Monday, January 21, 2008

Young Kenyan Man in Uganda

That's right, I'm refugeeing in UG. My 24 days leave will expire on the end of March and after been held hostage indoors for the better part of the last couple of weeks, I had to come to a decision to flee the country yet be in a position to be in touch with loved ones in case of anything (read One Network/Kama Kawaida).

Took a flight via Air Uganda and since these guys are making a comeback, it means first class treatment for economy class guys. Of course, it's not cheap compared to road, but considering what happened to my cousin this past friday, I'm glad I took the upstairs route.

He informed me that between Kisumu and Busia, the road is blocked by gangs of youth and the local cops are overwhelmed by the situation, such that these guys in their Akamba bus didn't get police escort automatically but had to go searching for it. Apparently even the cops are somewhat influenced by the tribal issues and only when they got a Kikuyu OCS somewhere in Luanda, were they able to travel safely to Busia.

They got stopped by a gang who demanded money to let them pass, and just after they'd done a mini harambee and the road cleared, another gang showed up with a tractor tyre and kerosene. They wanted to burn the bus and demanded for Kikuyus in it. Fortunately the driver had his wits with him and drove off, under a hail of stones.

Otherwise Kampala is ok, save for the heat and it was refreshing to attend a catholic mass on Sunday because the prayers for peace centered on Kenya. Guys here are quite concerned about the happenings back home, especially because of its effect on prices such as fuel.

I'll try enjoy the holiday, but thoughts go out to back home and that a peaceful resolution can be found soon.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Red in the colour of our flag...

The title of my blog ensures that I'm very much part and parcel of what is going on in my country. And I share in the sadness and agony that the rest of the blogsphere is experiencing regarding Kenya at this difficult time. Riots, violence, chaos, bloodshed, ethnic cleansing and many other words struggle to describe the state of affairs. Friends stranded upcountry, unable to travel back. House arrest as wars between cops and protesters take place outside our estate. And the worst ever holiday season in everyone's life.

Having been brought up in a cosmopolitan manner (middle class, urban mixed estate, excellent sheng, halting mother tongue), I'm lucky not to have serious tribal biases, apart from the usual stereotyping e.g. kyuks love money, kaos are colour blind etc.

So for me it's difficult to comprehend what's happening. And unfortunately I'm struggling with my conscience as to my role in the cause (and solution) to the mess we are in.

- Did I vote wisely?
- Why am I in the offfice instead of being in the streets protesting for justice?
- Am I praying hard enough for peace (and is that enough)?
- Will I give enough for the humanitarian aid causes (and is that enough)?
- Have I put any pressure on those 2 individuals holding our country hostage to come out of their posh offices/homes and go out into the country and see the effect of their actions/words?

Too much vibe, we can only hope that things return to normal (if that is ever possible when life and livelihood is lost). God have mercy on us, we were foolish 5 years ago to sing 'Yote yawezekana...'

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