I have moved here
I have moved here
Things have not changed here. Everyone is hoping that the peace talks will succeed. Hoping and praying for a miracle. No one is sorry for what has taken place so far. The same people that have been chased from their own homes are not hesitant to chase others from their homes.
If there is nothing that comes from the peace talks that satisfies everyone, soon, Kenya will definitely go through round two of all the violence.
A news article that caught my attention:
NAIROBI, Kenya: (Associated Press) Kenya’s opposition on Wednesday threatened mass protests within a week if the government fails to start work on changing the constitution to pave the way for any type of power-sharing government.
Parliament must convene within a week to enact constitutional changes that will be needed to restructure the government in a way that will divest some of the power from the presidency, said Anyang Nyongo, secretary-general of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement.
“If that does not happen, ODM hereby gives notice that we call our supporters to mass action within one week,” he said.
Another senior party official, Najib Balala, said any such action would be peaceful. However, previous political protests have turned violent and deteriorated into ethnic clashes.
Weeks of violence sparked by the flawed Dec. 27 vote have left more than 1,000 dead and forced some 600,000 to flee their homes.
Sun 17 Feb 2008, 11:55 GMT
NAIROBI, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Kenyan elders have demanded a goat from President Mwai Kibaki as compensation for an alleged assault by First Lady Lucy Kibaki, local media said on Sunday.
The government denies the allegation by member of parliament Gitobu Imanyara who had threatened to sue Kibaki’s wife. Imanyara said he was assaulted last month at State House.
The Sunday Standard newspaper said a council of traditional elders, the Njuri Cheke, met on Friday and decided to take up the legislator’s case.
“They have demanded a fine of a he-goat and an unreserved apology from the First Family.” The paper said the elders wanted the matter resolved according to Meru tribal customs.
Kibaki is wrestling with a crisis over his disputed re-election that has triggered widespread ethnic bloodshed.
The Presidential Press Service said Lucy’s lawyers would take action against Imanyara’s “wild allegations”, which it said bordered on character assassination, blackmail and were part of a wider political scheme aimed at tarnishing her office.
Kibaki’s wife is known to be fiercely protective of her husband and has courted controversy several times. In December, local media said she slapped an official who called her by the name of a woman widely reported to be Kibaki’s second wife.
On Monday, Kibaki is expected to meet chief mediator Kofi Annan again, and also U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whose visit is meant to shore up the Annan-chaired talks aimed at finding a solution to the Kenyan crisis. (Reporting by Daniel Wallis)
I find something like this is, at the least, interesting. If high government officals are so concerned about a slap on the face and a goat… What are the chances of them being able to reach a peace deal?
For the last several days, things have been generally quiet here in Nakuru. But there is no reason to believe that things are peaceful. Everyone is on edge, scared, wondering what the next disaster will be and where. Rumors of planned violence abound.
There was another Minister of Parliament killed on Thursday. He was shot four times in the head by a policeman, within 36 hours of the first one. These events are highly suspect in the eyes of the opposition as being straight up assassinations. The policeman that is being charged with the murder is scheduled to be tried in the High Court of Nakuru. Yesterday, when they read him the charges, he expressed surprise at being charged with murder. Oh and get this, in an “unprecedented move” the media was not allowed to be present in the chamber for the charge or the cautionary statement. I am smelling the proverbial rat.
The killing of the MP sparked more riots and unrest in the towns of Eldoret and Kisumu. We have another mission compound in Kisumu, so it was really unsettling for the missionaries that were caught away from home. Some of them even had to spend the night out in the country-side because it was not safe to go into town. There were “thousands” of people on and alongside the road. They covered the road with stones in order to make it impassable. Here is a picture taken by one of the missionaries from Kisumu, showing the road before it was cleaned off.
