YVONNE'S TAKE: The River Yala saga - A crying shame

  • Bodies being dumped in rivers and forests and game parks in this country is nothing new.
  • The recent one in River Yala is no exception.
  • Twenty five bodies retrieved in the last 2 months. Have you heard from the security apparatus on this matter?

Kenya is no country for the poor, if the events in Gem constituency along the River Yala are anything to go by. Bodies being dumped in rivers and forests and game parks in this country is nothing new. The recent one in River Yala is no exception.

Twenty five bodies retrieved in the last 2 months. Have you heard from the security apparatus on this matter? Are they as shocked, aggrieved, angry as the rest of us are? Beyond that, how could this be happening under their watch? Tell me, how is it possible that this can happen in independent Kenya? What has the CS Interior said about this? Has he visitid the site? What of the Inspector General of Police? The DCI? The area police boss, regional commissioner? Has there been any questioning of witnesses, gathering of evidence, basic investigations? Oh, and what of your favourite presidential candidate? Whoever he is? What is he saying about this? Can he even locate River Yala on the map?
Why are we acting like this is normal? Is it? Worse still is hearing some narratives that some of the dead found in the river may have been criminals. Okay, if that be the case, what is our criminal justice system for? Have we become an eye for an eye society, have we suspended the rule of law?

Let me give you a contrast, from the United Kingdom. After all, we have borrowed a lot from there, haven’t we? Now over there, there is a huge uproar over the Prime Minister Boris Johnson breaking curfew rules he set himself. Evidence that he attended parties when other British citizens were not allowed to. The outrage there has been swift, the condemnation stinging, even calls for his resignation. An independent investigation conducted by senior civil servant sue gray, whose report is expected very soon. Plus the UK police is actually investigating this. The police in the UK is investigating the Prime Minister there for attending a party during strict curfew rules. A party, ladies and gentlemen.
Yet in Kenya, it’s about a murder. 25 murders to be exact. 25 bodies dumped in a river and, um, where is the police? Where are the government authorities? Where is Parliament on this matter? Where is the opposition?

Now, this is not to say that the UK is better than us, they certainly have their flaws in governance and justice, but these two incidents strike such a chord in my mind that is saddening, to say the least.

Silence and inaction in the face of injustice and crime should never be something that we are comfortable with in this country. If the sight of tens of bodies rotting in a river, cannot jolt us back to our senses, what will?

I know it is election season and perhaps all our antennae are tuned toward political noise. Perhaps we are too busy listening to the charming tales of the politicians and the lofty promises some of which should never convince even a small child. But let me remind fellow countrymen and women, if that politician you are so excited about cannot care about the plight of Kenyan families going through agony of identifying those decomposing bodies in the river, who tells you they will care about you when they get to office?

This is a test for our country, a test of real leadership. If only we could open our eyes. But perhaps, I am dreaming. Of a country where every life matters, a country where leadership is about people. A country where leaders are true servants and where our problems are truly their problem. A country where everyone in public office can simply do their job. That is my dream and that is my take.

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