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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid