It has been said that the internet makes everyone an expert regardless of whether he is or not. It has also been said though that a good journalist follows through their story from beginning to end.

I admit to being neither a political science whizz (or anything similar) or an expert on the following. However my concisence and common sense tell me that if intelligent citizens of the world, competent of reading newspapers, conquering xbox games, using the internet (and gaining  university degrees) use this excuse as an ‘out clause’ for saying and doing nothing  about topics/situations such as this then that just perpetuates  problems and leaves darkness where there should be light.  

On the 27th of December 2007, General Elections were conducted in Kenya. On the 30th of December, 2007, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya, announced that Mr. Mwai Kibaki, the leader of the Party for National Unity (PNU) that had gained 33 seats in the 210 seat Kenyan Parliament against 95 seats gained by the party of his main rival, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), was the winner of the Presidential race in that General Election.

Immediately, thereafter, Kenya has been plunged into violence triggered by outbursts of anger and resentment against supporters of PNU and those ethnically associated with Mr. Kibaki who ODM and its supporters accuse of rigging the tallying of the final count of the General Election results and thus stealing victory in the Presidential race from Mr. Raila Oginga of ODM. More than 300 people are said to have died so far and thousands have been internally displaced. Some Kenyans are said to be already fleeing to neighbouring countries as refugees. All the General Election observers, both local and international are in agreement that there were undue delays in having the constituency election tallies submitted to the Electoral Commission headquarters. There is also consensus now that the results that the Chairman of ECK announced on the 30th December 2007 on the basis of which Mr. Kibaki took the oath as the winner of the Presidential race were not credible tallies of the General Election results where the Presidential race is concerned. The ECK Chairman himself has subsequently made the surprising admission that he himself did not know who won the Presidential race in spite being the one, who announced that Mr. Kibaki won the election on the 30th December, 2007. http://allafrica.com/stories/200801170586.html

 

 Of course in situations it is always those who can least afford it who get worse affected. Kibera  the biggest slum in africa, which before the riots and violence looked like this   (some of you will remember this from the 100 dollars /100 days thing we discussed) ,  is now the home to regular scences of violence as the ODM and PDU parties fight it out both on the streets and in the halls of power, the Orange party wants to hold rallies but the government doesn’t want them to and prevents them from doing so – in the process fear increases and food is hard to come by and the ruling party goes after people who looks like they ‘might’ cause trouble.   This story from today if you read it really slowly and let it soak in is really horrific. http://allafrica.com/stories/200801180928.html

I find myself crying each time a news item about this situation comes on. Sure I can moan about the injustices of the election finance bill but how can you compare that to a person who  because of who they voted for (or who someone suspects them of voting for) now faces less or no food, fleeing their home (which was in a slum anyway) or being indiscrimately shot at with tear gas or bullets?

For more info I really recommend this very good documentary from Al Jazera 10 minutes long and will give you some valuable info into Kenya’s history and why it is one of the most successful african countries and why this is such a tragedy.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTDiPFbav_E

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