What Kenya’s local coffin makers are cooking up against Kenyatta

Kenyan coffin makers, sickened by what they say is government intimidation, are in another tizzy because of their national hero: the West Papuan killer. Supporters of one of the world’s most famous drug-war victims…

What Kenya’s local coffin makers are cooking up against Kenyatta

Kenyan coffin makers, sickened by what they say is government intimidation, are in another tizzy because of their national hero: the West Papuan killer. Supporters of one of the world’s most famous drug-war victims refuse to be silenced, and instead insist that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government stand up to them.

Kenya’s British-funded national team for West Papuan independence, the East Africa Union, is lobbying hard, and one group of coffin makers is biting their tongue. Some of them say they never speak or sell their goods to the government. And they still claim that a courier company they’ve contracted to distribute their wares under threat of violent suppression — say, a Chinese firm — is supplying goods to the West Papuan team.

#Kairodicteadmen: Kenyan coffin making institution. Witch behind phobia against West Papuan skulls, respectively. Have rarely made coffins for the Kairo ruling ODM party. pic.twitter.com/smUjy3CXf1 — Rulush Bedar (@enjoytherulush) February 7, 2016

The political hubbub seems to have all the hallmarks of a protest movement these days. Still, it’s worth considering what money West Papuan activists and organizations have donated to this local maker of caskets. Dead bodies are not the most lucrative items to donate to poor Kenyans; sales of soap, beer, meat, and tea are much higher margin. If the dollars are going to the East Africa Union, the West Papuan team, or a number of other international notables, that money seems fairly viable, as well as a selling point for the East Africa Union.

The East Africa Union and regional leaders have never quite explained their reason for funding a pet cause. But it’s pretty clear that at least one Kenyatta administration official likes to brand the impact a West Papuan split “new hatred” on their own people, this past Christmas.

“It’s not a bad thing for Kenya,” said Zuma Jumani of Nairobi-based The Brume Nene Company, which makes 4.5 billion coffin stones every year, “because we’re developing stuff. It’s better for us, and our neighbor.”

A hundred years ago, women wearing brassieres and chain mail would cut the heads off of dead men to use as human shields in Kenya. These days, coffin-makers aren’t afraid.

Read the full story at the Washington Post.

Related

Kenya’s President: West Papuan poison or doping?

Kenya in latest regional dispute over Kenyan voters’ loyalty

Kenya’s Muite, who made a dash for it in 2016 elections, denies rigging results

Leave a Comment