We are all a bit depressed now and saddened. The shock and outrage at the blundering, very obvious tampering with election results has left everyone with no option but to feel betrayed: ‘This election has set Kenya back 15 years’ said a radio news caster this morning.
We have been holed up in our homes for three days of violence now, fearful of running into trouble on the streets. Planned New Year safaris have been cancelled and very few ventured out to party last night. It's difficult not to be snappy with the children. All these days with no work just encourages more law breaking and frustration amongst the population, but how to get things back on track? The only excursions we make are to friends houses or to the shops, where produce is running very low as the whole re supply infrastructure has broken down. ‘All the rich people have bought everything in the supermarkets, the small shops are closed, now we are beginning to starve, I will be giving my family boiled water with sugar,’ said one man waiting in a kilometre long supermarket queue yesterday. He may have been exaggerating slightly but the majority of people buy small quantities of sugar, tea, margarine, vegetables, lentils etc. from roadside stands. With these ‘dukas’ now closed for fear of looting, people are having to resort to walking miles for their basic essentials (few buses are running either). Supermarkets and ‘stocking up’ suggest large houses and piles of disposable cash of the privileged few.
The Sky news is reporting that there was vote rigging on both sides during the tallying process. The major problem is that none of us can see a way out of this situation or see how it can ultimately be resolved as the damage has now been done. Everyone is supposed to be back at work tomorrow, but very few will turn up. We now have Raila’s ‘mass demonstration’ hanging over us, scheduled for Thursday and the whole problem has is also now becoming frighteningly tribal. If outside mediators from other countries get involved, there may be a chance but quite honestly the whole emotive issue of the Kenyan election, where politicians had been campaigning for twelve months in the run up to December 27th, has created a pride filled impasse which will be very difficult to diffuse.