On Sunday 30th December 2007, following the announcement of the results of the Presidential elections conducted on Thursday 27th December, Kenya was plunged into an unprecedented violence and lawlessness characterised by murder, arson, rape, looting and all kinds of threats and intimidation. About 500 people have so far died and over 250,000 displaced.
The dispute arose from allegations from the second placed presidential candidate, Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga and his Orange Democratic Movement Party (ODM) supporters that the election had been rigged in favour of Party of National Unitys (PNU) Hon. Mwai Kibaki who was pronounced the winner by the Electoral Commission of Kenya ECK Just prior to the announcement of the results by the Commission Chairman Mr. Samuel Kivuitu, tensions had already started to mount as both PNU and ODM supporters called for the ECK to announce the winner. The announcement of the parliamentary poll winners had been made in the local media around the clock from the evening of the 27th of December. Delays in the announcement of the presidential elections were occasioned by what the ECK termed slow relaying of results from the returning officers at the constituency level. With tensions high, the announcement of President Kibaki as the winner of the elections sparked off violent protests in major towns like Kisumu, Mombasa, Eldoret and parts of Nairobi.The situation pitted mainly 2 major ethnic communities against each other leading to loss of lives, destruction of property, looting , rape and displacement of thousands of people. This led to the intimidation and ejection of the members mainly the one community deemed to have voted for Kibaki who lived in the said towns. This further led to a huge influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The IDPs consist mainly of women and children are being accommodated in police stations, churches, social/community centres, Agricultural Society of Kenya show grounds etc. This has set off a massive humanitarian crisis as 255,686 displaced Kenyans are in dire need of food, water, medical attention, clothing etc. Humanitarian organisations like the United Nations agencies, the government, NGOs, Red Cross, Corporate organisations, and Kenyans of goodwill among others have rallied together to provide the much needed assistance and relief.Whereas a sense of normalcy is slowly unfolding as people get back to work, we cannot ignore the still latent tensions that are there that have led to fear and suspicion mainly among members of the two communities. Reports of evictions and intimidation from other parts of the country continue to be relayed by the media houses leading to alarm. We are passionately appealing for calm and tolerance as Kenyans embrace each other in love and acceptance, a people who have peacefully coexisted for years.We stand in solidarity with the thousands of Kenyans who are suffering and undergoing hardships and appeal to all our partners and friends to join us in supporting them in any way possible. The need is overwhelming. We are grateful for all who have responded to this call for help both in our congregations and from outside Kenya and appeal to as many as can assist to do so through donations in cash and kind.We are grateful to all our congregations, partners and friends for upholding our nation in prayer during this difficult time and request that this continues.We in ACK and other stakeholders are involved in various mediation forums and peace initiative activities.The Most Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi
Archbishop of Kenya & Bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese