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Why Uhuru’s praise on police flies in the face of his visit to the ailing Matiba

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By John Ouko

December 7, 2017

When President Uhuru Kenyatta sent out a statement lauding the police for “a job-well-done” in dealing with the dealing with the situation surrounding his re election and the subsequent riots, many Kenyans thought he was off the mark.

His statement may have been meant to send a message to supporters of opposition outfit National Super Alliance (NASA) that he was firmly in charge as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and that he would not hesitate to unleash the officers on anyone out to question his authority and legitimacy to the throne.

Surprisingly, soon after Uhuru made that pronouncement he was at the Nairobi Hospital to visit veteran politician Kenneth Matiba. Perhaps, the cobalt around Uhuru should have reminded him that the former FORD Asili leader is in hospital largely as a result of injuries inflicted on him by rogue police officers unleashed on him by per father Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi.

It is an insult to Matiba and the Matiba’s of today to visit him in hospital, days after ‘thanking’ police officers for brutally and fatally dealing with anti government protestors.

For starters, Kenneth Matiba alongside other leaders, some of them long dead, was one of the politicians of the so called second liberation. He was incarcerated, tortured and maimed so that Kenyans could enjoy some of the freedoms and human rights enjoyed today. A casual check at his medical report will show anyone that his body is paying the price for standing firm to the Moi dictatorship and authoritarian rule that was ended by the introduction of multy party politics in Kenya.

When Raila Odinga, Paul Muite, Gitobu Imanyara, James Orengo, Timothy Njoya and a few others visit Matiba in hospital, it would be understood as comrades in the struggle meeting to check on each other. Uhuru may want to impress some people, but his visit is a direct contradiction to his actions as Commander in Chief and the subsequent well-done note to the officers.

NASA leader Raila Odinga took time to explain his eye condition and how it came about during his days with Matiba in the struggle. It is sad that today, so many years later, people still suffer in the hands of police for merely expressing their dislike to the government. Indeed Orengo, Muite and the others could tell unending stories about what they went through in the hands of the Moi boys, the detentions, the beatings and even family problems.

While he was visiting Matiba in hospital, the boys he praised for their brutality were busy preying on NASA strategist David Ndii at the Coast for doing what Matiba and his friends did in the 90s, albeit, in a modern way.

Details of what the President discussed with Matiba are not known but hopes Uhuru saw the need to enhance, and not diminish the democratic space that Matiba and his colleagues fought so hard for and are now paying for with their health. In fact, Timothy Njoya must have frothed in the mouth when he heard that Uhuru visited Matiba.

 

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