Sunday, January 6, 2008

Report 6 - Jan 3

January 3

Dear All,

It is 9:30 AM here in Kenya so I expect most of the people reading this will be happily dreaming in bed.

Today looks like the decisive day, and things don't look good. Kibaki has told the head of the African Union not to come to mediate because this is an internal Kenyan problem. In the doublespeak of the day, this means that Kibaki is not going to negotiate and will enforce his presidency with the police and military. The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) plans a massive inauguration of Raila Odinga today in downtown Nairobi at Uhuru Park. One million people are expected to attend. The Government has banned the gathering. BBC reports that riot police have encircled the park standing a meter apart. In other words, this looks like it's going to be a major confrontation. BBC also reports from Mombasa that people have armed themselves with traditional weapons--bows and arrows, machettes, clubs, etc. Kikuyu from hard-hit Eldoret have been evacuated under police escort to Nakuru and Nairobi.

I just took a walk around our town. While most of the shops are open, there are very few people in town. The police are very evident; talking with townspeople about the situation. The police station is filled with vehicles: including most of the town's matatus (which are mostly owned by Kikuyu). Clearly they are parked there for safekeeping.

Directly to the north is a large plume of black smoke. What does it mean? Has another building been burned in the countryside? Or is it just some normal burning of trash, etc? Considering the tension, everything is under suspicion.

A relative came by to see us yesterday. She lives in the rural area outside our town, perhaps a little over a mile away. On Sunday night, after the election results were announced, she told us that she had seen fires and a lot of smoke from the houses which were being burned.

I have no money on my cell phone and only 250/- left on my laptop--about two days worth. I doubt I will get any calling cards today, but I can hope for tomorrow. Thanks, everyone, for your messages. We are doing fine ourselves and we are absolutely in no danger. Two of our nieces (one 4 and one 13) are staying with us.

Please send all your prayers this way.

Dave Z

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