As the Kenyan government officials are shuttling through African capitals seeking and lobbying for support for the deferral of case against the Ocampo Six, little attention is being given to the victims of post election violence especially from urban communities. This is according to Erick Kioko Wayua, 28, who lost left arm during the 2008 post election violence.
On the night of January 17th 2008 Erick Kioko, 28 will never forget losing his left hand in post election violence that rocked Mathare Valley. He had just gone back into the valley with a group of other young men to keep vigil protecting their properties from being stolen as the valley had been deserted. Many families had been camping outside the Moi Airbase gate in Eastleigh after being attacked when 2007 election results were announced.
On January 17th 2008 at 9 pm he was attacked and his left hand chopped off. He managed to run for his life leaving behind a whole arm. At this time he was bleeding seriously and fainted in the process. It was very chaotic when he arrived at the IDP camp as there were other people with equally serious injuries. But this shocked other IDPs to him bleeding and without one arm. Some youth offered to go back into the valley and look for the missing arm.
Women started crying and requested for assistance from the soldiers manning the gate. After consulting, they finally accepted and rushed him to Kenyatta National Hospital. Erick arrived at the Kenyatta National Hospital accompanied by a friend. They arrived at the hospital 10 pm on the night of 17/1/2008 only to be attended to early morning at 2 am (18/1/2008). The doctor recommended that he be admitted. When he woke up from his condition, it dawn on him that he will never see his arm again.
Back in the valley, his friends managed to find the missing arm and brought it back to the IDP camp. The following day it was talk of the day and this ignited more violence for revenge. The situation got out of hand and the camp was also attacked.
After a few days, Erick attracted attention from both the media and NGOs who were working in Mathare Valley to assist victims of post election. Anytime time a visitor would come to the camp, they were told about his case to emphasize the magnitude of the problem faced by IDPs. According to Erick very little attention was given to counsel and prepare him or other IDPs for future life after the post election violence.
Erick feels that very little attention was given by the NGOs and authorities to prepare urban IDPs for future life after ‘peace’ had returned. While he values peace, Erick does not have peace of mind when nobody cares and show concern about him and other 2008 IDPS. “Elections are a source of misery but not a better future” concludes.
As I retreat to back into the deeper community his story lingers in my mind and about the real meaning of democracy, peaceful elections, human rights and good governance for the African people. – simon