Kisumu People are Not Violent, All they Want is a Credible Election
It’s exactly one year since I relocated to Kisumu, I was afraid that the electioneering period will find me in Kisumu with all those bad stories about the violence in Kisumu especially the hotspots of Kondele, Obunga and Nyalenda.
The stories of Kondele youths being violent scared me to death but thinking aloud, if you are a mother of five kids and treat the four well and neglect one what do you expect? You will be subjecting this kid to rebellion that i can equate to rebellion of Kisumu residents due to injustice meted on them every election year by police force when they dispute a sham election.
Early this year IEBC announced for position of voter educators and I applied not because of the money but I wanted to understand root cause of violence every electioneering period in Kisumu.
I was given the position of Kisumu central constituency voter educator, which covered six wards; market Milimani, Railway, kondele, Migosi, Shaurimoyo/Kaloleni and Nyalenda. My main interest area were the purported hotspots of Kondele, Obunga and Nyalenda.
We were so many stakeholders preaching plastic peace, some of the stakeholders involved were IEBC Kisumu central constituency, City of Kisumu urban areas Association (CKUUA), Kisumu constituency disability, Bunge la wananchi, Kisumu youth Olympic center (KYOC), Uraia Kenya, civil society organisation, 10 million bond, Truth hub, Coop Africa, NCCK, Area chiefs, Sitarusha Mawe Tena (Peace Ambassador Bonface – Alumni Yali network) among others.
During the voter education exercise we explained vividly the rights and obligation of voters as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
I assured the electorate that the election would be free, fair and credible, Voter education was excellent and I was surprised to see half a million spoilt votes, something must have gone wrong. The youths told me that if we did not give credible election they would come for me, what a big risk I took.
People of Kisumu came out in large number, voted peacefully and waited for the results. I was disappointed because the results did not reflect the peoples will, how was I to face the electorate after assuring them of a free, fair and credible election. Even if Chebukati postpones this elections 10 times until reforms are done the residents will still resist a sham election.
Unless reforms are done on the electoral body the people of Kisumu will still boycott elections, they categorically stated that they do not want a mockery of their vote, it’s equally not easy to be a staff of IEBC in Kisumu County because the trust among the electoral body and electorate is nil.
Some people will brand me a tribalist because am speaking on behalf of Kisumu residents, relax I have been to a conflict management class for one year and I understand the root cause of electoral injustice.
As Kenyans we are very good at pretending to be neutral when we are needed to stand up against atrocities meted on our people, it’s time we talk openly about lasting peace and not plastic peace. This can only happen if we openly talk about truth, electoral injustice and reconciliation.
Let us implement the Kriegler report on truth justice and reconciliation that’s when we can talk of lasting peace.
It really saddens me when some people celebrate the deaths of purported goons from Kondele, the youths of Kondele are very warm and loving people. They respect women and children, you will rarely find them defiling children and raping women. Let’s demystify these stereotypes, I feel very safe in their midst.
Kisumu residents do not need paramilitary for them to vote, they only need reforms in the electorate body and will not stop at resisting sham elections. They are resisting electoral injustices for the sake of all Kenyans
The purported Goons are my Mashujaa.
~ Courtesy Nyakoyugi Queen