News / Africa

    Ahead of Kenyan Elections, Some Take Precautions

    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

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora