NASA STATEMENT: CRIMES OF MONSTROUS PROPORTIONS ARE BEING COMMITTED. ONLY OUR FRIENDS CAN HELP AVERT DISASTER
It was our leader’s homecoming from a visit to Washington and supporters wanted to welcome him back at the airport.
A scene routinely played out in Kenya. Only this time, police launched violent attacks on the supporters, turning the entire city into a veritable war zone as seen on television screens around the world.
Crimes of monstrous proportion were committed, with at least 18 innocents butchered. Among them was the attack on Mr Odinga’s car with a hail of bullets and multiple blasts of teargas canisters, an utterly reckless and potentially catastrophic action, averted only because he was travelling in a bullet-proof car. More killings occurred the next two days.
Amid this descent towards a pariah state, there has been pin drop silence from church leaders, as well as our traditional friends of democracy. Media has done some superb reporting, but invariably referred to “clashes” between police and NASA supporters when in fact they were outright attacks by police on unarmed Kenyans.
A procession of atrocious crimes has been committed by Jubilee since July in particular. Each one has had a nefarious and unjustifiable purpose. But Friday’s reckless attacks made no sense whatsoever, as very little could have been gained for Jubilee (as was seen). That is why Friday’s actions were the most worrying, because they reflect a new level of Jubilee panic, recklessness and blindness about the consequences of their actions.
The one goal of such illegal actions that has been repeatedly asserted is mounting levels of intimidation, including the reign of terror aimed at the Supreme Court justices and IEBC officials. Possibly today’s Supreme Court ruling is causing intense anxiety and Jubilee want to yet again send a message that Kenyans should not dare challenge impunity and injustice.
But none of their killings and fear mongering has succeeded in stilling the people’s passion for fighting for democratic rights and against constantly rigged elections, as former US Ambassador to Kenya Mark Bellamy put most aptly at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on 9 November.
With tensions at breaking point over mass killings from Friday, unleashing any more acts of “intimidation” could backfire profoundly. We in NASA have from the outset emphasized that only a peaceful struggle with constitutionally-supported actions has ever reaped Kenyans political and economic leaps. But it is getting to be a tired message for supporters with each new round of mass killings. These supporters are more and more challenging us publicly and on social media to propose ways they can fight back to protect their lives.
We are mystified by the posture of our traditional friends who have till recently stood with Kenyans searching for a more democratic and prosperous future. Their stand in this long, drawn out crisis has contributed to electoral malfeasance and Jubilee intransigence. The envoys here have repeatedly, and needlessly, cautioned NASA against taking any actions that might disrupt peace, and yet Jubilee’s actual threats against our hallowed institutions and their leaders, and mass killings, take place without censure.
Our partners’ current stand is alienating many Kenyans and indeed Africans, and fraying future relations. They are headed on a major collision course with Africa’s democrats, after working together with them for an entire generation.
Whatever we in NASA and other Kenyans have tried has failed to curb lawlessness and killings. Our partners are now the only ones who can make Jubilee change course. We ask once again at a this particularly potent juncture that they recognize what is stake for Kenya, for the region, and for the partners themselves as well, and make Jubilee heed the irretrievable damage wrought by its determination to hold on to power at all costs.
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