We all had a real shock yesterday when news filtered through that yet another ODM MP, Mr David Too, had been shot dead in Eldoret by a traffic policeman. I had just spent an hour with a traumatised neighbour convincing her that things were going to get better in Kenya from here on in! The Kofi Annan led talks with three representatives from the government side and three from the opposition had begun and were presumably taking things forward in a positive manner. Although they were called off when news broke of the death of the MP, they have resumed today.
'Fortunately', it was soon officially announced that the latest murder had been a 'crime of passion' and not some sort of more sinister hitman style execution, as was everyone's initial fear. It transpired that the MP was travelling in his car with a woman who was having an 'intimate' relationship with the policeman. There was gunfire as the jealous lover shot both the MP and the two timing girl. The MP died immediately and the woman died later that day in hospital. The traffic cop was arrested immediately and is awaiting trial. There was subsequent rioting in eldoret, but not Nairobi luckily. I dashed to pick up my eldest daughter from school bang on time so as not to get caught up in traffic in case of demonstrations, but in the end Nairobi was quiet.
Some expats have considered leaving the country until all this upset dies down but for now everyone I know has stayed put. February is a new month and it's important to stay positive and believe in the politicians finding a solution through their talks and bringing peace back to Kenya quickly. It's hard to see how they will do it, but once they have reached an agreement, I think that the thugs will be called off and the country can then focus on rehousing those who have been displaced and rebuilding the economy. Lets hope the tragedy following the December election is nearing an end.
I guess that coping with the trauma of the past few weeks is all part and parcel of being an expat in a developing country. One friend of mine lived in Ivory Coast during a coup, another in Malawi when things blew up there. Most of the time it's fabulous living as an expat in Africa, but occasionally it can be ugly and that is the challenge.