“142 is not just a number it’s Vigil”
That Thursday was a chilly one. I had first heard of those “rumors” on a noisy morning radio show as I left the house for town. I brushed it off as normal but my next stop over on social Media’s popular facebook raised dire concern. It was awash with postings of messages of condolences scribed against unimaginable pictures scenes.
The worst had happened. Just as it prepared to dawn, the dreaded Alshaabab had taken a Moi University-Garrisa branch hostage. All they did was shoot at innocent helpless and blameless young vibrant comrades. The death toll rose faster than the March 2013 presidential ballot digits. By now media was reporting and scary is the word I’ll use for the demonizing situation at hand. Rest in Peace to the fallen souls.
All we yearned for was action. Action that was not forthcoming. Already questions were being asked. Questions that in most cases we ask but wait for answers indefinitely. From who? I too am not aware. Not that am doubting my mind. Sure.
The action from the authorities was wanting. First the interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) alongside the Inspector General (IG) fly on a chopper to the scene. Then some military personnel follow at an interval. Who goes to cordon the crime scene but do not spring into action. Am told fencing off a crime scene is a measure taken to ensure no one enters or leaves the scene butt was it necessary pending an ongoing attack. Finally and after its already too late, the Reccee squad desperately travels by road to pick flight at Wilson airport to the scene. Luckily enough its them who swung into action ending the siege in fifteen minutes but yet still on arrival to the scene, they took an hour being taken through the area map by the institution head. An hour that would have saved lives! Could such logistics be executed while aboard flight? Thought we live in the digital age? What was the essence of flying the CS and the IG as observers? Where is the immediate need to fence off the crime scene as more students succumb to the gunshots?!
Indeed we still mourn as a nation, loosing such young vibrant youths is no child’s play! Amidst vocal concerns of mismatching figures, identified bodies were laid to rest across varied destinations of the country. Day after day new twists to the saga unearthed. Survivors showed up to recount the moving bloody shooting. Politicians raised voices in the matter. One Ahmed Nassir tweeted that the whole thing was politically instigated. His was a lawyer’s point of view. The floor of the house discussed the shootings in length. Guess discussions alone won’t save us from hell. Alshaabab and their sympathizers of course owned up on their short lived tweeter account as a one Aden Duale promised to spill the beans on the same in a month’s time!
Activism took a centre stage both online and offline. Comrades matched the streets in protest. Theirs was a simple message “Mr. President we want SECURITY” Who knows, maybe it might have been them! A renowned Boniface Mwangi of 254 organised a successful campaign dubbed “142 is not just a number it’s Vigil” to light candles in remembrance of the fallen souls. Later on and under his leadership, an artist consortium converged a youth event at Uhuru parks freedom corner all in remembrance of the lost lives.
Print media unearthed stories of the missing rescue plane. A private businessman, it was said had taken the plane for a coast trip. A re-counter version contradicted this stating that the plane was out to pick some in-laws of a top cop boss. We are yet to get explanations as the public.
Following shortly was an ego based cold war between the Police Reccee squad and the Military’s KDF. The later accused the GSU guys of taking all the credit for ending the siege yet them too they had been at the scene longer than them. Men to cut the long story short, you are both heroes. We celebrate you in unmatched measures.
Reaction after reaction followed. The president as expected said no stone shall be left unturned. He said sorry a thousand times and penned each victim’s family a personalized condolence note. The Notorious V.P threw a bombshell. Him he gave the international community a three month ultimatum to move the huge overly populated Daabab camp to Somali. As he spoke on TV with his usual Demeanor, he spoke with finality. He was firm and sure of his stand but I felt NO! That’s a disaster in waiting. Eruptions of “I was not consulted” followed. Ahem! This is Kenya and you should know people!
Why a crisis? A crisis because in itself it’s not a solution. Secondly its already worsening the already strained International relations. Did he here choices have consequences prior to his election? Thirdly the timeline given just like the mismatching figures do not add up! Thus that is not a solution because even if it does happen it means disaster. Disaster because that camp has more than half a million people. Most of who were born and raised in Kenya backdating to more than twenty years ago. In case it happens as he so wishes, it will be a plus to the already lethal Alshaabab. They will have more people to radicalize and the situation will only get to worse. A second scenario is where the young boys having been deported will regroup and rebrand into Alshaabab. Since they grew up in Kenya, the entire Geography is at their disposal thus coming back they will be worse Terrorists! Its my humble request Mr Deputy President, next time consult. Consult even if it’s me alone!