Press Statement from Young Kenyans for the Restoration of Democracy in Kenya
Contact: Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo
Regional Coordinator - Africa Youth Employment Systems (YES)
Cell: +254 722619005
Stating the Facts Right – this is not a tribal war, it’s about injustice which must be addressed
NAIROBI, Wednesday January 9, 2007 –
On the dawn of December 27th 2007, millions of Young Kenyans woke up as early as 4am. They walked long distances, braved the long queue, and cast their ballot. Over 65% of registered voters spoke with a loud voice through the ballot. On 31st of December, that same democratic right that we young people had embraced through the ballot, voting for the first time in our lives, was raped, shattered and manipulated.
We the youth of Kenya are concerned that the current political, social and security situation affects us the most and will continue to affect the rest of our lives. The hundreds of lives lost so far are largely those of the youth and children. The hundreds of thousands of the internally displaced persons do not have anything to do with the political aggression. It is a fact the young people are not only victims, but also perpetrators of the violence. We however want to state the facts right, that this is not a tribal war. It is clear in our minds that one week ago, the Kenyans in Rift Valley queued in one line and voted peacefully without tribal sentiments.
The same Rift Valley did not retaliate by violence in 2002 elections when their favoured party lost elections. Why the violence in the province now? We watched credible issues being raised at the National tallying Centre, and shoved aside by the Electoral Commission of Kenya. The outcome was a questionable presidential result being announced. Then came a hurried Swearing in ceremony, privately convened at State house, which amounts to an illegitimacy.
The Chairman of the ECK has publicly admitted that he was under pressure to release results. The EU observer mission has acknowledged flawed results. The Attorney General has said that the election could have been a fraud and supported the re-tallying of the votes. The current Political impasse is not a Raila – Kibaki problem; it is about;Suspending democracy in Kenya Cheating the electorate out of their choices Rubbishing the ballot as a means for peaceful charge and Suspending our rights and freedoms as citizens of the republic of Kenya.
Some selfish politicians are once again hiding behind ethnicity to support their gluttonous drive to power. We once again state the facts right; this is not a tribal war. Show us one Gikuyu tribesman that has had free food since Mwai Kibaki’s appointment. Neither would Luo or Kalenjin supporters of Raila Odinga have free food if he were in power. And we ask the powers that might be, what is up the sleeves of PNU or ODM top politicians that compels them to be in power whatever the price? Let’s not live in self denial. The present situation is a reaction to injustice, whether factual or perceived. It must therefore be addressed by those concerned.
If our present leaders of older generation fail to deliver justice and peace, the youth will provide an alternative. A chorus has been sung that Kenya is greater than any individual. Does this refer to Kenya the soil and rivers, or Kenya the people? If it is indeed a reference to Kenya the people, then we demand that the responsible individuals respond to the desires and needs of the people now. We demand urgent address of the controversy by all men and women of goodwill. This situation demands honest talk devoid of chest thumping and holier than thou attitude so far witnessed.
We appreciate that most leaders have called for peace, but peace cannot be purchased from a supermarket and served. Peace must be made through justice that is not just done, but seen to be done. We refuse to accept that peace is merely the absence of war. The true meaning and sense of peace is in the knowledge that there will be peaceful, lawful and just management of conflict and that constitutionally granted rights and freedoms will not be suspended arbitrarily by an individual or cartel of individuals.
The way forward is to bring lasting peace and not to whitewash the issues. We call upon the youth to refuse to be abused in the perpetuation of ethnically fuelled conflicts and instead point fingers at the true culprits, for we are the greatest losers. This crisis did not begin because of tribal differences, but because of a rigged election. The youth have a right to organize peaceful protests and petition the authorities to restore democracy, justice and lasting peace in our country.
No law requires Kenyans to obtain the permission of the Commissioner of Police to exercise their constitutional right to peacefully assemble. Obstruction of any Kenyan in the enjoyment of their constitutional right will be resisted by all Kenyans regardless of the force arrayed against us. Our Demands;We call for the immediate dismissal or resignation of General Ali the Commissioner of Police under whose instructions hundreds of Kenyans have been shot, killed and injured by the Police force.
We recall that General Ali was present at the ECK Tally centre on the afternoon of the 30th December and commanded the seizure of the KICC by the General Service Unit and Administration Police. His officers carried out the ejection of the media, party agents and observers from the briefing hall in order to facilitate the illegal and unconstitutional announcement of Mwai Kibaki as the winner of the presidential election. General Ali’s actions amount to facilitation of an armed civilian coup. General Ali’s illegal actions on, prior,and after December 30th 2007 are the root cause of the death and destruction that have cost us the lives of over 486 Kenyans and displaced at least 300,000 of our people.
We demand that Mr Samuel Kivuitu takes responsibility for the carnage that has overshadowed the country and resign immediately. We also demand the immediate resignation of all ECK commissioners for overseeing an illegality and;
We demand a fresh Presidential election to restore our right to freely choose our leader. This is the only way that we may start restoring confidence in the ballot among our people.
We ask the International Community to revoke travel visas for all the PNU and ODM politicians and their immediate families, until the current situation is resolved through acceptable channels of truth and justice. We condemn Mr. Amos Kimunya, Alfred Mutua, Noah Wekesa and all other individuals who are using their privilege of access to international media to give reckless statements that may further the animosity in the country.
We hereby call upon the youth to converge at the Holy Family Basilica from Tuesday, January 8, 2008 to Sunday January 13th 2008, to donate blood that will reach the survivors of violence. The blood of Kenyan donors of all ethnicities will go to survivors of the violence of all ethnicities, as a potent symbol of the unity of Kenyan youth. This will be the first among a series of youth-led activities to defeat tribalism and injustice in Kenya once and for ever.
These reconciliatory actions by the youth do not, in any way, diminish our demand for a Kenya where all citizens and politicians alike have respect for law and moral conscience.
We therefore call upon the youth to condemn any incidences of political thuggery, committed by their favourite politicians or by their opponent. We beseech the youth to celebrate not.
We demand that political solutions that are acceptable to majority of Kenyans be quickly reached to restore our trust in each other and in democratic institutions.
Unite Kenyan youths and children,
unite against tribalism.
Unite for a just and peaceful Kenya and Africa.