SOMALI COMMUNITY OF CANADA
Toronto, Ontario Phone: 1-416-778-8396 or 1-519-254-7397
Fax: 1-413-473-8043 , 1-613-736-1789 or 1-613-521-9228
The month of
October has become a month impassioned with celebrations for Kenyans to mark the
achievements of two leaders who have ruled Kenya since independence.
most recent celebration, October 10th, has been dubbed as Moi day while Kenyatta
day falls on October 20th. As usual, Kenyans will be allowed off from work to
attend political functions to listen to political rhetoric. But the most important
question regarding these celebrations Kenyans have to ask themselves is "What
do we have to celebrate about Moi day?" Many Kenyans who witnessed Kenya’s independence
in 1963 will recall that the founding father promised to guide the Nation in fighting
poverty, disease, unemployment, illiteracy and specially, above all the shackles
of oppression. Contrary to this great promised optimism, instead Kenyans today
experience economical turmoil, political decay and insecure security of mega proportions.
What has really happened to Kenya under Moi's regime? The last twenty years of
our independence reflects bad memories for Kenyans.
l remember the chronology of events: massacres, human rights abuses, torture,
corruption and destitution have descended on Kenyans in the last two decades of
the Nyayo rule. Kenyans remember with terrifying memories these past events. For
many Kenyans, Moi Day has become a day to reflect on the bitter memories of massacres
associated with the system under his dictatorial rule. Today as Kenyans bravely
celebrate the twenty first anniversary of the Nyayo era since Moi ascended to
the throne, for us in North Eastern Province this day marks a different calendar
of events in our mind.
A chronology of massacres is synonymous with the Nyayo era. It marks the first
anniversary of the Bagalla Massacre and 15 years since the Wagalla Massacre in
Wajir and the 19th anniversary since the Garissa Massacre in 1980. In October
1998, 216 Kenyans (mostly women and children) were massacred in cold blood in
Wajir, in what became the Bagalla massacre by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).
This happened in the full face of the Kenya Government.
Five hundred families have been robbed of their livelihood - seventeen thousand
herds of livestock including sheep, goats, cattle and camels were stolen. Fifty-two
girls have been abducted and to this day their whereabouts is not known. None
of the abducted girls nor the seventeen thousand herds of animals taken by OLF
have been recovered by the security forces to this date. The families are today
destitute and are starving in the Giriftu and Eldas locations of the Wajir District
with no government support. Ironically the Kenya government gives sanctuary to
the Oromo Liberation Front.
must know that Moi has ruled the country with an Iron Fist. He has incorporated
a system that divides and rules and funded a reign of terror and nepotism. Our
country once renown for its zeal to achieve heights is now ransacked with empty
coffers. To those who still support him and others, my objective is to ask you
what we have to gain by celebrating Nyayo day or Moi day. Moi is a murderer and
should be indicted for crimes against humanity.