Until the infamous 2007/08 post-election violence, Kenya prided herself as being an island of peace in the sea of turmoil. The post-election violence nearly ruined this reputation. However, Kenya quickly came to its senses with the support of former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan that saved us from falling into the abyss.
But we are not out of the woods judging by recent events in the Tana Delta. In less than two months, ethnic skirmishes between the Pokomo and Orma have claimed more than 100 lives and displaced thousands of families. Property of unknown values has also been destroyed rendering many families indigent.
What the vast majority of Kenyans find annoying is that the government has been jolted into action only after many lives have been lost. The establishment of a commission of inquiry by the cabinet to investigate the Tana Delta Violence, though welcome, is a belated move. A government with the best interests of its subjects at heart would have taken measures long ago to stop unnecessary loss of life and destruction of property.
One would be forgiven for concluding that the Kenyan government's primary concern is the welfare of the high and mighty. Unlike the majority of Kenyans whose lives are constantly at threat, highly placed Kenyans such as cabinet ministers enjoy all round security with multiple police officers deployed to provide security at their homes, offices and cars.
Surprisingly this is done at the expense of taxpayers whose own security is now threatened. There is an urgent need for this government to start learning from its mistakes. Prevention is better than cure. It is the height of imprudence and very annoying to citizens that government waits until a situation gets out of hand before acting.
Once the Commission of Inquiry is put in place, it must move with speed to identify the root cause of Tana Delta violence. Those found to have played any role in fanning the violence must face the full wrath of the law. This will serve as a lesson to those intent on instigating violence in other parts of the country as we draw closer to a major general election.