Friday, January 18, 2008

Kenya: Moving forward?

I just wrote an update on the situation in Kenya on the ELI blog. I've read several news sources, and it's unclear to me if today's protests will continue or not. It is clear, however, that Raila has asked people to move to a new tactic: Boycotting major Kenyan businesses by doing things like withdrawing all their savings from Equity Bank, "the poor man's bank." I cannot help but wonder what the effect of that would be... Things are already unstable. Why would people want to go and take what little they have in a safe place and bring it home?

Daniel raises a similar point on his blog. He talks about Kisumu, a town near Eldoret where things seem to be the worst due to the fact that Raila is from that area. Says Daniel, "People in the city of Kisumu are starving because two weeks ago they burned down most of their super markets and food storage facilities because they were owned by Kikuyus. Now that they got their way and chased the Kikuyus out of their city and burned all their shops, the people are left with no food. They are paying up to 4 times the price for simple things. They didn’t think about that when they soaked the shops with gasoline and lit the match. It amazes me how far people will go because of hate. Thousands of the same young men are jobless because they worked for the Kikuyu business owners. Yes, they are the ones who burned down their bosses shops. Clearly not concluding that if they burn down their place of employment, they won’t have a job the next day, and won’t get a paycheck at the end of the month and won’t have money to buy food that is now 4 times as much."

I am praing that things will settle down in Kenya so life can continue, that people can go back to work to earn what little money they can and quit causing more destruction. And I am praying that I'll be able to head back next week! Despite the dangers of being in an unstable country, I want to be with the people God had called me to serve.

1 comment:

  1. Adele, The situation in Kenya is very complicated and you are right..these are tough times.

    Why can't the police allow people to demonstrate peacefully? Why does the "government" allow them to use live bullets on unarmed citizens. Why did the Police go as far as shooting teargas into Referral hospital?

    People are angry because the election was stolen in broad daylight...therefore jeorpardizing democracy.

    It's sad that Kenya is still very tribal..
    The problem is that there's a power vacuum. The youth from all tribes need leaders who will steer them in the right direction.

    If Kibaki has decided that he will be President for the next 5 yrs... He should step up to the plate and preach peace.. He should be more vocal..and he should quit acting like he is only the President of Kikuyus.

    This tension is breaking families..some of us are intermarried and have children.

    The media cannot be trusted because they are trying to make it seem like only Kikuyus are the only victim and they use words like genocide...
    One thing many people don't realize is that the people of Rift Valley are welcoming people, maybe a little naive'....
    Let a Kalenjin or Luhya go establish a shop in Kiambu or Murang'a (Kikuyuland)...That business will not survive!

    Tribalism is deeply rooted.. only the people at the top will make a difference by ensuring that people of all tribes have equal opportunities.

    My opinion is that Kenyans were ready for change, and when the change did not occur, many of them became frustrated.
    We need God...We need him now.