There is no singular interpretation over the forces that almost brought Kenya to a standstill around the 2007 general elections. The ‘truth’ about what actually happened will be found in the in-between spaces of dialogue and voicing. Somewhere amidst these at times contradictory and at times reaffirming voices can be found glimpses of what the pursuit of political power can do to a people, especially in a State where accountability to citizens is of minimal value.
The essays in Defining Moments capture some of the transformative moments during the crisis that rocked Kenya in 2007/2008 and in its resolution. These reflections by journalists, lawyers, political scientists and cultural workers provide additional perspectives to the relationship between elections, citizenship and violence.
This book follows in the footprints of Healing the Wound: Personal Narratives About the 2007 Post Election Violence in Kenya and Re-membering Kenya Vol.1, Identity, Culture and Freedom (Ed. Mbugua wa-Mungai and George Gona). We revisit some of the hotspots, the mediation process and ways of ending impunity. This is part of on-going work at Twaweza Communications to provide space so that multiple voices can be heard as we seek to build a peaceful and just society. In the process we hope to show that violent conflict can be avoided through structural and behavioural engineering: fix governance, ensure accountability, give credibility to institutions, anchor justice and rule of law.