Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Transit UAE: On Rumsfeld, Ortega, Mathare and Kuresoi

A Dispatch by Onyango Oloo from the Dubai International Airport

Keyboarding from a standing position, I string verbs, adjectives, nouns, conjunctions et cetera along in the nifty glass and steel cyber booth brought to transit passengers courtesy of Samsung. In the background a droning voice over in Emirati Arabic and South Asian English tells people from which gate they can catch their next flight on this or that airline to somewhere else around the globe. Like I said when I last spoke about this airport, I am still dazzled by the spectacular ambience of this chunk of Dubai real estate- even as I shudder at the sparkling monuments to consumerism that inundates the space....

The last time I was here was in early December last year, wheel-chair bound from Conakry, Guinea via Paris onwards to Nairobi from the African Social Forum.

Right now I am killing time by celebrating the bushthwacking of the blood-thirsty, graft tainted and horny Republicans in the just concluded Congressional polls in the States and the resurrection of a transmogrified Daniel Ortega in the Nicaraguan elections. Particularly sweet to savour is the announcement that leading warmonger Donald Rumsfeld is finally kaput at least as far as being Defence Secretary is concerned.

What is really swirling through my mind though, as I wait to eventually arrive in New Delhi for the 2006 India Social Forum are the news reports that have been searing through me, and I presume many of my Kenyan compatriots over the last few weeks.

One of my Nairobi pals sent me an SMS over the weekend questioning the authenticity of the widely-reported raid on Michuki's rural home. He spoke about eye-witnessing bloody stand offs in Baba Dogo.

On Sunday I was chilled to see NTV @ One report on a brazen road-side shooting targeting the family of Prof. Anyang' Nyong'o going home from church- this on the very day when the good ODM prof decried rising insecurity all over Kenya.

The November 8th Kenya Times devoted its front page to this very vexing national concern.

We know what has been going on in Kuresoi, Mathare, Laikipia etc. The Ugandans bombed us the other day and some Ethiopians tagged "rebels" by the Kenyan media killed some government reservists.

Meanwhile, parents and siblings are still hacking family members to death even as cases of femicide escalate.

I have spoken elsewhere and prolifically about the endemic violence embedded in the allegedly peaceful and harmonious Kenyan society, so I will not regurgitate those views of mine that are archived in several Kenyan-specific online communities.

What I want to explore briefly, given the concrete and immediate context of this unedited, semi-stream-of-consciousness straight from mind to internet blog entry is the speculated connection between seemingly unrelated acts of gang-to-gang slum mayhem, allegedly spontaneous resurgence of ethnic violence and the controversial and contested attacks on Michuki, Anyang' Nyong'o and other public figures.

Could it be the case that some nefarious forces are doing a dress-rehearsal for next year's general election?

Are some NARC-era politricians borrowing from KANU's old book of election year tricks?

Is there more than meets the eye in the violence rocking Mathare, Kuresoi or elsewhere?

The first thing to do of course, is verify where the truth lies, and where the lies emanate from.

The second thing to do is to take concrete actions to stem and stamp out the violence no matter where it comes from.

And like I have said before, you can not stamp out "community-based" violence with state terror, no matter how noble the intentions.

One of the dividends of the democratic victories Kenyans fought and sacrificed so much for ought to be a modicum of peace and national harmony- two ideals that have been devalued by the Mois and Kibakis of this world through propagandistic over use.

I will say more later....

Onyango Oloo
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1:20 am local time, Thursday, November 9, 2006


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the piece. Looking forward to your views on the speculated connections between the ongoing violence and 2007. Looking forward also to speedy readmission to the forum.

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