Category : Kenya

(WCC) Kenya church leaders view dialogue as best way out of political crisis

Church leaders in Kenya are proposing a national dialogue conference to help find ways of the resolving the current political and social crises facing the East African nation.

Apart from discussing the stand-off over fresh presidential elections, it would also help resolve a longstanding nurses and clinical officers’ strike.

On 10 October, the political crisis appeared to deepen after National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga announced that his coalition would boycott the polls set for 26 October.

Odinga had cited the failure by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to institute some reforms he had demanded as an “irreducible minimum” before another election is held. High on the list of demands is the removal of officials in the commission who he believes caused him to lose the 8 August polls. One of the officials is the chief executive Ezra Chiloba.

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Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Kenya, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(MIR) Kenya’s Historic Elections and Unknown Future

During the summer of 2017, election season put all eyes on Kenya. Although a decade ago, the unprecedented violence of the 2007 elections that left an estimated 1,400 people dead remains in the memory of the Kenyan people. Given this tragic recollection, apprehension was high going into this election season. The two main rivals, Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of the first post-independence leader, Jomo Kenyatta, a Kikuyu, and Raila Odinga, son of Odinga Odinga, a Luo, are no strangers to conflict. Their tribal identities were divided long ago by colonialists and their families are long-standing political rivals furthering divisions among some of the largest tribes in Kenya.

The two politicians went head to head this election cycle and the results shocked the nation. While violence did not erupt amongst the public prior to the release of poll results, an Independent Election and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) official Chris Msando was discovered tortured and killed a little over a week before the election. Despite this shocking event, the Kenyan people voted peacefully and on time. Kenyatta won 54% of the vote to Odinga’s 44% in a tight race.

However, violence broke out the day after the results were released, leaving 24 dead. Odinga’s team claimed that the online tallying system “lacked integrity” and therefore did not properly count the votes. The death of Chris Msando further compounded a lack of faith in the legitimacy of the election results. Odinga’s team then petitioned the supreme court for a recount. In 2013, Odinga’s team made a similar petition to the court based on claims of voter fraud, which was rejected. This time, however, the court decided that the basis of the petition was legitimate enough to warrant a complete nullification of the election results on September 1st.

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Posted in History, Kenya, Politics in General

(WSJ) Kenyan Supreme Court Nullifies Election, Calls for New Vote

Kenya’s supreme court on Friday annulled the country’s presidential election results and called for a new poll to be held within 60 days, a surprise ruling that plunged one of Africa’s top economies into a new period of uncertainty.

The bench ruled in favor of the petition filed by opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who claimed the electoral commission’s IT system had been hacked to manipulate the results. Kenya’s election commission had declared incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of the poll, which was held peacefully and lauded by international observers.

The court judgment, which said the Aug. 8 election contained irregularities and wasn’t conducted in accordance with the constitution, marks the first presidential election to be annulled in Kenya’s history.

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Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Kenya, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General

(CEN) Andrew Symes–A Kenyan Grassroots Anglican project addresses serious, hidden crisis of child sex tourism

Kenya is rapidly becoming one of the major destinations for child sex tourism.

According to ECPAT UK, an organisation that campaigns against child trafficking, at least 30,000 Kenyan children are being exploited in the sex industry. Their report goes on to describe some of the reasons for the endemic nature of the crime:

“It is well recognised that local men and those from neighbouring countries sexually exploit Kenyan children, but sex tourists, both men and women, are also active in the country. Activists believe the rise in the sex tourism industry is the result of the weak application of the law and the corruption of some officials, which allows offenders to commit abuses against children with impunity….”

Faith-based projects with strong values predicated on the dignity of all human beings and with concern for the protection of the most vulnerable from exploitation are best placed to succeed where overall funding is limited, and governmental and local community motivation is low due to apathy, corruption, and public taboos about discussing issues of sex.

The Centre for Compassion, Rehabilitation and Development in Athi River, near Nairobi, is an encouraging example of such a project. It is part of the youth ministry programme of the Anglican Diocese of Machakos, whose Bishop, Joseph Mutungi, is concerned about pervasive indoctrination and sexual exploitation of young people in Kenya, and wants to offer an opportunity for transformation through Christ and a return to Bible-based values.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Kenya, Kenya, Sexuality, Violence