April 29th 2017

Top Stories / Counties

Mandera needs leaders who can liberate the region from Jubilee bondage

At the same time, since 2013, hot tears were streaming down the insides of Mandera County’s soul. Since Kenya’s political independence no other regime has ever subjected the residents of Mandera County to harsh, repressive and cruel treatment as has the Jubilee administration.

By Jamal Bake HassanTuesday, 28 Feb 2017 13:06 EAT

Mandera Governor Ali Roba (in red tie) and his deputy together Omar Mohamed with Senator Billow Kerrow (in cap) and the Garri Council of Elders Chairman at a previous function. The Elders have endorsed politicians to run for various seats on the Jubilee ticket. (Photo: Courtesy/Nep Journal).

A keen look on North Eastern region's politics suggests that our leaders suffer from the ‘Stockholm syndrome’, a phenomenon where the oppressed person develops loyalty, sympathy and affection for the oppressor? This condition was once conspicuously apparent in the Wajir County where the residents who lost hundreds of their beloved ones and members of their family to state-sponsored annihilation, later dubbed the ‘Wagalla Massacre’, under President Moi’s regime developed unparalleled love and unflinching loyalty for Moi and his political party KANU.

For years after the reintroduction of multiparty politics in 1992, most Wajir leaders stuck to Kanu, the party that had oppressed them for decades, and treated the opposition leaders, who were closest to the region's people's aspirantions, with suspicion and indifference. It was only after Kanu had been voted out of power that the region finally looked at the other options available on the political menu.

But of late, the residents of Wajir County (Wajerians as I prefer to call them), have managed to break the chain and free themselves from the capture bond. Wajerians’ Romeo and Juliet style love for Moi and KANU is no more. One county, however, is moving in the opposite direction.

Since the promulgation of devolved structures of governance, the residents of Mandera County and their leaders are suffering from condition of Stockholm syndrome. They all love to their bone marrow their oppressor the Jubilee administration for which they voted 98 percent in 2013. At the same time, since 2013, hot tears were streaming down the insides of Mandera County’s soul. 

Since Kenya’s political independence no other regime has ever subjected the residents of Mandera County to harsh, repressive and cruel treatment as has the Jubilee administration. The regime’s abuses against the people of Mandera include extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, perpetual but ineffective curfews in the region, shielding the corrupt in the county government, building a fence along Somalia border to cut resident’s only economic lifeline, to converting Mandera County into military junta mini state…the list is long.

Ironically, the foregoing injustices and tyranny by the Jubilee administration notwithstanding, Mandera residents and their leaders are falling head over heals and fighting bare knuckles for Jubilee tickets in the upcoming general elections. This is disgraceful to say the least.

The writer is a lawyer and activist based in Mandera





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