147 VICTIMS OF A RELIGION

147So, last Thursday, several terrorists descended on the only public university in Northern Kenya and within hours, ( read, Kenya’s unpreparedness) wiped out 147 young men and women, full of life. Its very costly for a nation to lose young people. It was more disheartening to fathom that they were shot dead for having different religion beliefs with the perpetrators. Their young lives were cut short out of selfish, nefarious indoctrination of persons who don’t mind shedding blood. Its very sad for somebody to die while the parent is on phone trying desperately to convince an Al Shabaab guy to pardon his daughter. This is a true story by the way. Its unfortunate to die having put your hope against hope for seven hours only to be shot on the head, and your face disfigured in seconds. Am sorry for every parent who lost a son or daughter in this melee. Am sorry to you Christian, who is prodding so many queries and trying to understand the rationality of these extremists. I count on you Muslim brothers and sisters who declare disagreement openly on social media and on the streets with these wave of indoctrination.

Am perturbed by the new crop of terrorists. Techno savvy, well dressed, intelligent and who resemble your next door neighbour who just graduated from campus. Its now even harder to discern the so called ‘suspicious fellows’ who now prefer to meet in coffee shops than dark dungeons or in some mosques deep in the estates. They will plan meticulously for their next execution in school, offices or homes in the leafy suburbs.  Kenyans are a bitter lot. We are angry with the government handling of the Garissa attack. We are mad with the politicians who now purport to produce a list of terrorists in Northern Kenya. We are very mad with villagers who harbor and hide these villains. I was taken aback by a fellow on social media who claimed to have had the knowledge, that one of the four terrorists who was alleged to have graduated from U.O.N, was undergoing indoctrination and didn’t report. Its wrong to hide these guys. Whether you report and police don’t take action is not a worse mistake than you having the full knowledge of these terror cells and covering them up or not reporting. You are equally guilty of abdicating your responsibility as a citizen. God will punish you too.

KENYA-SOMALIA-UNREST147 is indeed not just a number. In that list, are young people who meant everything to their village. Some were the first to step on a “University door” in the history of their extended family’s lifetime. For some, their parents had to part away with their precious ancestral land just to make sure their sons and daughters got a university education. Here are families who survive from hand to mouth just to reap the fruits of their sacrifices later when their children are done with campus. For these families to come to terms with the events that led to the death of their children is a horrifying experience. Their kids paid the ultimate price of their faith. They died the season Jesus died. They died because they wouldn’t recite a shahada prayer. They died because in the eyes of a terrorist, they’re ‘wanafiki'(hypocrites). They died of a war they had nothing to do with.The question is, for how long, will Kenyans die in the hands of delinquents who are out to drive a pedestrian and inhumane ideology?

The President’s spokesman said it is a learning curve. For how long will young lives die, dreams be shattered, parents lose their goldmines, as the government ‘learns’? I listened to one of the callers in an evening show talking of how, with just  3 attacks, Kenya is capable of losing over 500 lives. He went further to put across that, a country like Pakistan which is hit by terrorists more often, loses an average of 13 – 40 people. Meaning it would take like 12 attacks to equal Kenya’s 500 deaths. For Israel, you need 100 attacks to achieve the same. Bottom line; it all boils to preparedness. Kenya’s disaster management and preparedness is ailing in the I.C.U. If I was to give a scorecard I would give it an ‘E’. Its laughable that we would rather send Interior cabinet secretary and his I.G, Boinnet in the first chopper available than the RECCE squad. Sadly, our government is obsessed with P.R and has its priorities upside down.

Speaking of RECCE squad, I stumbled on something shocking on social media from investigative journalist, Dennis Okari, that a guy with over 10 years experience earns a gross salary of sh.24,000. I even stumbled on one of the chap’s family raising funds to bury their son who died on the front line saving lives and battling belligerence minds. To say that the government is disorganised in the whole handling of Garissa massacre is an understatement. From Kisii, Bungoma to Kiambu and many alike Counties, tears and wails rent the air, as bodies of the poor souls were embarking on their final journey. I particularly draw attention to a lady I spotted on the newspaper, Angela Nyokabi aka Jojo, young, cheerful, beautiful and full of life. A couple of my friends on Facebook poured resentment and anger to the government and consolation to Jojo’s family. Though i hadn’t met her, I was touched by their messages. Rest in peace Jojo and all your colleagues who didn’t deserve to die a cold blood death.

After many years of rampant and runaway corruption from Immigration offices across to the border officials to the lazy chiefs who sit on intelligence, finally the chicken have come home to roost. That can only be mitigated when we learn very fast. Otherwise young and innocent lives, talents and legends, devoted parents and hardworking citizens will be wiped out in an eyes’ brink, all due to greediness of some few government officials. However the entire blame should not be solely directed to government, you and me that sit on intelligence and cover up terrorists are equally culpable.

I sympathise will all families that lost their loved ones. Your daughters and sons didn’t deserve to die such a brutal death. Am sorry for your irreplaceable loss. May the Lord be with you as you confront the grief and as you come to terms with your loved ones demise.

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