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thuggery, alive and well

April 16, 2008

Just as we had all breathed a sigh of relief at the naming of the Coalition Cabinet, Nairobi woke up Monday to warnings of burning cars, thwarted traffic (worse than usual), and coordinated attacks in town and in other parts of the country brought about by Kenya’s own mafia, who are revolting against the imprisonment of their purported leader and the recent killing of his wife, whose death is blamed alternately on rival gang factions or the police (who don’t have a great record as far as kill-first policies go, either).

So I have not been able to get to Donholm to the school, since matatus and buses have stopped operating on Jogoo Rd. rather than risk who knows what. Thousands of people from the east edge of the city have been forced to walk the 17+ km into town to try to get to work. The gang is extorting money from shops and sellers all along the route, forcing them to close down shop or pay to stay open. They de-pantsed some women in another area because they are against women wearing trousers, among other things, like modernization.

Beatrice says that they are all OK at Humble Hearts and at home. A blessing, considering the stupidity of it all. The frightening part is their infiltration into this country’s workings. The infuriating part is how any group could hope that tactics of brutality and cruelty would ever get them anywhere.

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