Monday, January 21, 2008

January 21, 2008 - Corruption in Kenya

I feel like everyday I have new opinion about the situation in Kenya, which I hope is less frustrating for you to read than it is for me to feel.

There is an article online in the NY Times this morning that I find HIGHLY disturbing, which means something coming from someone who no longer feels surprised by the news in Kenya. The article can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/21/world/africa/21kenya.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin and discusses the fact that it seems like much of the ethnic violence that has occurred since the elections was planned. It also lists some examples of how the violence was encouraged by candidates on both sides before the elections ever took place. And I stand corrected when I wrote that most of the violence still going on was coming from the police and was not ethnic anymore; it turns out that over the weekend several tribally-motivated murders were committed, leaving at least 10 more people dead.

Additionally, a report has been released by 20 NGOs saying that there is evidence of vote rigging by BOTH parties (PNU and ODM) and, therefore, there is absolutely no way to determine the rightful president after that Dec. 27th vote. I have previously been sympathetic to ODM's plight, but I no longer feel sorry for them if they were cheating too. Both presidents, and both parties, are crooks in my opinion and neither deserves to lead this nation. I am not sure if the 3rd presidential candidate, who is now the vice president, is any better, but we have heard several Kenyans say that if there was a re-election they would vote for him (Kalonzo) instead of Kibaki or Odinga. If corruption is this rampant in Eastern Africa's biggest success story, what must it be like in other African countries?

I am not in school but I feel like everyday I live here I learn so much and, while I am often homesick, I do really appreciate the educational experience of being here.

LMW

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