Tuesday, 27 March 2012


During his years living and working in South Africa in the late 1990s and 2000, Njonjo Mue formed and headed the Kenyan Democratic Initiative in South Africa - KENDISA - to put pressure on the Moi's regime to leave power. Below is an account of one of their activities held to mark 21 years of Moi's presidency:


Tuesday, October 17, 2000

A group of Kenyans resident in South Africa gathered outside the Kenyan High Commmission in Pretoria on Friday night to mark what was billed as Kenya's Day of Darkness. The occasion was designed to give Kenyans abroad an opportunity to empathize and show practical solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Kenya in their daily struggle for survival; to protest the failure of leadership and the loss of vision; and to symbolize and protest Kenya's leadership unto darkness.

The gathering was preceded by 24 hours during which Kenyans in South Africa switched off their electricity and turned off their taps, fasted and used public transport to go to work. In so doing, they hoped to experience, in a small way, what Kenyans at home are going through on a daily basis and thereby to establish a psychological link that would spur them to more concrete action in seeking solutions to the problems at home.

'The first step in solving any problem is to understand it,' said Njonjo Mue, one of the organizers of Siku ya Giza. 'These activities are meant to give us a deeper understanding of the situation at home by actually experiencing it ourselves instead of merely talking about it. The next step is to be proactive engaged, along with people at home, in seeking solutions to these problems.'

During the gathering outside the High Commission, which took place between 9 p.m. And midnight on Friday, 13th October 2000, a group of 34 Kenyans held a candlelight vigil marked by various activities including songs, prayer, meditation, reflection and sharing their hopes and dreams for a better Kenya. They also held a proactive discussion on ways to improve service delivery to Kenyans in the areas of healthcare, education, poverty and combating corruption. They prayed that God would intervene in Kenya and establish a rule of justice and equity, and committed themselves to get personally involved in bringinging their country back from the brink.

The new Kenyan High Commission to South Africa, Dr. Cairunji Chesaina, and the High Commission staff were invited to participate in the Siku ya Giza activities but they did not show up; but some people could be seen peeping through the curtain from inside the High Commission building throughout the duration of the vigil.

While Siku ya Giza was primarily targeted at Kenyans resident in South Africa, A few Kenyans in other countries also participated in the personal 24 hour blackout. Kenyans abroad have resolved to intensify protests at their Embassies and High Commissions in order to highlight the failure of leadership and abuses of human rights by the Moi government at home.

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