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'Kenyans don't want to fight again'

Source: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 16:02 GMT
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By Katy Migiro, AlertNet correspondent in Nairobi

Monday, Feb 25, 2013

With one week to go to voting day, peace is the overriding theme. 

Some people are feeling reassured after yesterday’s national prayer rally, which was attended by all the major presidential candidates. Thousands turned up to hear the renowned charismatic preacher David Owuor who, it is reported, made a blind child see just by touching his sightless eyes.

"I will be the first to concede defeat if Kenyans elect somebody else," the leading candidate, Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya's first president, told the crowd.

My “boys” providing security in Mathare today are confident. “Kenyans don’t want to fight again," said Lucas. “The violence touched everyone. We were all affected."

 

Businesses are already feeling the impact.   

“Do you know any journalists who are coming to Nairobi?” my friend who works at Tribe, one of Nairobi’s swankiest hotels asked me over the weekend. 

She and her colleagues are being sent on compulsory leave over the next month. A rota has been drawn up with each member of staff being sent home for one week. 

“The hotel is empty. We have no bookings,” she said. 

At the salon, my beautician told me lots of her affluent clients have left Kenya, scared of a repeat of the 2007/08 violence. 

“They've gone to stay with relatives in Tanzania or the UK,” she said.


This evening, most people are rushing home to watch the second and final presidential debate. 

The key question is whether Uhuru Kenyatta will participate.

He is reported to have felt unfairly targeted in the first debate by the reporter’s questions over his upcoming trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ICC alleges that Kenyatta committed crimes against humanity after the 2007 election, mobilising an outlawed criminal gang to kill members of the rival communities. Kenyatta has rejected the charges.

Tonight’s debate will touch on land, a sensitive topic for Kenyatta. His family is one of the largest land owners in Kenya, largely thanks to the deals his father did as the country’s first president.

Kenyatta is ranked Kenya's richest man by Forbes magazine with a fortune estimated at half a billion dollars.

For more from the Kenya Election Diary blog, please click here

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