LUCKY TO BE ALIVE!!!
It is now a while. I have been struggling to come to terms with the most traumatizing moment in my life so far. I saw the worst scenarios, heard tormenting words and experienced hell on earth.
The presidential votes tallying were delayed and allegations of rigging thus building up the tension among the voters from the two political divide of ODM and PNU. On that Friday 29th December 2007, I was traveling to Kisumu from Kitale through Eldoret to join my family after voting. I was not to reach till 14 days later.
I have to abandon my car at a police station near Chemilil along the Kisumu- Kapsabet high way when rowdy, marauding youths carrying all sorts of crude weapons barrack the highway. Iam now using a public means back to Eldoret hoping things would be better there. Least am not aware that this is going to be the most terrifying moment.
ODD ONE OUT
Am now in a public transport vehicle to Eldoret. We took over 4 hours to get to Eldoret which normally is one hour drive from Chemilil. As I can remember there are over 20 roadblocks mounted by the local youth. I can see Fire every where!! Stones!!! Youths with bow and arrows, spears, crude weapons!!! They are searching every car that passes here. We are not spared either. They were looking for specific TRIBE to KILL. (Iam one of the tribe which they are suppose to KILL). We are 16 passengers in this vehicle and I am the only one ODD OUT. Am sure you are wondering how I survived this ordeal!! It is by Grace of GOD!
GRACE OF GOD
Luckily enough, majority of the passengers in the vehicle are from the local community so they kept saying we don’t have any other community in this vehicle. The other thing that is greatly helping me go through all these road blocks and search is that my physical appearance and behavior resembles that of one of the community which they were not being fought. “What will save you my brother is that you don’t look like that tribe that we want to KILL” comment one passenger.
My whole body for the 4 hours we are on the road has thin layer of sweat. My heart beat is constantly high and fast. I have headache throughout. I am stressed, traumatized and tormented.
FROM FRYING PAN TO THE FIRE!!
Now am in Eldoret town. I take refugee in our family friend. Here we thought things will be better. For three days we are confined in the house. No movement. We start seeing houses being burnt across the neighborhood. Before long the neighbors houses and school are burnt down. We decide the children and their mother take refuge in the centre of town. We remain behind for a while. Within a short time, over 1000 youths with bows and arrows, pangas, spears, metal bars and crude weapons are here. We are accosted and told to identify ourselves-which tribes we are, or show our identity cards or join them to go and KILL the other tribe (which am a member) in the neighborhood. Am in a big fix! Showing my identify card or saying my tribe is going to put me in trouble, infact being killed on the spot (early this morning they had killed three members of my Tribe in next door).My colleague tribe is not being targeted for killing. So we quickly decide to join them for our safety.
While on the way, a close family to my host was being evacuated by an emergency vehicle. We took advantage and boarded the vehicle and went to Eldoret town centre to join the family.
Back to my home area in Trans-nzoia district over 40,000 family members have been displaced. Children and women most affected. Through Trans-nzoia Youth Sports Association, (TYSA- a community based Organization) we are offering psycho-social support among other services to the children most affected by the violence and who are most traumatized. Join me in supporting these children. Gichuki Francis, Executive Officer, Trans-nzoia Youth Sports Association (TYSA) Kenya