In Summary
  • We never mourn properly, never take time to reflect and above all never know the whole truth of what happens in these brutal attacks.
  • As we deny, forget and conceal the truth and pretend we have moved on, we are going headlong towards another round of political and ethnic violence.

Last week I made the long road journey to Mpeketoni for the burial of one of the 65 Kenyans slaughtered in last month’s attack.

It was a harrowing, depressing experience bringing back painful memories of similar violence that I have witnessed in the North Rift and elsewhere for the past 30 years.

More discouraging still, you leave a burial ground with a heavy heart knowing you will soon hear reports of more deaths, and indeed within an hour, we passed through Witu where traumatised residents relayed news of five more killings.

We never mourn properly, never take time to reflect and above all never know the whole truth of what happens in these brutal attacks. We can blame Al-Shabaab, MRC, local politicians, Mungiki, land issues and even the devil for the Mpeketoni massacre, but will investigations ever uncover the truth?

Truth is the first victim and in the Kenyan case, also the last, as we blame, politicise, cover up until the media moves on to the next massacre.

We still don’t have an agreed narrative on what happened in the 1992, 1997 and 2007 violence, primarily because neither side of the political divide could cope with what the truth would reveal, so we have some details but not the full truth about Naivasha, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu and Kibera from PEV 2007 and we certainly won’t be allowed to know the truth about Westgate.

So don’t expect to be told what happened in Mpeketoni. But there are other narratives that cannot be denied even if they are ignored and those are the stories of the victims.

INVISIBLE AND UNREPRESENTED

Mpeketoni residents sleep in the bush, constantly dreading another door-to-door round of targeted killings.

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