Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tales of an (ex) Nairobian Ostrich

Prior to the 2007 elections I was quite comfortable in my bubble of “ Kenya is a beautiful country”. Sure the roads were a mess and the electricity supply erratic – but hey, there aren’t many other cities in which all you need is half an hour and a good tent to be in the middle of paradise! Besides, I could always get rid of any frustrations I might have through a good long complaining session over a fine glass of wine at dinner!!

And then – my bubble burst and I found myself feeling quite naked and infuriated in my awakening.

Which is how I came to be staring up at a tear gas cannister this morning (but only for an umph of a second)!

Democracy you say? Your electorate takes responsibility for how this country is governed and speaks to you. Your response? Tear Gas?? Well – I suppose we ought to thank you for it as you put us on the front page of the news! But the only suitable response is “shame on you”! And really – what is your message exactly? That you don’t agree with the call for a leaner, more efficient Cabinet…or…you don’t agree that we should start re-channeling our resources away from lining the mansions of a very few to…well…perhaps the IDPs or the impending famine…or maybe even the security…roads…Or perhaps – you simply don’t like the tree that our Nobel Prize Winner planted? Oh …I know – you’ve got an endless suppy of tear gas cannisters that you simply must use before they expire. Yes. That surely must be it.

And to the trigger & rungu happy Police. Did it occur to you that we might actually be on the same side? I understand that your lives must be miserable…. Earn very little in order to terrorize and be terrorized by the Wananchi….but stop…listen. The Wananchi are calling for more funds for security…believe or not – that means You!

And to the rest of ye Ostriches…come out of your middle class bubbles….Surely even you can see the futility of an educated discourse in the safety of your homes…

Don’t you think it’s time we gave back to Kenya a little of what she’s given us?

Mine Pabari - An (un) Usual Suspect

(Photos courtesy of Georgina Goodwin)


Zahid Rajan said...

I was part of the crowd. Having watched the police on their walkie talkies keenly observing our activities which were very peaceful till then - I thought when will they attack us and attack us they did - TWICE!
Having survived the first round I went back with a couple of activists to FREEDOM CORNER and saw Wangari Maathai addressing journalists - so I thought at least this is allowed. But NO - the police teargassed us again! The police are supposed to be 'UTUMISHI KWA WOTE' but kumbe they are 'WATUMISHI'waviongozi wachache wanaoonea wakenya! SHAME ON YOU. This is not the end of the story I assure you.
Having seen the situation calm down I attempted to exit the park with the posters folded but was confronted by the police and all my material was confiscated! I was not allowed to leave the park lest I corrupted the wananchi outside the park with our powerful thoughts. How INSECURE are you? They even threatened to arrest me as I left!

Zahid Rajan
Nairobi - Mzalendo wa Kenya.

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