Report from Winnie Owiti :: Ebenezer Life Center

February 06, 2008

"It has been days since we were locked in our house in Ahero a few miles from Kisumu, a main center of recent violence after the general elections, which included civic elections, parliamentary elections and presidential elections," reports Winnie Owiti, leader of Ebenezer Life Center."

Describing the recent election, Winnie Owiti writes, "The process was peaceful and we, as Kenyans, were very proud of ourselves. The counting of votes in the constituencies went very well. There was no problem until the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) started delaying the announcements that were coming through the media directly and informing the public of what was going on.

"Kenyans were aware that Honorable Raila Amollo Odinga was leading with the presidential votes, but all of a sudden the chairman of ECK started making statements that he did not know why some information had not reached him, while the media had full information of the same. He said that the media should stop airing any information without his approval. All of a sudden the old president, Kibaki, started gaining votes and was declared the winner. Ever since that time, Kenya has not been the same."

"Everything literally stopped. The shops were closed and there is no business going on. Shops have been looted, there is fighting and killing in all parts of Kenya. This is going on to date. There is no petrol; the planes cannot fly into Kisumu. We cannot go to Kisumu because of violence and lack of petrol. We are in the house. This looks like house arrest. We cannot even make a press statement, because we are cut off completely. We do not have air time for our mobile phones. It is a very difficult situation."

"We had stocked food, and so it will take us to the end of this week. We surely need prayers. It is not easy. Everything has suddenly stopped in Kenya – it is chaos and violence. Pray for peace again to prevail in Kenya. We also need justice to prevail. We hope next week will be peaceful and things will resume. Pray for us."

The clergy with Voice of Salvation based in Nyanza Province report:

"The current situation in Kenya, coupled with a lot of violence after the announcement of the presidential election, calls for our intervention. Many parts of Kenya, including our city of Kisumu, have experienced killings, burnt houses and enormous looting, among various other atrocities. It has been very difficult to communicate, as the roads are occupied with violent protests.

"Transportation has been cut off, including flying into Kisumu. The shops are closed and people cannot even buy food. Getting a phone card to call is a problem, and there is no petrol for vehicles. The situation is very bad.

"This has been the case since the announcement of the presidential election results, indicating that PNU won over ODM, a situation we have never witnessed in Kenya since she achieved her independence. Something is seriously wrong and as members of the clergy, we stand for truth and righteousness, as stated in Proverbs 14:34. Righteousness exalts a nation and sin is a reproach for all.

"It is evident that there were anomalies with the tallying of presidential votes. The lack of transparency by the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) tallying center at KICC has raised serious doubts, which has sparked violent protests all over the country. The situation is chaotic.

"Nyanza is seriously affected. Today there were six deaths in Rongo, where the police shot live bullets at demonstrating Wanainchi people. The mortuary is full of dead bodies, now running to 300 alone in Kisumu city.

Women and children have been displaced, and some children are already sick with pneumonia, just at the point of death. Hospitals, including Ahero dispensary, cannot cope with the violence, nor can Nairobi. Victims bleed to death. Children are running out of food. This is a disaster in Kenya.

This is what we are strongly suggesting as Christian leaders in Nyanza:

  • Tallying of presidential votes be done afresh, transparently before the media, international observers and in the presence of all the party agents, with an external mediator.
  • We call for Kenyans to be patient and exercise maximum restraint, as our political leaders look for a quick way of solving this problem before things get out of hand.

"We cannot continue like this. This must stop! We need PEACE and UNITY. The Bible says that 'thou shall not kill' and the Bible also says that, 'thou shall not steal.'

"May God help Kenya. We are brothers and sisters at the end of the day. We are Kenyans. Let us get to the root of the matter and deal with it and heal Kenya immediately.

In the meantime, we need help for the 100 widows and 240 orphans we look after, as well as thousands of displaced people looking to us in their desperation."