This is a good time to realise the power of stereotypes and their role in the dehumanisation of others to the point of indifference in death.

The narrative of Luos as violent hooligans has led to a very dull national response to their plight because we figure that in some way they deserve it and why were they going to protest anyway. Our biases have bypassed our logical interrogation sense and has blinded us to the reality of targeted killings, police brutality and what I would call something short of crimes against humanity.

This is however the most effective and time-tested way of hardening masses and creating opposition that you cannot handle. Even at full capacity, the armed forces cannot possibly handle an all-out uprisal and once the people realise that, only then will they realise the power that they hold.
The level of violence we are currently witnessing is not quelling unrest. There has hardly been any unrest. The protests in Kibera were nonviolent.No shop was looted, no house was burnt, no person was attacked. This was not police response with appropriate force. The police camped in Kibera, Kawangware, Mathare and Kisumu in anticipation of violence except they were the perpetrators of this violence. Raw, ruthless, unrelenting violence meted out against innocent civilians exercising their right to peaceful protest is the story of war zones.

In our privilege, we can look away. In our privilege, we want everyone to "accept and move on." The truth is unpalatable unless told in our versions. The pictures are unnecessary unless they tell our stories. The narratives are incitement unless they echo our emotions. Silence in the face of injustice is complicity.

Life is not a privilege. Speaking out is not a death sentence. We need to do better.

                                                     Photo Credit:

Side note: The media's role is also complex in situation of violence depending on the social and political angles attached. It's not black and white. There has been heavy handedness of the armed forces against the media, confiscation of equipment and footage and arrest, among other ills that have been faced by journos to get you the clips and reports that they have. Journalists also have to actually verify the news against multiple sources as a means of journalistic integrity so citizen reports are good, authentication is better. We blamed the media very heavily for the 2007 PEV because we claim it helped fuel the fire but we suddenly summon them now at our behest? The media is damned either way. If they show violence, they're inciting mass hysteria and the spread of the violence, if they don't, they're protecting the government and complicit with the extra-judicial killings. 2007 should have inspired responsible reporting as opposed to silence.

#StopExtraJudicialKillings #LuoLivesMatter


  1. Yes,you are right.Infact,as a leader,I would be more concerned with the silence of the intolerably oppressed than with the noise of street rioters


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