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New beginnings

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


The upper part of Kenya, or the Northern Frontier extending all the way past upper Eastern to upper Rift Valley province is a study in character. Fifty years after the colonialist left, lifestyle seems to have stood still in the behinds of the interiors of this places, with sophisticated guns being the only modernity to make a visit. Guys still live in Manyattas whose structure, build and purpose has not changed for centuries.

While modern clothing is one of the greatest legacies our white masters bequeathed us, walking around in a loin clothe for men and topless women showing breast the shape of the loveliest mountains is the norm up there. Kenya, some will tell you, is a place they imagine beyond the vast ridges, Laga's and terrains so rough snakes find it hard to slither.

The societal social structure remains almost intact as it has been over the centuries; -sets determine how life revolves, and as of yore when raiding from one community would make a foray into another tribe to acquire livestock and virgins, the same is required of the age-sets today. Warriors have come of age, they want to prove their manhood.

I am told it is the rainy season up there. With plenty of pasture for goat and cow, young blood warriors are raring to swell the number of their livestock. It is the way of life.

What went awry with the police is a matter for the elders, but disarming the Turkana will simply not do. It is like asking a football team to play without a goalkeeper. Their traditional rivals the Pokots, the Samburu, the Merille, the Sangira and the Karamajong will have a field day, raiding at will.

The problem up there goes crosses the border and spills into Uganda, Southern Sudan, Ethiopia and at times rears its head into the lawless Somali.

Whatever KDF does up there, let it be a lesson to all and sundry that taking the life of a policeman is signing your death sentence. But let the governments, yes, regional governments too wake up to the fact that when communities are allowed to go at each others necks for livestock and slay each other at will 24-7-364, then the value for life diminishes in their eye and even that of a police officer seems ordinary like that of any other.

I say let the uniform (Govt) be respected, but going into Turkana territory with Samburu reservists could have triggered memories that date back into warring times. To dis-arm the Turkana is also throwing away the Elmi triangle that is contested by Kenya and other regional governments up there. Get the elders, knock their knees a bit and order them to maintain order among their protege.

It is not everywhere that the law applies as it is written in the constitution. That is why their is a law called the law of the jungle.

Mutuiri Gitonga

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