Can those accused of looting public money also donate to Kiambaa Church?

8 mins read

There has been a raging debate about politicians who grab Kenyan public funds without any mercy for poor Kenyans. The very thieves keep telling the masses every day that they are donating that money to churches to buy their place in heaven.

Just yesterday DP William Ruto’s wife, Rachel Ruto, was in the headlines announcing the DP will give and give more money to the churches and he will not stop. That is a good thing.

How about donating even just a penny to Kiambaa Church which was burnt to the ground and 35 people, including children roasted there alive in one of the most horrific acts of human cruelty to others all because Kenyans in that church were deemed to be from the wrong tribe by the killers.

In an advertisement placed in the Daily Nation Newspaper on Friday, March 25, KAG Church says the facility “has remained a monument of shame and a bitter reminder of the extremes of politically instigated ethnic hatred”.

Fifteen years after that heinous crime was committed as a terrified nation watched in grief.

Hundreds of millions have been contributed to all other churches by our generous leaders but Kiambaa Church seems to be cursed and the money bags don’t want to go there. Most likely because these leaders want the KAG church, its horror stories, and the humans lost there forgotten and buried forever.

Our country has actively been involved in a very dangerous effort to wipe out the Kiambaa massacre and wipe that tragedy out of our collective memory so that the perpetrators can live in peace and keep running our country with the impunity that they can do whatever they want and Kenyans are supposed to shut up and just keep voting for them.

The same politicians tell us every day how they will make sure there is no post-election violence and keep blaming others but when it comes to Kiambaa church they do not want to be anywhere near it.

In any other country where leaders value human life and dignity, the Kiambaa massacre would have been commemorated, the church rebuilt and a monument for the victims built either at the place where it happened or in our capital city so Kenyans can visit there and promise themselves that such a thing will never happen again.

That would be such a good place for family members and the rest of our citizens who abhor what happened there. However, we can’t build that because the killers don’t want any such thing as remembering those people and that tragedy.

How much does our country owe those killers? Maybe we can pay them and ask them to allow the country to build a memorial place for the murdered Kenyans.

Read: Martha Karua is a blessing to Azimio La Umoja and to the country

When Bin Laden and his thugs bombed Nairobi, at least the Kenya government and the United States government built a monument for the victims where you can see their names and pay tribute to them.

In the Kiambaa situation, our governments over the years have decided to bury that memory from Kenyans.

We hear the likes of Moses Kuria talk about oaths done in 1969, but not even once would they ever mention the Kiambaa nightmare that we still live with so fresh in our minds. Talking about Kiambaa is not politically viable for some very powerful people in our country. Why should the nation bury this tragedy just to please a few people?

We know that if the issues and problems associated with Kiambaa Church were politically valuable to our politicians, particularly the noisy donators who God put here to help us they would be all over that church.

It is too bad for the people who want to rebuild the church that they provide no political weight to those dishing money around. Now that the bishop-in-charge of the church, Joseph Kamau Mariko has launched a campaign seeking donations to help raise Sh25 million for the reconstruction of the church.

The bigger issue is that it is time for the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta to take full responsibility for the government of Kenya to rebuild that church and bring people together with a promise that no such cruelty will ever happen in our country again.

The families involved in what happened in that church should be fully compensated and given an opportunity to rebuild their shattered lives. It is unimaginable that as a country we are so scared of the perpetrators of the Kiambaa massacre that we cannot do anything to help the victims because we are going to annoy those very powerful people.

For how long will we keep that charade of ignoring victims of violence because we are scared of the criminals involved? And for those who are scared of the big boys, the church has provided MPESA number so you can donate anonymously and you will be safe. Even the killers can donate and try to clear their conscience. Nobody will know.

People can send contributions to Family Bank, Account Number 085000100123, or M-Pesa Pay Bill Number 222111 provided by the bishop-in-charge of the church, Joseph Kamau Mariko.

It is amazing that we are finally having this discussion in public just at the same time we have witnesses on the ICC cases appearing at the Hague telling the ICC how they were harassed, threatened, some killed and others paid large sums of money to stop them from providing evidence against the accused killers of 2007/8 PEV.

Here in Kenya, we pretend we are not aware that our Deputy President William Ruto is being accused by a whole bunch of witnesses for having worked with Mr. Gacheru before the ICC today to stop witnesses from testifying against him in a case that involved mass murder of Kenyans.

It tells all of us how useless the whole case of killing Kenyans is to our own government.

Yes, Kenyans can be forced to forget what happened in our country in the 2007/8 PEV but it will live with us forever and at some point, the victims will get the justice and recognition they so richly deserve in our country. Hopefully, the killers can now leave the witnesses alone and stop killing them.

Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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