Sometimes you wonder if Mr. Kofi Annan and the other peacemakers are kidding themselves. Sometimes you wonder if Democracy will ever work for a nation that has tribes and all of the prejudices that come with tribalism. Sometimes you wonder if mankind is any different than it was 4,000 years ago. The hoodlums don’t care if the person that they are killing is their childhood friend, or even a child for that matter. Killing him only because his name is not right. The official statistics put the death toll in the hundreds. I would not be in the least surprised if it was actually in the thousands. I have heard too many stories of bodies lying around, getting eaten by dogs.
How can you have peace in your country if no one in your country has peace in their heart?
What happened in Kenya is that the elections were flawed and there are currently two men who claim to be the rightfully elected President of Kenya. The incumbent (Kibaki) is from the largest tribe in Kenya which are the Kikuyu. The opposition (ODM) is led by a man by the name of Raila. ODM is a coalition party comprised of almost all of the other major tribes,which are the Luhya, Luo, and the Kalenjin.
According to government statistics, the main groups are — Kikuyu (22 percent); Luhya (14 percent); Luo (13 percent); Kalenjin (12 percent); Kamba (11 percent)
The fighting started because the opposition is positive that Raila is supposed to be the president, but Kibaki had already sworn himself into office within an hour of the announcement of the results. Sadly that reason was only a excuse to get started. The political stalemate has lasted long enough that the fight has taken on its own life, and has evolved into a tribal war that stems from resentment from things that happened 49 years ago while Kenya was still under British rule.
The Kalenjin tribe is claiming all of the Rift Valley Province to be their own, and of course the Kikuyu are disputing that. The problem is that while the Kalenjin are vastly outnumbered by the Kikuyu, they are fearless and heartless, and the Kikuyu are deathly afraid of them and run from a direct fight with them. But the Kikuyu are taking their anger and frustration out on the friends of the Kalenjin, which only makes the Kalenjin even more angry.
This all came close to home last Fri and Sat. Friday night there were church members that were chased from their homes and on Saturday there were mobs and some major fighting very close to our compound here in Nakuru. We even heard some bullets flying overhead. One thing that we are thankful for is the fact that the ‘bad guys’ don’t have guns, only the Police and military have them, which gives a definite upper hand to the ‘good guys.’ The weapons of choice are machetes, sticks, spears, rocks, bow and arrows, and such like medieval weaponry. But things are continuing in a downward spiral. Just this morning (12:30 am) a Minister of Parliament was murdered as he arrived home in his car.
Pray for us as we make decisions and pray for the Kenyan people as their lives are shattered.
I’m back to the blogging world again. The AMA mission board wasn’t sure if this thing called blogging was something that was safe or not and asked us to refrain until further notice. They discussed it over the last year and in the last meeting they decided that it is okay. Praise the Lord.
The year is very nearly to over and it seems as if it has not been that long. My last post was in March and a lot of stuff has happened since then. In August, I was privileged to visit home for a period of three weeks in August and a month after my return here, my sister Karleen came to visit for four weeks, and the next big event on the calendar is my return home in March with plans to stay put for a while. My location of living has been quite fluid since the year of 2002 with stints in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Arkansas, and of course Kenya with returns home to Ohio sprinkled throughout so I am ready to settle down and make some money very soon here. I am planning to work for my dad in his business (www.kuhnsmfg.com).
Money is the Key to Happiness. Did you know that? Everything that I would like to do hinges on the on one key factor. Having Money. So someone should just give me some. And while they are at it, they should just give me a lot of it because there is all kinds of stuff to do with it. I would like to be a philanthropist. Philanthropists travel around the world making people happy by giving them time and money. Mother Teresa and Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie are all notable philanthropists. It is probably the only resemblance between Mother Teresa and Angelina Jolie besides the fact that they are both women.
Oh wait, I am a philanthropist. As a volunteer here in Kenya I give both time and money to the Kenyans. Does it make them happy? Yes it does! For about five minutes and then they are back asking for more. So scrap the idea. No one give me any money, please. I’ll make my own to give away.
Do you want to be happy? Give something to someone. I think giving to a grateful recipient is a happier thing to do than receiving a gift.
Have a Happy Merry Christmas!