In a news report item published in “The Standard” Newspaper, CORD co-principal,Moses Wetangula has implied that the Mpeketoni massacre,which Al Shabaab has apparently claimed responsibility through a third party journalist in Somalia may have an angle to the TJRC report which detailed historical injustices related with land issues in the former Coast Province.
Mpeketoni has a big land scheme settlement inhabited by people mainly from the former Central Province who were settled there in the 1960’s and 1970’s by the then President,Jomo Kenyatta.
It is curious how Al Shabaab would for whatever other reason use the massacre on this entirely one community based settlement to settle scores with the Kenyan Government for deploying Kenya Defence Forces into Somalia to hunt down the terrorists.
It would now seem that Al Shaabab has moved on from trying to create religiuos animosity among kenyans by aligning its current attacks on the current political polarity fanned by CORD protest rallies that pit different communities against their perceived aggressors on the political front.
Bonny Khalwale introduced a new angle into this potent mix of Al Shaabab terrorism and TJRC report by asking what a community all the way from Central Province was doing at the Lamu settlement.
It seems that,as far as our politicians are concerned,Communities should be hemmed in their places of origin without having them scattered all over Kenya,either for purposes of business or settlement.
In various press conferences addressed by polticians across the political divide,there seems to be cynicism over the Al Shaabab connection in the attack,pointing more towards the political agitation currently prevailing in the country.
There is also the case of timing and coincidence of the massacre happening immediately after the Tononoka CORD protest rally that addressed similar issues on historical injustices pertaining to Land around the region.
As we mourn the victims of this massacre,our politicians are busy trading accusations and blame game on this sad event that poses a big test on our overall country’s security situation amid renewed political and terrorist threats on our homeland.
A united Kenya can defeat outsourced terror,but it would stretch its security apparatus to the limit if it is also called upon to counter premeditated acts of political sabotage.
Meanwhile,a war of words erupted between Jubilee alliance and CORD over who should take responsibility for the Mpeketoni attack in which 48
people were shot dead.
During separate Press briefings at Parliament Building, the two coalitions exchanged bitter words,
with CORD demanding that Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku resigns following the attack.
Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula and National Assembly Minority Whip Chris Wamalwa
led other CORD politicians including Mong’are Bwo’Okong’o (Nyamira) and Boni Khalwale (Kakamega) in condemning the Mpeketoni attack,
pointing an accusing finger at the country’s ‘failed’ security system.
Mr Wetang’ula faulted Lenku for blaming the attack on politicians before collecting adequate facts to
warrant such a conclusion.
“The rush to blame this incident on politicians is an avenue of failure when the State is unable to unravel the truth,” Wetang’ula said.
Wetangula observed that the Government should revisit the
Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report to address the issues raised in the document
if indeed after conclusive investigations it turns out
that the attacks were fanned by historical injustices.
Busia Senator Amos Wako asked the Government to divorce the country’s justice system from politics while Khalwale said the security structure was both defective and ineffective and demanded that conclusive investigations be done.
Earlier, eight Jubilee leaders asked the police to follow political links which they said surround the
MPs Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Cecily Mbarire (Runyejes), Alice Ng’ang’a (Thika Town), Rachel
Shebesh (Nairobi), Benjamin Lang’at (Ainamoi), David Bowen (Marakwet East), Soipan Tuya ((Narok) and Julius Meli (Tinderet) urged Kenyans to exercise restraint and await investigations by security
The MPs asked police to pursue and investigate the theory that the ongoing CORD rallies across the
country and particularly in Mombasa last Sunday are allegedly a precursor to the attack.
They asked the Opposition to continue with their rallies without disturbing the peace knowing that
there is no leadership vacuum in the country.
Mpeketoni was created as a
settlement in the late 1960s and early 1970s by President Jomo Kenyatta to settle landless Kenyans,
mainly from Murang’a and other parts of the former Central Kenya, who were expelled from Tanzania
after the collapse of first East Africa Community.
The settlement was centred around a fresh water lake named after the first President of Kenya.
The original inhabitants were Bajuni and Watta who were soon outnumbered by the newcomers.
Other tribes including Luo and Akamba also live there.
Mpeketoni township, owes its name to an admixture of Kiswahili “Mpe” meaning “give” and carton
(English) — “Mpe katoni”.
Locals say that as the landless settlers got off the lorries that transported them to the settlement with cartons bearing their essentials, the officer-in- charge barked, “Mpe katoni” (give him/her the carton).
“Mpe katoni” later evolved to Mpeketoni,the popular name of the settlement.
The township is within the larger Mpeketoni settlement scheme.
The town has three main exit routes and it neighbours Pandanguo Forest to the north.
The first exit is towards the south east which heads to Lake Kenyatta.
Another exit road heads east to Mokowe while the third heads to west to connect to Witu.
Pandanguo Forest is part of the expansive forest cover that joins Boni Wildlife Forest which goes up
to Ijara and neighbours Somalia.
This is the forest that the Sunday night attackers are believed to have
vanished into after killing 48 people.
Mpeketoni, which served as a model for other State schemes in Witu, Hindi and Mokowe is the centre of
Lamu politics due to an increasing population.
By June 1977, the Mpeketoni scheme was fully occupied with 3,480 settlement plots covering an area of 14,224 hectares, with one settler’s allocation averaging 10 acres.
Their numbers have grown by leaps and bounds and according to the 2009 census report, the population
is nearing 50,000 with the age of the second generation averaging 37 years old.
Despite presence of security personnel bases in the region, there was a poor response from both police and the military, eliciting public outrage.
The attack, which lasted for hours, did not draw any immediate response from police and the military personnel who arrived more than 10 hours after the first attack on the only police station in the area.
There are at least four security bases in the area, with two being military bases, one belonging to the
General Service Unit at Mukowe, army bases at Hindi and Witu and a National Youth Service training
institution at Baragoni area.
Lamu County experienced the Shifta War, which economically crippled the area until the late 90s when the government managed to contain the
Between 1963 and 1967, Kenya fought the Shifta War against Somali residents who sought union with
their kin in the Somali Republic to the north.
The area is expected to be in the world map economically once the Standard Gauge Railway is
Recently, it has been in the limelight with indigenous communities complaining that the 2007/8 Internally Displaced Persons were being ferried to the area.
Locals demanded an immediate
stop to the influx of the IDPs.
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