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The month of October has become a month impassioned with celebrations for Kenyans to mark the achievements of two leaders who have ruled Kenya since independence.

The most recent celebration, October 10th, has been dubbed as Moi day while Kenyatta day falls on October 20th. As usual, Kenyans will be allowed off from work to attend political functions to listen to political rhetoric. But the most important question regarding these celebrations Kenyans have to ask themselves is "What do we have to celebrate about Moi day?" Many Kenyans who witnessed Kenya’s independence in 1963 will recall that the founding father promised to guide the Nation in fighting poverty, disease, unemployment, illiteracy and specially, above all the shackles of oppression. Contrary to this great promised optimism, instead Kenyans today experience economical turmoil, political decay and insecure security of mega proportions. What has really happened to Kenya under Moi's regime? The last twenty years of our independence reflects bad memories for Kenyans.

As l remember the chronology of events: massacres, human rights abuses, torture, corruption and destitution have descended on Kenyans in the last two decades of the Nyayo rule. Kenyans remember with terrifying memories these past events. For many Kenyans, Moi Day has become a day to reflect on the bitter memories of massacres associated with the system under his dictatorial rule. Today as Kenyans bravely celebrate the twenty first anniversary of the Nyayo era since Moi ascended to the throne, for us in North Eastern Province this day marks a different calendar of events in our mind.

A chronology of massacres is synonymous with the Nyayo era. It marks the first anniversary of the Bagalla Massacre and 15 years since the Wagalla Massacre in Wajir and the 19th anniversary since the Garissa Massacre in 1980. In October 1998, 216 Kenyans (mostly women and children) were massacred in cold blood in Wajir, in what became the Bagalla massacre by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). This happened in the full face of the Kenya Government.

Five hundred families have been robbed of their livelihood - seventeen thousand herds of livestock including sheep, goats, cattle and camels were stolen. Fifty-two girls have been abducted and to this day their whereabouts is not known. None of the abducted girls nor the seventeen thousand herds of animals taken by OLF have been recovered by the security forces to this date. The families are today destitute and are starving in the Giriftu and Eldas locations of the Wajir District with no government support. Ironically the Kenya government gives sanctuary to the Oromo Liberation Front.

Kenyans must know that Moi has ruled the country with an Iron Fist. He has incorporated a system that divides and rules and funded a reign of terror and nepotism. Our country once renown for its zeal to achieve heights is now ransacked with empty coffers. To those who still support him and others, my objective is to ask you what we have to gain by celebrating Nyayo day or Moi day. Moi is a murderer and should be indicted for crimes against humanity.


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