For the last several weeks we have been inviting people for an IDRN Disaster Response and preparedness seminar. Sign-ups have been very encouraging; we expect close to 200 people from different parts of Kenya. The training will include logistics for setting up local coordination centers that are equipped to respond to local and even regional disasters.
One of the promotional text messages we sent out read: “We are praying and trusting for peaceful elections. However, there could be a small group that wants to cause trouble during this period. We want people to be prepared.”
Whereas we are all praying for free, fair and peaceful elections on March 4, we might have left out a crucial date: February 6. I will explain. A fairly popular Presidential contender and his running mate have been charged at the International Criminal Court (ICC) with playing a key a role in the violent mayhem that befell Kenya after our last elections. The two have galvanized a sizeable number from their tribes to vote for them. Considering that they come from large people groups in Kenya, you can appreciate that they do command a reasonable following. To them, winning elections would be a “vote of no confidence on the ICC.”
Such a win would immediately rank Kenya among the failed states like Zimbabwe and northern Sudan. There would be all kinds of embargoes and restrictions on Kenya. We definitely do not want that to happen.
On February 6 or 7, the judges at Kenya’s High Court will give a verdict about whether the two are allowed to contest Presidential elections. If the two are stopped from vying, even though they already have clearance form the Elections Board, there could be strong reactions from familiar quarters. Depending on how the security apparatus operates, such reactions would be nipped in the bud or allowed to escalate.
The judges could also decide to let the two proceed to the polls. There is no telling how they will respond if they lose on March 4th. So far they have said they are willing to concede defeat, but that is yet to be seen. Their cases at ICC at the Hague begin on April 10 this year and could go for two years or more. And if our next President is away in court for those years — how will he have served this nation?
Please pray for Kenya.