Once again, Tana River County is in the limelight of international news, all for the wrong reasons. Reasons that certainly fall short of voters’ expectations as well as international norms on peaceful co-existence.
The current spiraling of anarchy in the county started by the disappearance of a prominent businessman, Mohamed Galole, from the Pokomo farming community. His mutilated and decomposing body was later found in a swampy area of the delta by a Pokomo search party comprising volunteers. This gory discovery was shortly to be followed by inter-ethnic clashes between Orma/Wardei pastoralists from Wachu Oda in Garsen Constituency and Giriama farmers from the neighbouring Kilifi County, who have legitimately settled in the lower parts of Tana River County.
Of course it would not escape the scrutiny of an avid observer of politics in the County of Tana River that the politicians reported to be involved in these twin-machinations are keen at influencing the outcome of the forthcoming 2017 general elections. Tana Daily Telegraph observes that perpetuation of fear and despondency has in the past been employed by those in authority in Tana River County to cause mass exodus of blocks of voters to regions outside the boundaries of the County. This trend is once again at play in the current clashes.
It is similarly imperative to observe the current wave of inter-ethnic clashes would as well interfere with the ongoing processes of issuance of national identity cards to eligible residents of Tana River County much the same to the registration of voters within the affected areas.
While it’s been indicated the two County governments would “discuss the matter and come up with amicable solution”, Tana Daily Telegraph takes cognisance of fact that initiatives aimed at conflict resolution usually call for goodwill and commitment to holding attendant discussions in good faith. It is indeed unlikely at this point in time such commitment and goodwill from Tana River County government exists, if the genesis of current clashes is to be taken into account. This analysis and conclusion is further enhanced in credibility by fact that while Kilifi County government has expeditiously intervened in the matter by providing material support to the victims, Tana River County government appears to be basking in the short-lived success of displacing more than 150 families, including children, the elderly and the disabled; families currently camping at the Kanagoni Primary School.
Perhaps governor Hussein Dado should take responsibility by first displaying some decorum and honesty within Tana River County. Governor Hussein Dado should indeed explain to Tanarians and the world at large how his kinsmen from Wachu Oda in Garsen constituency obtained the guns and other weaponry used in the current attacks at Hurara, Katsangani, and Michiraka areas as reported by independent and reliable sources. Because it surely is just as hypocritical to listen to governor Hussein Dado make calls for “peaceful co-existence between Orma and Giriama” while understanding too well the irony beholden by public display of arrogance and contempt within his native Tana River County.
Governor Hussein Dado ought to understand, too, that his conduct thus far in the management of public affairs at the Tana River County smacks of ineptitude and incompetence much as it does make him a co-conspirator in the planning, deployment as well as execution of his uncouth political strategy.
Tanarians nonetheless demand prompt answers from their governor, relating to the guns and other weaponry currently being held by unauthorised members of public residing in Wachu Oda within Garsen constituency – where the governor hails from.