News / Africa

Survivors of Kenya's Past Election Violence Are Hopeful Now

Survivors of Kenya's Past Election Violence Are Hopeful Nowi
X
February 28, 2013 3:01 PM
The town of Nakuru in Kenya’s Rift Valley Region was the center of much of the violence that followed the last presidential election in 2007. As Kenya prepares to vote again next week, the residents of Nakuru remain positive, despite signs of trouble on the horizon. VOA’s Gabe Joselow has this report.
Survivors of Kenya's Past Election Violence Are Hopeful Now
Gabe Joselow
The town of Nakuru in Kenya’s Rift Valley Region was the center of much of the violence that followed the last presidential election in 2007. As Kenya prepares to vote again next week, the residents of Nakuru remain positive, despite signs of trouble on the horizon.
 
There’s plenty of work to be done at this metal workshop in Nakuru. Workers here are fashioning security doors for local businesses and homes. But it is not as busy as it was five years ago, before the last presidential election.
 
Metal worker Bernard Wanzala said that actually is a good thing. “In 2007, people here made a lot of weapons. They sharpened a lot of machetes here saying they were going to use them for defense. But this year, I’ve not sharpened even one.”
 
Nakuru was at the center of much of the violence between ethnic Kalenjin and Kikuyu mobs following the last election. Parts of the city still have not fully recovered.
 
One area was a particularly hard hit area section of Nakuru during the post election violence that followed the last vote in 2007. Many of the people have come back here to rebuild their homes. And while they say they are hopeful for peace, there are still some concerns that violence could break out.

Samuel Kamau was burned out of his home five years ago. He said as a landowner, he has no interest in a repeat of violence. “We don’t want hatred, because we know we are the ones who will lose the most.”
 
Gladys Mwangi is worried, though, that tension could be brewing in a nearby slum. “We are seeing the people who attacked us before moving their wives and children, while the men remain. Now we are wondering, what might be cooking?”
 
Many here say they are voting for presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta who is running neck-and-neck in recent polls with Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
 
The government has been deploying police to Nakuru, and other hotspots in Kenya, ahead of the vote as an extra security precaution.
 
Keffa Karuoya, of the Internal Displacement Policy and Advocacy Center [IDPAC], said the police presence has put some people on edge.

“I’ve told them, the best thing is to put the batons down, the helmets down, and walk into the estates. Without guns, without anything, to reassure the residents, even those that are fleeing, that the security is there,” said Karuoya.
 
The campaign season comes to an end on Monday, when Kenyans will elect a new president and a host of local representatives. The big question on everyone’s mind is whether the peace will hold.

Watch related video by Jill Craig:

Kenyan Political Satire Show Prepares for Electionsi
X
February 28, 2013 5:02 PM
The XYZ Show is an enormously popular political satire television show in Kenya. It has a fan base of 8 million viewers per month. The show uses puppets as caricatures of political leaders and to highlight political issues in the country. With Kenya’s general elections set for Monday, the program’s creators and crew are working overtime to satisfy their audience's craving for a good laugh. Jill Craig reports for VOA from Nairobi.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs