Women and Children Protest Killings

Protesting women passing their message through the placards they carriedKAINUK, TURKANA SOUTH
They sang, danced and chanted not in joy but in sorrow over the killings that had left them impoverished and stunted by fear.

Hundreds of widows and orphans, braved the blazing Kainuk sun with twigs and leaves demonstrating against a spate of violence they had endured for far too long. They now seek protection and justice that had been promised them since the days of Biblical Moses.

As they waved their placards with tearful messages to their leaders, they emphasized the fact that the Kenyan Constitution guarantees them the right to live, security, and freedom of assembly. Kainuk, which borders Turkana and Pokot counties, has become the playground for bandits and highway robbers who leave in their wake broken dreams, shattered hopes and maimed souls. They kill, rape, maim and plunder with impunity knowing that their victims are a forgotten people. Traders and commercial entities have fled the area.

“We are tired. We want the President to address our grievances. All the women protesting here are widows. Their husbands were murdered and their property stolen. We want to understand why there is such violation of human rights yet no action is taken,” said Teresa Kiong’a one of the protestors.Margaret Lemu explaining the pain and suffering women go through after they lose their husbands

She is aware that even the Biblical God promises to protect widows in the book of Deuteronomy 27 verse 19 when he declares: “Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow,” and in Psalm 146, when the Psalmist states thus; “The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.”

The protestors who marched along the Kitale-Lodwar highway, prayed in their petition to both God and the Government that the wicked attackers be ruined and destroyed. They barricaded the highway for the hours they dominated the 5-kilometre stretch with dirges and the dance of death.
Their placards displayed strong messages accusing the Government of neglect and ignoring the rights of women and children.

Margaret Lemu said those charged with the duty of securing the lives and properties of the people of Kainuk were sleeping on their job.

Margaret Erat, the chairperson of the Turkana South sub-county Maendeleo Ya Wanawake group led the demonstrations. She said that with insecurity, women were unable to farm, increasing the dangers of hunger, famine and starvation. She said that the once thriving Koputiro Irrigation Scheme, was now a grazing field.

“Women have to take care of their children yet they cannot perform any duty because every activity has been paralyzed. They can neither farm nor fetch water nor even graze animals,” Erat said.

She noted that increasing attacks on vehicles in the area is making it hard for traders to transport merchandise.

“Lami nyeusi, Kainuk and Kakong are spots prone to highway attacks. Businesspeople are terrified with some opting to transport goods to Uganda or Tanzania where the borders are safe and secure,” Erat said as she took a brief rest from the chanting.

It is her hope and prayer that very soon the widows and orphans of Kainuk will be singing, chanting and dancing joyfully to celebrate life, prosperity and security.

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