News / Africa

Ahead of Kenyan Elections, Some Take Precautions

VIDEO: Some Kenyans Take Flight from Kiberai
X
February 28, 2013 6:58 PM
Fearing violence connected to Kenya's March 4 election, many in the hotspot of Kibera are leaving for their ancestral homelands in western regions of the country.

Fearing violence connected to upcoming polls, many in the hotspot of Kibera depart for ancestral homelands in western regions of the country

Roopa Gogineni
Video Transcript
KISUMU, KENYA — Fearing violence connected to Kenya's March 4 election, many in the hotspot of Kibera are leaving for their ancestral homelands in western regions of the country.
 
Meanwhile in Kisumu, much of the minority Kikuyu population will migrate to the Rift Valley before the March 4th vote.
 
Kenyans around the country are preparing for Monday’s elections, and the possibility of violence afterward.
 
Hip-hop artist Moroko Lenakore lives in Kibera, one of Nairobi’s largest slums, and a center of post-election violence in early 2008.
 
“They were throwing stones at the riot police and so stones would hit our windows," he says. "It was scary at night. If they are crazy during the day, you can imagine at night."
 
Many homes in Kibera were looted and burned down.
 
"The equipment is usually here," he says, opening the door to a small room in his house. "But now we’ve moved it away because we don’t know what might happen, people might come looting."
 
Lenakore is sending his 13-year-old sister to stay with family in western Kenya, where most of Kibera’s residents come from.
 
It is a pre-election exodus to ancestral homelands many Kenyans will make.
 
Winnie Kashoka, a Kikuyu shopkeeper in the Luo-dominated city of Kisumu in western Kenya, says she will return to her birthplace of Nyeri on Monday, before the election results are announced.
 
Most of her clients are Luo and she considers them her trusted friends.
 
"If you have been good to them, then surely they cannot rise up and fight you," she says. 
 
But ethnic tensions in lakeside Kisumu surface during election season.
 
Most Kikuyus fled the city in 2007, after it was announced that President Mwai Kibaki, also a Kikuyu, had won that year's presidential vote.
 
Kashoka returned months later.
 
"Going around Kisumu as a whole was not easy," she says. "You are still not comfortable. You don’t know the feelings of people still around, whether they still had bitterness with you people."
 
Residents fear Kisumu could once again erupt if Raila Odinga, a Luo, loses the upcoming election.
 
Dipak Upadhyay, who owns a stationery store on Kisumu’s main drag, remembers the post-election violence five years ago.
 
“With heavy forces, they were looted," he says. "I am the one who was lucky. They didn’t touch my shop because nearby is an electronics shop, so they targeted there first.”
 
Upadhyay says the police did little to stop the looters. This time, he has formed a vigilante night patrol with his fellow Asian businessmen.
 
"Before it used to be really high — the crime level," he says. "Since we started, it’s gone down."
 
The candidates are pledging peace, but Kenyans in former hotspots want to make sure they don't get caught up in violence a second time.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid