Saturday, December 29, 2007

It looks like Raila is going to win

Many of you know that we lived in Kenya for two years, ending in June 2007. So our hearts are still partially over there.

Thursday was a presidential election. The opposition candidate appears to be winning. (Election results will not be completely in until maybe the end of Sunday.)

Kibaki, the outgoing president, was OK. He wasn't perfect and was often ineffective. But Raila will not be an improvement, in my humble opinion. Anyone who names their son Fidel Castro and drives a Hummer through the poorest neighborhood of Kenya is questionable. (Funny enough, the people did not say bad things about him when he drove his Hummer through their neighborhood. Ironically, they liked his show of power and wealth.) Furthermore, he has often frequently changed his stance on issues based on the popular thing that people want to hear. This reminds me of God telling the Israelites, "So you want a king like the rest of the nations? You can have one! But don't blame me when things go wrong."

Anyhow, please pray for Kenya right now. Some from Raila's tribe (the Luo) are fighting against some from Kibaki's tribe (the Kikuyu) - each saying that the other tribe is rigging the election. Here's a snippet from a Reuters report:

Police fired teargas and bullets into the air in fruitless efforts to disperse the swelling crowds. Even young children joined in, laughing and swigging beer from stolen crates.

"These are free gifts," said a panting looter, Javan Samson Omondi, as he paused to rest from carrying a stolen sewing-machine and three pairs of shoes in a box.

Update, from The International Herald Tribune:

...[Odinga's] lead nearly vanished overnight. On Saturday morning, the gap had been cut to about 100,000 votes, with Odinga still ahead, but barely, with 47 percent of the vote compared with 46 percent for Kibaki. By Saturday night, with about 90 percent of the vote counted, Odinga's lead had shrunk to a mere 38,000 votes.

But those results may not be valid. According to Kenya's election commission, which is considered somewhat independent from the government, at least three areas from Kibaki's stronghold of central Kenya reported suspiciously high numbers. In one area, Kibaki received 105,000 votes, even though there were only 70,000 registered voters. In another, the vote tally was changed, at the last minute, to give the president an extra 60,000 votes. In a third area, the turnout was reported at 98 percent.


peter mike kwisero said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Merrill said...

Sorry - I deleted the comment made because it was very inflammatory and had bad language too.

I am open-minded but saw no need to share that garbage with you.

Dave Moody said...

Touched a nerve, eh? Taking sides in politics will do that...

Thanks for the insight, I was going to ask you about the elections, your spin on them. All I knew was that the two players were from different tribes, and that stuff seemed to be falling out along those lines- Luo vs Kikuyu.

The differences in culture, what you saw, and what Luo saw (with the Hummer), are interesting.

grace & peace,