Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New government strategy: Mass Murder?

What else do you call it when you declare an emergency food crises and then get caught with not enough reserves because you sold it on? According to the Nation:

* "Some of the maize which was meant to cushion Kenyans against rising maize flour prices and a looming famine, may be on its way to Southern Sudan.
* KACC's investigation of an earlier maize-related scandal at NCPB in which crooked businessmen posing as millers were allocated hundreds of thousands of bags of maize to be concluded on Wednesday.
* NCPB Managing Director is reported to have distanced himself from the 80,000-bag allocation list even as some of his managers blamed a group of people at the Board for the situation"

And for a change, its not just us useless civil activists screaming from behind our computer screens or from the comfort of some hotel lobby press conference. Perhaps this time they've gone too far and even the conscience of Martha Karua can no longer bear the nightmare. Reuters reports, Mama Martha accusing officials in the Agriculture Ministry of profiting from a current shortage of Kenya's staple food and the today's Nation quotes her saying, “When it came to the formation of the coalition Government we never considered the laws that we had made. We all joined the Government — whether you had a pending case or not, whether you were publicly known to be tainted with corruption, we are all there.”

So let us put this as simple as possible: The whole world is screaming about Israel killing lots of innocent people. Even us lethargic Kenyans took to the streets to show our solidarity with the Palestinians (and of course got teargassed for it). In the last three weeks, close to 1000 people have died and the world is screaming, "murder"

Now, all the big agencies the world over are saying that 10 million Kenyans are facing starvation. Forgive me, I need to say that again to myself: 10 million people. So in good political tradition, the government declares, "a state of emergency" and then open investigations into themselves about maize that was allocated to starving Kenyans being sold off to Sudan?

Let's be not be emotional about this for one minute and assume that a couple of hundred people out of those 10 million will drop dead due to starvation. Does that account to mass murder? Let's also remember that MP's are refusing to pay taxes that could provide millions of shillings to support starving Kenyans. Constitutionally, they are obliged to pay tax, right? So does that account to mass murder? After all are they all not equally guilty of withholding critical cash that can be used to provide basic human rights to Kenyans?

And of course there are several people sitting in parliament with their bloody hands under their thighs hoping that we will all forget their role in the post-election violence...what was it? 1000 people, 2000? murdered, raped, burnt alive in churches? Under the instructions of higher authorities?

Dear Mr/s. Member of Parliament...

Are you guilty of mass murder?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Stand up for your rights! Kenya has signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and especially the article 25: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."
This famine had been foreseen and Kenya will face more and more droughts in the coming years that will lead to an increasing death toll due to a lack of good governance.
Every day we are producing worldwide enough food to feed 12 billions people; we are 6 billions human beings: each man, woman and child dying from hunger or starving is a MURDER and a crime against humanity.
Kenya has enough resources to ensure the food security and food sovereignty of its people but it requires a politial will as well as an unfailing committment to develop pro-poor policies and monitor their implementation.
Without a huge mobilisation of Kenyans (grassroots and civil society) and its supporters with mass actions and individual sponsorship of a suffering/starving Kenyan, things will remain the way they are.
What has to be done and largely disseminated is how can any individual or group/network/CSO/CBO/FBO contribute to literally saving lives right now through a number of immediate actions:
- make a donation to provide food in the short term and supporting the right actors for a sustainable agricultural production
- provide in-kind donation
- refuse to keep silent (sign petition, demonstrate, join activist groups, write to the Government/MPs, talk to media, mobilise foreigners...)
- advocate for 10 millions people and maybe more
- educate your children and let them know what's happening and the real causes
- go and talk to these people and listen to what they have to say
- organise visits to the most remote places of Kenya involving media and sending strong messages to the Governement
- wear and use t-shirts, bracelets, screnn savers, online banners, stickers...saying KENYANS ARE STARVING LET'S DEFEND OUR RIGHT TO FOOD!
- Connect to others and mobilise your neighbours, friends, colleagues...
- think and resist, tomorrow it could you or me starving think about what you would like others to do then...!