July 27th 2017

Opinion / Commentaries

As a Somali, I have no business defending Duale

The Somalis also have substantial investment outside their ancestral counties. It behoves us as a community to ensure that Mr Duale is stopped from using his loose tongue. To my sisters and brothers, let’s not defend Duale, let him carry his own cross.

By Jamal Bake HassanMonday, 09 Jan 2017 17:30 EAT

Ethnic Somali women detained at the Kasarani Stadium in 2014. (Photo: Courtesy/Warya Post)

Since the audio tape emerged last week in which House majority leader Aden Duale is alleged to have fired warnings for members of the Kamba community in Garissa, there has been intense politicking in Garissa and the larger North Eastern region with various groups being mobilised to declare the innocence of Mr Duale, who in the eyes of politically conscious Kenyans has distinguished himself only as a reckless parrot of the Jubilee administration, a loose cannon, all time boot-licker and father of sycophancy.

I hereby say that Mr Duale should be left to carry his cross alone. The MP has a perennial habit of identifying himself with the Somali community only when he is in the hot soup. I can't remember any position Mr Duale took at critical times when the Somali community faced blanket repression from the government which he serves so loyally. He doesn't give a hoot about the community when they need him most, and I recall many times in the recent past when the community needed a supportive voice in high places only to meet with his indifference.

Who can tell me what Duale's positions were during #KasaraniConcentrationCamp, #OperationUsalamaWatch, #ManderaMassGraves, #ManderaBullaHawaWall, #WajirMassGraves, #ExtraJudicialKillings, #EnforcedDissapearances, among other issues? Didn't the MP make fortunes during these times when the government visited misfortunes on the community? The MP coiled his tail between his legs, he condemned himself to the dark corner and went mute.

Yet, since the Nation Media Group covered his recent incendiary speech against the Kamba community, the MP has orchestrated press conferences by some mostly Nairobi-based Somali writers and activists to a start a hashtag #AntiSomaliNMG on both Twitter and Facebook to shield himself against accountability.

With his reckless remarks, Mr Duale is brewing a disaster for the Somalis of this country; he is pitting our people against other communities that have lived with us in peace for decades. If the worst comes to worst, the Somali community would be the biggest loser, since many of our people have left their ancestral homes in northern Kenya in doves and now reside in virtually all the cities, towns and even small settlements across Kenya.

The Somalis also have substantial investment outside their ancestral counties. It behoves us as a community to ensure that Mr Duale is stopped from using his loose tongue. Failure to do this would be tantamount to inviting trouble onto the community. To my sisters and brothers, let’s not defend Duale, let him carry his own cross.

The writer is a lawyer and activist based in Mandera





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