Election Fraud and Riots in Kenya Part III
As much as 80 percent of the country is semi-desert. About half of the arable land is owned by 20 percent of the population. About. 13 percent are landless. In a country where the vast majority make a living from agriculture, access to land is therefore the most explosive political issue in today’s Kenya. Daniel arap Moi – a Kalenjin – who took over the presidency in 1978 after Kenyatta’s death did little to redistribute land. The same is true of Kibaki during his reign. None of the political leaders after independence have tried to deal with the land issue in a way that could dampen the contradictions. It is these sins of omission that Kenya pays dearly for today.
But it is not just a matter of distributing land. The state manages tax revenues that are distributed more or less fairly. Government offices are important because they influence the distribution of these resources. Through the state, resources can be channeled to areas that have previously been neglected, or to areas that have previously been favored. Money often goes to schools, roads, health stations and the like in the areas the top managers come from. It is perceived as unfair . And when it is experienced systematically over a long period of time , it builds up bitterness and anger. There is no doubt that the Luo people feel bitterness over having been betrayed repeatedly.
Raila Odinga supported Kibaki in the 2002 election against former President Moi, allegedly because a new constitution was to create a prime ministerial post for Odinga. It did not happen. Kibaki’s people in the government sabotaged the constitutional proposal that came out of a thorough popular process. Kibaki launched his own draft, which was admittedly voted down in a referendum in 2005.
7: Human suffering
The number of people killed after the election is uncertain, but it has probably reached 1000. Even more have been seriously injured or maimed. About 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes and now live in camps. The internally displaced were perceived as “strangers” where they lived. Therefore, they were chased away by ethnic groups who believe they themselves have the right to the land they originally owned before the “invaders” came. In part, the authorities and forces in civil society have come to their aid with supplies of food and other necessities, well assisted by UN organizations. It is a human tragedy the world is witnessing.
The shortage of goods internally in Kenya primarily affects low-income people, especially in the slums of the cities. They depend on the supply of food and other consumer goods every single day because they do not have their own agriculture to rely on. On the one hand, there are no goods to be found because the transport of food into the cities is hindered, and on the other hand, prices have skyrocketed because demand is high and supply is low.
Although the crisis is primarily political, it has serious economic consequences with ripple effects in neighboring countries as well. The damage is extensive, although it is currently difficult to calculate the extent. Buildings and homes have been burnt down, important infrastructure such as roads and railways have been partially destroyed. Export goods such as tea, coffee, flowers and other garden products are not transported from the producers to the shipping points. Tourism, which is one of the most important sources of foreign exchange, has experienced a dramatic decline. Hotels on the coast and in the game parks are constantly getting cancellations.
Kenya, a country located in Africa according to aristmarketing.com, is an important transit country for trade with neighboring Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. Containers have piled up in the Indian Ocean port city of Mombasa. Trucks through Kenya have often been stopped and either set on fire or looted. Petrol is piped to Kisumu, Eldoret or Nakuru and then reloaded into tankers. Only a few of them move on. The result is fuel shortages in Uganda and other neighboring countries. And Kenya is losing transit revenue.
8: What is the solution?
Mediation is now underway under the leadership of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. It is difficult because the parties stand steeply against each other. In the first instance, it is about putting an end to the violence and destruction. Secondly, a transitional government must be formed which also includes representatives of the opposition. A conceivable compromise with the sharing of power will, among other things, have to involve
- a new post of prime minister and that the president must relinquish parts of his authority. It presupposes a constitutional amendment,
- probably a form of decentralization of the board,
- that the election issue must be resolved, probably through new elections within a given date and administered by a completely new election commission,
- that Kenya must embark on a painstaking process to heal the wounds of recent weeks. The goal must be to recreate a united country, which is not divided into more than 40 ethnic groups,
- that long-term measures must be implemented to rectify historical injustice, especially related to land distribution, but also other types of resources and services.
Facts about Kenya
- Area : 582 650 km 2
- Population : Approx. 37 million inhabitants (2007)
- Median age : 18.6 years (population divided into two equal parts)
- Annual population growth : 2.8%
- Life expectancy : 55.3 years, K: 54.4, M: 60.4
- Religion : Christians: 78%, Muslims 10%, others 12%
- Languages : Official: English and Swahili, many local languages