The primaries for Kenya’s Presidential election are being held today. After today, there can be no additional nominees for the presidency. Candidates can not simply switch parties and re-run as they’ve been allowed to in the past. There is no indication currently that there will be trouble in the next few days, but if the past election is anything to go by, we can assume political rallies and demonstrations will take place. Most will be uneventful, some may turn violent.
Of course, RVA has been through numerous election cycles, but many people have the most recent one in mind, five years ago. Nearly half of the staff here at RVA served here during the 2008 post-election violence that rocked the nation of Kenya, leaving about 1,200 Kenyans dead and hundreds of thousands more displaced. Though AIM enforced travel restrictions with concern for members’ safety and RVA delayed the start of second term by three weeks, Westerners were not a target and are not anticipated to be a target this time around.
Kenya is largely a more-stable nation in East Africa with an economy that has been doing reasonably well in recent years. A lot of their stability and the stability of surrounding nations hinges on the legitimacy and success of this election on March 4th.
So as you think of it, pray for Kenya. Pray specifically for those in leadership here and pray for the grace of God to just pour on this country in the coming months. Pray for our Kenyan friends mentioned here by name if you would.
We count ourselves privileged to serve here with a mission organization who has been in Africa for over 100 years at a school with a 100+ year history as well. Likewise, we count ourselves blessed to serve a risen Savior who has ordained everyday before one of them came to be.
And if you’re looking for more information, the council on foreign relations posted an article on the upcoming elections. And a closer look at RVA life during the January 2008 situation can be found here, here, and here.