Kenya: Bloggers react to Uhuru Park bomb blast

Six people were killed and 75 injured in an explosion at a political rally in Nairobi on Sunday. The rally was organized by the “No” team, which opposes the passing of the new constitution. Church leaders in Kenya have blamed the government for the explosion. President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are in the “YES” camp, which supports the constitution. The proposed new constitution will be put to vote in August this year.

The question most Kenyans online are trying to answer is who is behind the explosion? Ken Opalo does not rule out Somalia connection:

This is a worrying occurrence, given the goings on in Somalia. I hope the blasts were isolated freak accidents and not organized acts of terror designed to intimidate those opposed to the draft constitution.

Kenya Political says that the incident brings to the fore issues of insecurity, religious intolerance and political violence in Kenya:

It shows how fragile Kenya is irregardless of the post election violence that rocked the country after the disputed 2007 election. The referendum campaigns are bringing out pent up emotions in the Kenya populace that shows that Kenya as a country is still not far from the precipice that it slid into in 2008 despite the smokescreen that the grand coalition government is.

He also points out that this is the second security incident this year:

This is the second security incident this year in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. In January this year, Nairobi was the scene of demonstrations organized to push the government to release radical Jamaican Islamic preacher Abdulla al-Faisal. Scores were injured and several people died. A General Service Unit police officer was shot and injured by demonstrators who were armed. Demonstrators shouted slogans and donned flags associated with contraversial Somali Islamist al-shabaab militia.

Onyango Oloo introduces himself as “an expert with a valid opinion on who was behind the bombing at Uhuru Park”:

And that is how I want to introduce myself, Onyango Oloo, as an expert with a valid opinion on who was behind the bombing at Uhuru Park. Everyone knows that you do not have to go to Kiganjo Police College, Scotland Yard or wherever those FBI guys earn their right to flash their IDs to know who dunnit, ama?

On a more serious, sober and political note, if one wants to find out who is behind the criminal outrage, one needs to apply one of the lessons from all the great detectives I have come across.

The best ones always asked themselves a very simple question:

Who stands to gain from this murder, this robbery, this forgery, this arson? (fill in the blankety blanks)

The flip side of the same question is this:

Who stands to lose?

Since these grenade attacks and the subsequent deaths and injuries took place at a packed NO rally, one must immediately answer these questions within the context of the increasingly fractious campaign for and against the proposed new constitution.

It immediately becomes a POLITICAL question swirling around STATE POWER, ECONOMIC and CLASS DYNAMICS and the OUTCOME OF THE REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN.

So let us, like all good private detectives, start by asking the RIGHT QUESTIONS in order to get the RIGHT ANSWERS.

Here we go:

1. POLITICALLY, which social forces in Kenya stand to gain from this latest terrorist attack? 2. POLITICALLY and ECONOMICALLY, who stands to lose if the proposed Kenyan constitution is ratified at the August 4th Referendum?

He rules out the “YES” team from the list of suspects:

I say that politically, the YES side has NOTHING to gain from hurling three hand grenades to kill some innocent civilians attending a peaceful rally, exercise their constitutional rights to assemble, associate and express themselves. After all, proponents of the YES side are particularly enthusiastic about the expanded Bill of Rights in the proposed draft constitution.

So let us RULE OUT the Yes side from the list of suspects.

He also rules the Church:

Let us also immediately rule out the Church and its leaders from this atrocity. Much as I detest the hypocrisy and the fake prosperity gospel bling bling of the Bishop Wanjirus and Pastor Lais, I seriously do NOT THINK that they could have organized to kill of those thousands of Kenyan worshippers who gather every Sunday to make sure that these men and women of the cloth continue living large and lavishly while their flock toil to raise those tithes and sadaka. That would be like using a sharp panga to scoop out their own intestines.

