Ok, for most of us – actually all of us who live in Canada and the U.S. – this is such a bizarre statement. We could conceivably want to insure against maybe, lets say, a tornado that may or may not hit in our lifetimes but I would venture to guess that none of us have considered insuring for political violence. The unfortunate thing is that it may very well be true here in Kenya. Every five years there is supposed to be an election. That fact is pretty blurred as campaigning here pretty much runs from election to election. So for the past four years all politicians have jockeyed their way from one party to the other to hopefully be a presidential candidate.
The unusual thing is that virtually all Kenyans aspire to be a politician. Why is that? Well, they are the highest paid and most consistently paid people in the country. They can pass their own laws increasing their pay any time they want. And up to this point in time are virtually above the law. There is a sign that we pass on our way to Nairobi saying “Can I get away with a crime if I am rich?” Every time we have passed that sign the answer seems to be more and more on the side that people can if they are rich even though we know it cannot be that way. Case in point, right now there are two politicians who are facing criminal charges from the last election violence in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague and both are still running for president. They are ousted from the parties that they had been in for quite some time. Instead of realizing that they are in a real problem they go ahead and create their own party. One of the politicians is hugely popular among the Kikuyu people and instead of seeing that a person under trial really should not be running for president this whole group of people shrug off the ICC and go on with life as usual. Sometimes things here are unexplainable.
We are reading that the two most googled topics last year were Hurricane Sandy and the U.S. elections. I can guarantee you that the Kenyan election will not be the most googled event in 2013 but the problem is that most likely it will be a news headline of some sort. Like the crazy violence in 2007 that led to thousands of people displaced within their own country to be left to live in tents for four or five years, people losing their property and separated from family, and even people being locked in a church and burned to death.
We would really like to ask that you join us in praying for the elections in Kenya starting now. We are praying that the people who live here will experience what we as Canadians and Americans take for granted – free, safe, and orderly elections. We are also praying that the people will choose the best candidate for president and not just someone that has the most exposure in the papers.
Oh by the way, remember the next time elections come up in Canada – contact your insurance provider and ask to be covered for political violence.