AMANI SASA DAILY UPDATE: 22nd February 2008

AMANI SASA DAILY UPDATE: 22nd February 2008[1]

THE HUMAN COST: Over 1000 dead and over 350, 000 displaced

National Youth violence Prevention Week

  • All are invited to the National Youth violence Prevention Week from the 23rd February -1st March 2008. Many youth organisations are collaborating to make this event reach as many youth as possible. The activities planned for the week include: Peace concerts, guidance and counselling in schools and IDP camps, a conference to encourage dialogue among the youth, Laying of flowers at KICC and freedom corner. These activities will take place concurrently in schools and informal settlements around Nairobi that is Kibera, Mathare, Huruma and Dandora.
  • The organisers are requesting for assistance in organising a peace garden for Kenyans, which will be run by the youth as a way of curbing unemployment.

Religious Initiatives

  • Rachel Mamoss and the Heal the Nation Foundation team is still fundraising to enable them visit all the camps countrywide. Any support towards this initiative is welcome.

Upcoming Activities

  • Concerned Youth for Peace is hosting leaders from poor urban settlements together with media practitioners at a meeting to discuss various activities being undertaken in the poor urban settlements and how these can be publicised. The meeting will be at the KEPSA boardroom, Shelter Afrique House (Mamlaka road), 2nd Floor between 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturday 23rd February 2008.
  • The Leadership Institute of Kenya Kirichwa Road near Masaba Hospital is organising a meeting at their offices on an intellectual approach to harmonising tribes, clans and races in Kenya and to develop materials for schools and colleges on Tuesday 26th February 2008 at 5.00 p.m. Persons from various cultures and backgrounds in Kenya are invited.

TODAY’S MEETINGS

08.00 The Peace Makers Update, Bruce House 14th Floor OPEN

11.00 PEACENET offices, Maalim Juma road Opp Royal media, Hurlingham OPEN

IN THE NEWS[2]

  • A public debate organised by the Kenya Chapter of the ICJ saw members of the public call for the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission.
  • Violence continued in Mathare area with lives lost and property destroyed over alleged rent disputes
  • Koffi Annan in a press statement stated that there is light at the end of the tunnel with both sides of the negotiation closing ranks over the creation of the position of prime Minister.
  • The fight against AIDS continues to flag with difficulties experienced in reaching IDP’s in the camps with the necessary drugs says NACC.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.

Martin Luther King Jr.

INSPIRATIONAL FEATURE

Today’s feature is a poem by Betty Muragori titled: The Language of Tribe


I

I am well versed in the idiom of tribe,

Having acquired the script long ago, from my family, friends, schools,

From my whole existence as a Kenyan really.

And I speak it with fluent authority.

There maybe times when I look different,

Special even, as if the language of tribe were beyond my understanding.

After all, I can cite my marriage, my children, my friends,

But that is a false impression,

I am like everyone else.

II

This uncomfortable truth led me on a journey.

I wanted to know,

What is this thing called tribe, really?

That has us all by the neck?

What does it look like?

How does it feel?

How do people live with it?

Laughing one moment with their tribal protagonist,

And the next, looking at each other across a wide abyss,

A yawning space, unbridgeable by the smiles of former friends,

Now bereft of all good intentions?

III

I wonder,

If tribe were a taste,

A sound,

A feeling,

A thing alive,

How would it be?

My experience of tribe is all sharp acid on the tongue,

Clanging metallic noises,

A rising tide of ill will,

A watchful expectation of ugly tribe rearing its head,

Reaching out to grab a cake, for itself,

To eat, quickly, greedily!

Tribe is grating loudly in my ears,

It must be heard!

It has me believing it is natural, inevitable like the heavens.

IV

Tribe makes me act secretly,

I hide myself in full public view.

I read the newspapers,

Watch behind the news,

Scan the streets,

Count the members of the church council,

On and on.

I tally the number of times my tribe emerges.

When the appearance is favourable,

I smile.

V

In my mind,

I add up all mounting disadvantage,

To store in my prized bag of tribal grievance,

I am so expert at computation,

I am no longer conscious of what I do.

You see, I am victim,

Innocent,

But for the tribal designs of others,

VI

The truth is revealed in broiling ethnic conclave,

Here, secrets of the heart are safe,

I bring my hush‐hush bliss to the fore,

To bemoan with relish my miserly pickings,

Condemn with glee the crumbs I feed on,

While others hog the national cake.



[1] This daily update is a service to all working for peace. It records the various independent initiatives currently underway to restore peace, assist the displaced and promote truth and justice. It does suggest that these actions are being centrally coordinated.

[2] Sourced from the Daily Nation –Feb 21st and 22nd February 2008

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