Not in My Country Kenya

 

  1. We stand together as Kenyan citizens today, deeply concerned about the dark turn our cherished country has taken.
  2. We see a rogue government that is now law unto itself.  We are standing together today to say we cannot let this happen – not in our country.
  3. On the 30th of January, the Jubilee regime shut down 3 media houses, and extended the information blackout with threats of investigation for ‘subversion’. Security forces have launched a crackdown on journalists, editors, and opposition leaders, and after some vindictive drama, charged an MP with an offence that it will be difficult to prove in court. Ordinary citizens have not been spared – they are also being threatened with arrest for supporting the peaceful swearing-in of Raila Odinga as ‘The Peoples President’.
  4. The government claims it has averted a ‘looming massacre’. But this flies in the face of the truth. The gathering of thousands of people from all over the country on Tuesday January 30 2018 was historically and overwhelmingly peaceful. It proved that - given the chance - Kenyans express their hopes and desires for their beloved country peacefully. It tells us what we knew to be true in 2017: that it is the Kenyan police that bring violence, not the people.
  5. Editors are now facing the threat of arbitrary arrest for simply doing their job – and for continuing to do it, despite enormous pressure. Providing the public with information is being made a crime. …. Will you, the people, allow this to happen in our country?
  6. Kenya is deeply divided and unhappy after a fraught and violent election year that seems to have produced no real winners.  The unhappy stalemate is hurting us as citizens, and setting the stage for conflict. We are deeply concerned about reports of inter-communal violence, with people being attacked and killed because of their ethnicity. Ethnic mafias are being mobilized. There are protests in the counties – what is happening in our country? It is dangerous to be kept in the dark, as happened with the television blackout.
  7. Since the elections, the Jubilee government has been grappling with serious questions of acceptance and legitimacy. The huge turnout for the ‘Peoples’ President’ ceremony points to a deep crisis. Selective arrests, bans and shutdowns will not resolve it. Kenyans are becoming desperate – political instability is on-going; food prices are continuously on the rise; job-layoffs are becoming the order of the day; and critical public services such as health and education are either sub-standard or are not truly free as the government would want us to believe. This is a painful existence for the ordinary Kenyan. People feel they already have very little to count on. Taking away our freedoms is something that we cannot and will not bear.
  8. The government, meanwhile, is picking and choosing the aspects of the Constitution it wants to use. We have seen the appointment of a cabinet that disregards the gender rule required by the Constitution and reaffirmed by the courts. The President has also established a new office - the Chief Administrative Secretaries within the Cabinet – that is not recognized in the Constitution’s definition of the cabinet. There are attempts to shield appointees from vetting.
  9. There are also appointments to the National Police Service that fail to comply with the requirements of public participation. Institutions like the National Police Service Commission are meant to be safeguards and sources of public oversight - but are fast becoming rubber-stamps for arbitrary, repressive actions.  And can we say our newly elected Parliament will help protect our country?  Not if it routinely fails to question the actions of the Executive.
  10. There has been plenty of pressure on both sides of the political divide to engage in dialogue, and talk. The deafening silence is threatening to reverse gains the country made since the 2007-08 post-election violence.
  11. Are we going to just stand by and watch our country slide back into authoritarianism? It seems we are simply watching our hard-fought rights and freedoms be taken away….Let us stand together and say NO – Not in our Country
  12. In Kenya, the long and heroic struggle for democracy came at great cost for many individuals and families. This government has shown us this week that it intends to take us back into fear and deprivation.
  13. We have to speak up and say ‘Not in our Country’. This is a call for action. We must reclaim the Kenya that is rightfully ours.
  14. We will begin #NotInOurCountry protests on Monday with a peaceful demonstration against the actions of this rogue government; and we will put the political leadership on notice. The government serves the people; we do not serve you.  Kenyans want to be represented by a government that cherishes and respects human rights values of equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law. This is what we - the people - proclaimed when we enacted the Constitution. That constitution governs us all – with no exceptions.

 


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