Tana residents should be given a chance to go to the polls peacefully

Posted: January 15, 2013 in Politics/Current issues


A mother has her tears wiped by her daughter after she learnt that her brother had been gunned down by suspected Orma raiders inside his house while asleep at Kibusu Village.


Recent days has seen leaders from the Tana Delta come out calling for press conferences asking their people to preach peace. Some of leaders held the meeting here in Nairobi begging the question as to whether these leaders are really committed to bring peace in the area. Yesterday, residents of Mombasa protested over the same and even called for the internal security minister to step down.

The clashes in Tana River can be dated back to August last year when these two communities, the Orma and the Pokomo started having conflicts. This time is long enough for the government to have found a lasting solution to bring to end this conflict. It is so sad that since then, innocent women, children and men have continued to die, villages torched and property destroyed. The government, under the internal security ministry has continued to talk tough while acting little. The former commissioner of police Mathew Iteere spoke very tough about the killings while in office but still nothing happened. The conflicts went on under the watch of security officers who had been deployed in the area.

Our country’s Intelligence system has also been blamed for this. How these attacks can be planned and executed in a country where we have a National Intelligence Service remains a mystery. Does it the NIS, the security ministry failed completely? Or is there something we are not being told as Kenyans as to what is really happening in Tana River? These are just some of the few questions that remain lingering in our minds as Kenyans.

Politics was also linked to the attacks, with some area leaders even being arrested and charged. The leaders were accused of inciting one community against the other. But nothing has changed. With the elections just around the corner, politicians and other leaders can do anything at the expense of politics to the extent of inciting their communities. The same leaders are now busy campaigning asking the same people to vote for them. The Tana River residents should watch out for them, they have a chance to bring peace to their area by themselves by making sure they elect good leaders who have their interests at heart.

The election campaigns have completely taken over matters of national importance like the security. Attending a political rally last week, the internal security minister Kato Ole Metito promised that the government he was campaigning for to be elected in  2013 was going to ensure there is peace in Tana, Najib Balala also reiterated the same saying they were going to ensure there is no more deaths in the coastal area. Does this mean we will continue to sit down and wait until the next government comes to office for Kenyans to have peace? These were very reckless sentiments coming from the internal security minister.

Speaking after the attacks, the residents were so emotional accusing the government for failing to protect them and bringing peace to them. The coming elections should give the Tana residents to chance to change their lives. One only hopes that the ongoing peace missions being carried out by the area leaders is going to bear fruits.

The country needs peace and Kenyans especially those from the Tana needs to be given a chance to go to the polls peacefully and elect good leaders who cannot plunge them into other insecurity related woes, leaders who are going to bring peace to them.

Nixon Kanali, Nairobi



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