Tome Francis of Kenya Young Voters Alliance has his own theories:

Curiously, some individuals in the No Team have remotely been alluding to the emergence of religious intolerance should the draft constitution be passed in its current form. Is this chilling incident a fulfillment of their “prophecy?” Could it be that these latter day prophets of doom elected to use a more dramatic, spectacular, bloody and destructive act of violence to engender the much hyped religious war? If I someone asked me whether what was witnessed at Uhuru Park was a subterfuge by the No Camp, my answer would of course be in the affirmative for the simple reason that the political wing of the No camp has been desperate to obtain the sympathy, leverage and influence in the August plebiscite. The temptation to such subterfuge is great among the political wing of the No Team since they have all along been foisting religious intolerance since this is the only way that can make them succeed in swaying public opinion against the draft constitution. After several unsuccessful attempts at perpetuating hate speech coupled with empty rhetoric on religious intolerance among the Christians and the Muslims, desperation seems to have taken toll on them, and with this desperation, these people must have resorted to desperate measures. Such desperate measures may include the bombing subterfuge at the Uhuru Park rally in a bid to turn back the constitutional clock. As for the clergy, they must examine the mediocrity and narrowness in a section of the politicians that purport to walk with them. All they want is to use Christianity as a veil to achieving their selfish goals.

Kumekucha believes that we can figure out who was responsible by asking ourselves the following questions:

1. ALWAYS ALWAYS in every crime the first thing to look for is a motive. The bombing was obviously political because this was a political meeting to drum up support amongst Kenyans to vote NO against a new constitution. And so we need to ask ourselves who has the most to gain from such a horrible incident (as long as they remain hidden behind the shadows that is).

2. We need to look at history and ask ourselves if this kind of thing has happened before and get as many facts as possible on previous “political bombings” because that will give us important clues to answer the question I have posed at the beginning of this post.

3. Thirdly we need to examine events that have happened over the last 48 hours or so and try to establish if the bombings were carefully timed (as is usually the case with these kind of politically stage managed events.)

Kenyan Entrepreneur believes that the attack is a result of a historical power struggle between the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin:

Once again, I feel like I am going to start sounding like a broken record. Having to repeat here what I’ve been saying for the last two years, which has been this: There is a power struggle between the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin. The two tribes that have ruled Kenya since independence and because they are the one’s that have ruled the country, they have the most power, but more importantly, the most money.

I said two years ago that the Kalenjins were very dangerous. They have a lot of money and Moi put many of them in the army. Kibaki, to my great dismay, doesn’t seem to have been in a rush about reducing their numbers in the army. So, because Kibaki appears to be half asleep, Mungiki has taken over and if there is trouble (like there was in 1991, 1992 & 2007) – they are the one’s who will defend their own people.

“If the constitution belongs to Kenyans, why are six Kenyans right now lying dead over their views on the same?,” asks Kenya My Land:

If the constitution belongs to Kenyans, why are six Kenyans right now lying dead over their views on the same? If it really belongs to Kenyans, then please for Kenyans sake Stop! and evaluate what it is you are forcing down Kenyans throat, Stop! and see how you can reconcile the two sides, giving us a constitution with real consensus, so that we can all feel Kenyan, accommodated and included in the new constitutional dispensation. Stop! and come up with a constitution for Kenyans, without bias, oppression, or undue influence.

Will we never learn, my beloved Kenyans?…

Below are reactions from Kenyans on Twitter (#UhuruBlast):

Rombokins: police have announced a ksh 500,000 award for leads on the uhuru park blasts. #uhurublast
about 3 hours ago via web

chardgn: Watching the Uncut version #uhurublast @KTNKenya. Those grenade are fcukn loud. #mwathani
about 8 hours ago via Snaptu

UjenziBora: What if the blast and prayers were an extension of politics by other means? #ThisIsKenya #UhuruBlast |
about 19 hours ago via Snaptu

victoriaambre: RT @chardgn: Why are shoes the main remnants on any unfortunate incident. #uhurublast #onyancha~i thot i was the only 1 who noticed.

SWMaina: It is painfully simplistic to assume that only government has access to grenades. And am not defending them #uhurublast
1 day ago via web

solocheruiyot: #whywouldyou address the press @ the blast scene barely minutes after blast? U wouldn't unless u knew no more undetonated bombs #uhuruBlast
1 day ago via web

passionmango: RT @larrymadowo: Morning tworld. Have a peaceful day. Somebody lost a brother, sister, father or friend at #uhurublast. Can't we all just get along?

Gordie88: Morning tweeps.. My condolences 2 those who lost their loved one in #uhurublast God bless Kenya n may we love each other


1 comment

  • kenya my motherland

    May the Almighty God heal this great nation of Kenya. May His love and protection, the precious blood of Jesus engulf this nation, May His Holy spirit give wisdom to all Kenyans that we may luv one another.

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