starved of resources and other Government support.
Kenyatta, as President of Kenya, presided over the killing of Thomas Joseph Mboya and detained Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, two people credited for his installation and entrenchment in power, even when his own Kikuyu community rejected him.
To date, the luo community are yet to recover from the seed of marginalization planted by Jomo Kenyatta and perpetuated under Moi, Kibaki and Uhuru.
We can assure Prof. Hon Peter Anyang Nyongo and CS Amina Mohammed of one thing. In the fullness of time, we the people of Kisumu will purge our city of any symbol of the painful relationship our people had with Jomo Kenyatta. We will rename all these facilities after our own heroes : Otieno Oyoo, Jaramogi, Mboya, Oselu Nyalik, Olilo, Ouko, Okore Ogonda, Luanda Magere, Omollo Agar, Obura Ochola, Mien, etc. We will build a monument at Russia Hospital and inscribe names of all those who died at the 1969 Massacre. We will name roads and parks after Olago, the young man who was shot at Kondele in 2007 for dancing during a protest and Baby Pendo, the infant whose skul was smashed to pulp under the GSU boots in Nyalenda.
Yes, that time will come. A stadium is as much a right to the youth in Kisumu as it to the youth of Gatundu. We cannot be forced to hero worship Jomo Kenyatta to claim that right