Stolen election Disputed poll, rigging, vote tallying, ECK failure to do its job, disputed presidential poll. Media ban on live broadcasting. ODM press conferences claim that they were the rightful winners of the election. ODM flat refusal to recognise Mwai Kibaki as President.
Early January: Outbreaks of violence countrywide Property destroyed and protests take place mainly in slum areas of Nairobi, Mombasa and in Western Kenya. (Kisumu and Eldoret worst hit). Pockets of violence, burning, looting, threats. ‘Peaceful’ countrywide Mass action – called for by ODM (on six days named days over three weeks). Illegal demonstrations take place. All rallies outlawed by police. Brink of civil war. High state of tension. Many stay inside their homes. Panic buying in supermarkets. ECK chairman makes press statement saying that he was ‘pressured’ into announcing results before investigating flaws in vote tallying.
Desmond Tutu arrives Tutu diffuses high state of tension on first day of organised ‘mass action’ which is called off by ODM mid afternoon. Nairobi city centre disrupted. Businesses close in fear of looting. Protestors largely made up of male youths. Eldoret and Kisumu burn. Rioting in Nairobi slums: Kibera, Mathare Valley, Karangware. Police pour into Uhuru Park, Nairobi to prevent gathering from taking place. Demonstrators are blocked from exiting slums to reach town centre. EU speak out and calls the election ‘flawed’. US Ambassador states election ‘not free and fair’. Gordon Brown makes statement citing irregularities. Kalonzo Musyoka appointed Vice President. Kibaki goes ahead and appoints his cabinet. Desmond Tutu leaves having diffused some tension but unsure of how things can move forward in Kenya.
Further days of ‘mass action’ announced Protestors brandishing knives. Demonstrators in running battles with police, tear gas canisters, protestors gassed, rubber bullets fired into the air, live ammunition used by Police, instability, standoffs. Rumoured instigation of violence by ‘leaders’. Roads blocked. Traffic paralyzed in Western Kenya. Trucks burned on roads. Drivers threatened and are asked to reveal tribal ancestry. Farms burned. Deaths. All property, businesses and people assumed to Government supporters are targeted in Western Kenya. Horrendous news pictures of violence both broadcast locally and internationally. International Travel bans imposed on Kenya. Tourists leave and industry inundated with cancellations.
Mid January: Crisis continues Houses and businesses burned. Hate messages. Hate radio broadcasts inciting racial divides. Tribal antagonism. ‘Foreigners’ (i.e. those belonging to tribes not originating from that area) told to get out of Western Kenya. Kenyans seek refuge in churches and police posts. Eldoret church torched with Kenyans sheltering inside (incl women and children). Tribal issues reawakened. Ethnic cleansing. Illegal roadblocks. Police accused of shooting indiscriminately. Innocent slashed to death (ie. with a machete/panga). Rape, molestation. Break down of law and order. Fear of Genocide. Comparisons made with Rwanda.
Blame shifting ODM blame Government for Police brutality and deaths. Government blame ODM for instigating violence and destabilizing the country. MPs claim to have received death threats.
Humanitarian crisis Internally Displaced Kenyans (IDPs), Red Cross, human rights abuses, camps. Donations of food and clothes. Caravan of Hope Appeal. Charity. Impasse. Desperation. Humanitarian assistance. Jamhuri Park, Nairobi, Nakuru Show ground inundated. Thousands flee over the border into Uganda.
Leaders maintain hard line approach ‘Where is Kibaki?. Raila visits Eldoret. International intervention. Jendayi Frazer arrives from US. She states: ‘US will not be conducting business as usual in Kenya’. Arrival of Eminent African personalities. African Union chairman, John Kufour visits, but seemingly leaves without gaining much ground in search for peace. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan visit postponed due to ill health. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni arrives to mediate. Further Accusations of police being partisan in tackling violence. First Convening of Parliament. Election of house speaker. MPs swearing in. Kalonzo forms committee for truth and reconciliation – ODM rejects Kalonzo as peacemaker and are offended by his stepping forward.
Late January Arrival of Kofi Annan Raila and Kibaki shake hands outside Harambee house after first meeting. People of Kenya heave a premature sigh of relief.
Revenge attacks carried out in central Kenya Reprisals against tribe members originating from Western now living in central Kenya. Backlash. Naivasha house burned with sheltering victims inside (incl. women and children). First Nakuru, then Naivasha in flames. Angry Mob. ODM MP shot/murdered outside his home. Within 36 hours second ODM MP shot in cold blooded murder. Standoffs between police and demonstrators. Historic land issues of Rift Valley/central Rift resurface. Tribal issues. Ethnic cleansing. Appeals for military intervention. Terrified residents driven out. Youth with bows and arrows. Forced circumcisions. Mungiki bussed in to ‘cleanse’ areas of ‘foreigners’.
Brink of civil war again Kenya teetering on a precipice. Future hanging in the balance. Knife edge. Further eminent statesmen visit. Annan appoints his peace and reconciliation team to include: himself, Graca Machel (former South African first lady) and Benjamin Mkapa (former Tanzanian president). ODM slogan ‘no peace without justice.’ President Mwai Kibaki maintains he is ‘duly elected.’ News reporters and media bosses reveal that they have received death threats.
Annan lead Roadmap to Peace proposed Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation committee formed, to include three representatives from each party. First on the agenda: Stop the violence, how to deal with the unfolding humanitarian crisis. Those responsible will face the full force of the law. All guilty parties to be; ‘brought to book’ for playing their part in the violence. Attorney General has evidence against some MPs for instigating violence, chooses not to name names while ‘truth and reconciliation’ talks ongoing. Perpetrators of violence charged and placed in police custody. Investigations ongoing. Mediated talks ongoing. Dialogue continues.
UN states: ‘find peace soon or we will intervene’
10 MPs banned from US, UK and Canada to follow suit. Ramaphosa rejected by PNU as additional mediator to join Annan’s team. Media ban on live broadcasts finally lifted.
Flawed election hotly debated in mediation talks Kofi Annan asks press not to speculate on the details of talks but urged the public to be patient until an agreement can be reached. Annan warns anyone conspiring to de rail peace talks. Rumoured bugging of Annan’s room in the Nairobi Serena hotel. Displaced Kenyans start being transported en masse out of temporary shelters at police posts, prisons and show grounds, to be repatriated with ancestral/tribal lands. Business leaders speak out on failing economy. Estimated 400,000 Kenyans to lose their jobs. Tourism and manufacturing industries hardest hit. Flower farmers appeal for peace as they approach their busiest most profitable time of year: Valentines Day.