News 2008


Kenya's version of Democracy


by Victor Kenyy

13. February 2008



What really is democracy? This is not a rhetoric question because over the past month I have been grappling with it but every moment of thought has brought more questions than answers.

I thought one of the components of democracy is free speech but here where I live it is either ODM or death. Since 30th December 2007, we have been living in fear be4cause of perceived support for PNU and Kibaki. Our thoughts are supposed to be in uniformity with those of other in the area.

I live in Rift Valley, Kericho in particular, which is more or less the heartland of ODMís support. Running battles with police and gunshots had become the order of the day as people discussed secession with ease, oblivious of the ramification. Kibakiís tribes people, regardless of who they voted for were routed out of their homes and told to go and live in State House. Luoís were hacked out of Central in revenge.

Democracy, as I know it doesnít not entail forcing everyone to agree with you, you try to convince them but if they do not well and good. They are free to have their own view points. Nor does it entail voting for someone then having him/her rigged out.

People are destroying property and killing others in the name of democracy while others are using state instruments to revenge in the same name of democracy. Democracy is invoked by both parties but up to now I have yet to see how the unfolding events are in any way connected to this hallowed principle.

I am starting to wonder if we really need it!