Much to the seeming shock of official international observers, Mwai Kibaki has been declared the winner of last Thursday’s Kenyan election. Last night’s news was taken so well by the general populous that riots erupted almost immediately after the announcement. Helping things along, challenger Raila Odinga called for a rally of his supporters down at Uhuru Park for Monday afternoon to inaugurate the “people’s president”.
The first thing we found out this morning was that Kibaki had cancelled his opponent’s rally (that’s not to say it won’t happen, but it could get ugly if it does). He also suspended all live news broadcasts – both television and radio. International news agencies are now the only source of information about what’s going on and those reports, as I have previously said, are few and far between.
Hubby went downstairs and spoke with our guard, Askari, this morning to get an idea of what was going on from someone who has actually been out for the last few days. Askari said that things “were not good” and went on to describe seeing a car on fire nearby at the YaYa Centre today. He then told us that Kikuyu homes and businesses had been trashed by ODM supporters in Kibera.
He also mentioned that our immediate area was still safe and we had nothing to worry about at the moment. And so far (knock on wood), we have had no interruptions of power, cable, or Internet for which I am both surprised and appreciative.
Perhaps the most profound sentiment that Askari said was that the only way the current violence and unrest was going to end was for Odinga to come forward and say that he accepts the results (despite all the problems with them) and so should his supporters. It appears, however, that such wishful thinking is unlikely to happen given the ODM leader’s demands for a recount and accusations of vote rigging by Kibaki.
For safety reasons, Hubby has issued an embargo on my going out to get stories or photos on the ground. I’ll continue to update here as best I can, so stay tuned.