Saturday, February 2, 2008

Kenya violence: is class struggle a factor?

Kenyan artist Onyango Oketch* describes the unrest in Kenya as a class struggle in which the slum-dwelling youth are a force to be reckoned with:
The ruling elite and majority middle class Kenyans do not understand this bombshell. Putting their faith in the truncheon welding, Robocop looking, live bullet firing apparatus of state, the well fed class go to sleep wishing for business as usual. This new generation of youth that uprooted miles upon miles of a one hundred year old, narrow gauge, colonial relic of a rail track at will, got shot to death for it, tear-gassed, bludgeoned and cordoned off in their slums to starve to death, will still limp back and come up for more - leaner, meaner and dangerous like a catamount. That is, unless we address their anger, their frustration and their feelings of hopelessness.
Kenya expert Robert Rotberg, interviewed by Newsweek, views class uprising as a regional factor in the violence:
In Kenya it's really an upsurge of people who are seeing an opportunity to right wrongs, to collect on chips they never thought they'd be able to collect on. And in the Rift Valley, move the fat cats out of the places where impoverished people have been subjected to them for too long.
* Onyango Oketch's essay appears as a guest-post at Vigilante Journalist blog. Live-blogging from Kenya, this blogger has posted some outstanding photos and reports. Her aim is to "create a real-time, independent source for news and analysis on conflicts around the world. . . " A kindred spirit!

1 comment:

  1. The truth shall set you free.The underlying truth in this whole mess is that politicians and neo colonialist have continued exploiting kenya's cultural diversity for their selfish reasons take foe instance when some pliticians result to making claims that the goverment under president kibaki has only benefited members from a certain region i.e Mt.Kenya which is ofcourse a shameless lie since we all know about the CDF(constituency development fund)and the Universal free primary education this are not only applied to the Mt.kenya region but through out the country
    Taking about the neo colonialist attitudes and selfish motives for instance there is credible evidence that suggests that Mr odinga had entered into agreements with the American and British goverments that if he had won the 2007 general elections,he would provide land to the latters for them to build military bases to be used to launch attacks against Somalia on the pretext of fighting osama bin ladens' forces no wonder the election observers have no evidence to back their rigging claims because all these countries were interested in was ousting Mr.Kibaki who has all along been against iraqi type of operations in Somalia
    All what these 2 groups of people (i.e the selfish self seeking politicians and neo-colonialist/imperialistic goverments) have succeeded in is exploiting the ignorance of mostly semi-illeterate Kenyans to advance their God forbidden narrow minded shallow agendas.


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