Saturday, January 26, 2008

Land In Kenya: Kofi Annan misunderstood the Rift Valley problem!

It seems to me that Kofi Annan misunderstood the RV problem when he went to Nakuru and then called it “systematic human rights abuses” and asked the government “to provide more security”. He was talking from the emotions of someone who has lived in the West since 1960s and rarely experienced the historically deep-rooted African challenges of land resettlement.

The issue in RV should never be confused with the post elections conflict. Whereas Kenyans are pissed off that Mwai Kibaki stole the elections, Kalenjins specifically are fighting for the right to reclaim what they perceive as their ancestral land. If historical facts are adhered to, they can reveal that Kalenjins and Maasais were the original pre-colonial inhabitants of the RV land. The fact is that the colonialists came and grabbed land in Kenya – mostly Kikuyu land in Central/Mount Kenya Region and Kalenjin-Maasailand in the Rift Valley.

What Kenyatta did after the end of colonialism was immoral and despicable!

He allocated majority of the land that wazungu left in Central Province to The Kenyatta Family and the cronies of The Kenyatta Regime. THEN, he resettled the Kikuyus in the Rift Valley. This essentially means that there were a group of Kalenjins whose land was grabbed by the British, then, transferred to the Kenyan govt during Independence and instead of Kenyatta giving back this land to its rightful owners, he resettled his people there. WHY? BECAUSE Kenyatta had grabbed the land the colonialists left in Central (Kikuyu land) for himself and for his cronies! THIS IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN RV TODAY!

( By the way, I am sure that had Moi been our first President, and did the same thing in reverse i.e. grab the land that wakoloni left in RV for himself and his cronies, and then, use the land that wakoloni left in Central/Mount Kenya Region to resettle displaced Kalenjins there (in Central), we would have had even a worse land conflict than we have today!

Land is the Independence.. the basis of any Independence struggle is land. Kenyans fought Mau Mau war to repossess our land from wakoloni.. what happened after we repossessed the land?)

Let Kenyans not live in denial, OUR FOUNDING FATHER WAS NOT PERFECT! He was an eloquent orator but he was never morally perfect… Most of the problems Kenya face today is because we started our journey of post-independence Kenya with the WRONG LEADERSHIP.

Unless and until Kenyans accept the simple fact that Jomo Kenyatta grabbed the land in RV and then settled his people there, we will never see Peace in the Great Rift Valley. And may I remind you now that there has never been real Peace in the Great Rift Valley--- these people have been living in tension that only required an ignition to explode. That ignition is none other than Emilio Mwai Kibaki. When Kibaki stepped on Kenyans, the Kalenjins took advantage of the general instability in the country to wage a thorough and well-calculated struggle for their land. Do you think that the GSU, the Army, etc will make Kalenjins give-up and surrender? I DON’T THINK SO.

What needs to happen, in my humble opinion is this.

Let the future legitimate government take full responsibility of re-appropriating the misappropriated land that was repossessed from the British Colonialists. Let the government take full ACCOUNT of this land. In an honest way, let those who inherited this land ILLEGALLY surrender it back to the government e.g. the Kenyatta Family, Njonjo, Moi, Kibaki, Koinange Family, Dr. Mungai Family, etc.

Let us go back to history, reconcile with our past and surrender back the land to their rightful owners. Why should the Kenyatta Family own over 10,000 hectares of land when Kikuyus are being displaced in the RV? I bet you that the over10, 000 hectares of Kenyatta Family land in Central Province BELONGS TO THE KIKUYU COMMUNITY. It is a shame that we have displaced Kikuyus when a few post colonial Kikuyu leaders grabbed the land that belonged to the Kikuyu community.

The struggle for land will not end by blaming and even going after William Ruto for this violence. Kenyans are good at targeting individuals instead of solving issues. Kalenjins and Kikuyus have never lived in real peace and harmony since 1960s. There has always been tension in RV, and former president Moi did a good job in defusing that tension. But please, do not confuse absence of war/conflict with presence of Peace.

Please, face the reality: THERE IS ENOUGH LAND FOR EVERYBODY IN KENYA if the land can only be fairly allocated to the rightful owners. The Kenyatta Family owns land enough to settle 100,000 displaced Kikuyus. The Kiambu Mafia collectively own land big enough to settle every Kikuyu from RV to Central.

I remain saddened by Kenyans’ hypocrisy.


Source: http://kenya.rcbowen.com/talk/viewtopic.php?id=60375

Ruud Elmendorp of Wikiboom has an excellent chronology of the events that led to all these. You can see them at: http://rocketboom.wikia.com/wiki/Kenya

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