Thursday, February 7, 2008

My Beloved Kenya.

It began as a premonition. But it ended up as a strategy. On the 27th of December 2007, Kenyans queued to vote for their local governments, members of parliament and a president. So far, at least they have oh no!! We have a president, whose legitimacy is in question.

But I would wish to share my experience over these days. I followed the elections on internet. In the evening of the voting day, we went swimming. It was so hard to concentrate on swimming since I was anxious to know the results, just like any Kenyan. The difference was that I was doing it from thousands of kilometers away.

When we came back from the pool, it was about 2000hrs, in which case it was 2200hrs in Kenya. As the analylists would call it, the results had began trickling in. I was to travel the next day to a conference. Well, I tried to sleep and I couldn’t for the whole night. When I realized that my trying to sleep was futile, I read all the night as I followed the news. The results were quite surprising as the sitting members of parliament kept loosing their seats. Another occurrence was that quite a number of ministers and their assistants were being ‘send home’ at a not so surprising rate.

Three days later, the Electoral Commission announced the results that were long disputed before they were announced. I could not access internet at the conference, so I had to rely on my friends in Kenya to update me. Anyway, the declaration of the one of the candidates as a winner resulted in untold violence across Kenya as it is now known internationally.

But there is one thing that is very disturbing to me. As one part of the country is intact, the other part of the country is basically on its knees. In the west, a city that not so long ago celebrated its a hundred years is no longer a city, but a shell. This is just but one among the many bad things that have happened.

The politicians continue politicking. The rich continue to be rich, and of course the poor fight each other and die. And if they don’t die they are left to live in more poverty than they have ever before. That seems to be democracy in Kenya these days.

And I have this hope against hope, that the politicians will listen to each and themselves even as Kofi Annan does all he can to help the Kenyans save a country that was once known as an island of peace. And that Kenya will emerge stronger than before, with reforms that will favor the populace, but not the leaders and the rich few, some of whom have no Kenyans’ interest at heart.

1 comment:

Miriam said...

I can understand that you are concerned about the situation in Kenya. I am too. It is good to see that you have hope though. I will hope and pray with you.