Political Violence In Kenya And Local Churches’ Responses: The Case Of The 2007 Post- Election Crisis
Mumma- Martinon, C.A.
MetadataShow full item record
In 27 December 2007, Kenyans went to the polls to e lect their presidential, parliamentary, and civic leaders. This general election was described as replete with serious anomalies—a situation that continues to raise serious doubts about the va lidity of the electoral process. On 30 December 2007, after three days of uncertainty, the Electora l Commission of Kenya (ECK) Chairman, Samuel Kivuitu, announced Mwai Kibaki's re-election amidst chaos. According to ECK, Kibaki (Party of National Unity – PNU) won the presidentia l election with 4,584,721 votes (46 percent), against 4,352,903 (44 percent) garnered by Odinga ( Orange Democratic Party –ODM). The whole process was less than transparent, castin g doubt on the credibility of the electoral outcome, especially the presidential election. The majority of those involved—whether media, civil society organizations, politicians, religious institutions, leaders, even ordinary citizens— were perceived as politically tainted, partisan, or compromised. Many felt that the churches, which prior to the referendum on the draft constitu tion of 2005 were regarded as voices of reason and moral authority, had failed in the 2007 electio ns to provide visionary and unbiased leadership. This essay discusses the background to the violence and critically analyzes varied church responses as well as the implications of the se responses for political stability in Kenya