THE BLACK YEAR 2008: WHAT A CHALLENGING AND A HARD TIME YEAR IT WAS. By Mungai

Oops, call it an ugly or a black year, but what a tearful, stressful, tauntarous and a hard time, the year it was. The year 2008, will drain down in the Kenyan history books as one was insurmountable where we witnessed a hard, trying and difficult times. It has been described as a year of mixed fortunes world over.

As they would say, that, life is made up of ups and downs, but, ours went to the extreme and beyond our imagination. It’s a scar that has been implanted and the one that will haunt the Kenyan people forever in the future.

The occurrences that characterized the year caught many innocent Kenyans off guard, as they hadn’t anticipated that such kind of heinous and devilish acts would be committed by Kenyans and in particular friends, neighbours. The Kenyan people and the international community couldn’t believe that indeed Kenya was engulfed with flames of grievous murders, a country which was regarded for quite a long time as an island of peace.

Most people regretted and couldn’t comprehend, as they wondered of what value were the elections after all, because the aftermath of it all brought murders, crimes against humanities, displacements, wanton destructions of property and been tormented both psychologically and physically. The only crime that they committed was just voting, that’s exercising their democratic right that’s guaranteed in the constitution.

As we get down to analyze the year 2008, as it was, which we started it on a wrong footing, and a very tense, polarized and sour note, we must not forget where we emerged from. We must focus on the way we are heading in these difficult times. The pronouncement of the disputed elections seemed to have aroused the ghost that haunts us from time memorial as this facilitated the violence’s which rocked the country.

The Kenyan people turned against each other in the name of tribe factor, as the country seemed to have slipped to a lawless one. But, the height of the violence’s was grabbed when a church was set ablaze and innocent people were burned alive, where they had sought refuge. A group of death castigated, marauding gang of youths dosed it with petrol as they committed their heinous acts, as most victims were women and children.

The ceasefire came through the intervention of the international community when they seconded the former U.N secretary General Dr. Koffi Annan and his team of eminent persons to mediated and foster a lasting solution, that’s peace. That’s when the mediation talks resumed, the Serena talks until they found a common ground despite several stumbling blocks. The till end came with the signing of the coalition Government and the position of the prime minister.

The year 2008, was plunged and dampened further by harsh economic times and fallen financial crisis. Financial problems were at the top of everyone’s stress and worry list.

Basic food items prices hit all time high, savings rapidly dwindled, the cost of living rose significantly and most families felt financially challenged in trying to pay the household bills, rent, clothing and afford modest “extras”.

All these comes against a major backdrop and realization that most Kenyans lives under a penury of a dollar in a day.


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