‘Happy’ New Year!…

A boy eats corn inside a shelter for displaced people in Nairobi, January 9, 2008. African Union chief John Kufuor met Kenya's president and opposition leader on Wednesday to try to break a political impasse behind post-election turmoil that has killed about 500 people.  REUTERS/Antony Njuguna  (KENYA)

By Emma Khakula

Editor’s Note: This is a letter written as a report of Kenya’s election crisis.

I thought we would be feeling the same but it’s been a crazy two weeks. I have been meaning to write to all of you..today I finally get round to doing so….dont worry about it being group mail … thanks for your concern and prayers and mail.

I guess we all thought that our right to vote automatically brings change in terms of the kind of leadership we wanted…but shock on us! Sometimes leaders want to stay in power and it does not matter what it costs them or the people they lead!

Kenya was in shock that evening when the results were fiiiinnnnaaalllly announced and 8 mins later the swearing in ceremony took place …rather fishy don’t you think…

I have never seen such tribal rage…the elections brought out a side of my people that I had never seen…the burning.. looting…shootings…rape…vandalism has been shocking! People took to the streets with such rage and they did not spare anything that crossed their path… My friend called to tell us their neighbor’s house was burning and they had to leave their home in Eldoret (they had gone to be with their parents for Christmas) and fly back to NBI , they are lucky they could afford a flight and could even get one…those who could not afford had to seek refuge at police stations…Mothers and children burnt to death in churches!!

It was such a shock to wake up one mornig and find that we could not shop because supermarkets were scared of the insecurity, and when they did open and let 10 people in at a time…we could not get basic commodities like milk, bread, fresh vegetables… Suddenly everyone was filling up their cars and there was panic and thats when we all knew things were serious and how much we take peace and security for granted.

Everything is paralyzed…Uganda, Rwanda, etc depend on us for fuel (gas) and use our port to receive goods and that has been paralyzed because of roadblocks mounted by vigilante groups that terrorize people using the highways….As at yesterday the police are now escorting trucks, buses and other vehicles to point of destination…the opening of schools has been postponed to 14th & 15th of this month, hopefully by then the transport sector will be running smoothly

Yesterday was the first Sunday (since elections) that people were able to go to church…I must say every Church had the same message of Reconciliation, repentance and forgiveness… At my church Pastors representing different ethnic groups spoke about what the history of their tribes and what the characteristics of those tribes were like and how they contributed to what has been going on. It came out clear that some tribes always wanted leadership, some felt it was time for them to lead, some were arrogant, some looked down upon and despised other tribes, others felt left out and other deep painful issues from the past came up. Each pastor then led his tribe into prayer and asked for forgiveness…it was so powerful seeing people hug each other, forgive each other and pray… People wept and it was painful to see that even within the congregation People had lost family…then in the evening we all observed a 1 hr time of prayer via TV where leaders from different religious backgrounds said prayers for the Nation…I feel in my heart that yesterday made a change in the lives of many and as at today people are talking differently, they realize that they were caught up in emotion and it has cost us as a Nation.

On the news this evening the death toll stands at 547. The ministry of health has waived hospital 7 morgue bills for victims of the crisis. Honorable Kivuitu of the ECK (Electoral Commission of Kenya) was disbarred this evening and the judges that presided over the swearing in ceremony have been asked to resign and the Attorney General’s statement (issued two days ago may be acted upon)…members of the ODM party are still in negotiations…there will be no re-count of votes as they probably have been tampered with by now, there will be no court case as our court system cannot handle such a case and it could drag on forever, the option being given consideration is a re-election…meanwhile the 10th parliament opens on the 15th of this month with a majority of the MPs from ODM & ODM Kenya (so one wonders how the opposition did not get presidency!)

The Red Cross is now taking care of the IDPs (food, blankets, medical stuff)… They have been assured that they can return to their homes (what is left of it) when the dust settles and will be given security as re-build their lives. Other Kenyans are also sending stuff through the Red Cross and it’s touching to see people helping out after sobering up enough to realize that we still need each other and its the diversity that makes Kenya what it is…

My prayer is that an amicable solution is reached and Kenya goes back to being the peaceful, beautiful country it has always been.

Thanks again for your prayers and words of comfort and encouragement. God will intervene for this Nation.

I know you have seen the footage…all I ask is for all of you to pray for this nation

Warm Regards


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