Friday, February 13


Something struck me as odd when I was reading this article in Kenya's Nation newspaper, by Bernard Namunane and Macharia Gaitho, on the politics behind the rejection of a law to create a tribunal for trying post-election violence suspects. And then I realized...they're actually referring to tribal political divisions directly, rather than employing the usual euphamistic "certain communities":
There was also a strange convergence of interests. On the surface, the pushing and shoving over the proposed trials pitted the Kalenjin group led by Agriculture minister William Ruto against the President’s Kikuyu group fronted by personalities such as Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Justice Minister Martha Karua and Internal Security minister George Saitoti.
I see in the comments to the article, that there's already some grumbling about stirring up tribal divisions. But this stuff's no secret, I don't think it hurts to put it out in the open.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

That's interesting—I didn't realize it was taboo to refer to tribal issues directly.

It makes me think of the Aidan Hartley op-ed in the NYT, written during the clashes early last year. He wrote of the pre-election rallies: "When they spoke English for the Western news media’s benefit, they talked of human rights and democracy. But when they switched to local languages, it was pure venom and ethnic chauvinism." Any sense that's how it is in the papers?