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Last Updated: Friday, 4 January 2008, 17:40 GMT
Kenyan bloggers at home and abroad
As the humanitarian crisis grows in Kenya in the wake of the violent response to the disputed election, some are taking their protests and opinions to the web to get their voices heard.

Many people have been blogging to fill the gap where they feel the internal media in Kenya is letting them down. Here's a snapshot of some of the bloggers contributions.

This page contains links to external websites which are not subject to the usual BBC editorial controls.

geraldbaraza.blogspot.com

Gerald Baraza was born in Eldoret, Rift Valley Province, Kenya. He's been blogging since 2005 and says that this form of communication, to reach so many people and make human connections online is worth more than silver and gold.

Gerald Baraza

Gerald points out that the blogging community in Kenya is vital.

"They deserve a hell of a lot of praise. They have covered the events happening in different parts of Kenya with a lot details. They have spiced up their stories with pictures and demystified the thinking that writing is only for professionals.

"Most of them have shown their biases through their writing and reporting but this is good for it gives us a better picture of how the varied Kenyans look at the same events and interpret them differently. We have seen bitterness, anger, anxiety, confusion and desire for change in their writings."

2 January 2008:

Kibaki and Michuki need to understand that brutalization, domination, manipulation, exploitation, and marginalization of poor Kenyans will never build Kenya. If anything, it only serves to breed hatred, anger, acrimony and bloodshed. Kibaki's advisors like Prof. Nick Wanjohi need to help Kibaki to analyze the antecedents of a people's revolution.

They need to open his eyes to clarify and understand the complex and shifting positions of the various interest groups that surround him. The wanton abuse of human rights, the appropriation of state power and its resources, and hostility to popular and progressive forces will not help Kenya one bit. It will only catapult Kenya into denigration, tribalism, pity, and exploitation.

We have to fight to terminate the natural processes of tribalism and class.

Our duty right now is to come up with an ideology that transcends class and social locations in the production and power relations and to assume the existence of a spiritual or material unity just because it concerns Kenyans. We have to fight to terminate the natural processes of tribalism and class. Let me reiterate the fact that the future of Kenya will look a hundred times worse than the dismal present unless Kibaki, Raila, and their followers take seriously the lives of the Kenyans, their empowerment, and the total democratization of Kenya.

afromusing.com/blog/

Juliana is in Eldoret and heading for Nairobi. She works online for Global Voices online.org. Juliana started blogging as an outlet for her thoughts and to keep in touch with her friends.

3 January 2008

Today is an even sadder day. I am trying to keep my tears in check but can't. Town was quiet in an eerie, uneasy way. The hopelessness is palpable and the sadness in people's eyes is overwhelming. Some streets are deserted, shops are closed and Eldoret as we knew it is gone.

Photo taken by Juliana
Smoke from houses burning. Photo taken from a farm outside Eldoret.

- What is Eldoret without Paul's Bakery? For many of the displaced, this was the only home they knew. Where have they gone and will they be able to return?
- Mr. Limo of Limo House Hospital, and a leader in the area, taped a peace message to air on Sayare TV station (The ban on live broadcasts is not helping, because the peace appeals need to be heard and seen on as many channels as possible) - Can't listen to local radio. How can we listen to music at this time?!
- Fewer people at the cathedral on Uganda road.
- Shortage of vegetables

Watching the news, seeing the military on the streets of Nairobi, this has got to end. We can never ever talk of normal again. There is no normal. Stability? Of what sort?

Eldoret as we knew it is gone.

Honestly, I am afraid to say what I think on this blog as I will be in Kenya for a few more days. Whatever little hope I had that our country could rise to the greatness it was on a cusp of is dwindling.

If anyone of them calls themselves a Kenyan, a re-tallying of the votes, a lift on the live broadcast ban and immediate resolution of this state of affairs is needed. Anything else is just denial, excuses and cowardice.

Stand up, lead and save our beloved country. People have lives to get back to. Work, school, businesses. How is that ever possible? Will we have to get different ID's for every tribe possible? It just isn't sustainable, its madness. Let me stop here. Be safe and God Save Kenya.

wendwa.yakuti.org

Paula Odhiambo is from Nairobi and now lives in America. She says she writes online to glorify God and to share her cogitations and experiences with a virtual world.

Paula Odhiambo

She says, "The blogger community in Kenya is doing what it does best: Blogging. Many struggle to find internet connections, but they manage somehow - using their cellphones, if they have to.

Bloggers in Kenya are possibly the only reliable Kenyan source of information from the ground, for those of us in the diaspora. We do not think the local media is telling it all. Bloggers have come out full-force to educate, to encourage, to intercede and to negotiate for peace, taking full advantage of the wide reach of online media. Some have risked their lives to take pictures of the violence. I am very proud of Kenyan bloggers right now."

January 3 - 01:45

Text message sent: Unaenda Uhuru Park? (Are you going to Uhuru Park?)
Replies from my friends in Nairobi (in the order in which they were received):
Benjamin - (expletive) no!
Wayne - kwani! (what do you think!)
Connie - hizo ni nini unauliza! umetumwa? (what kind of question is that? have you been sent?)
Nkirote - Pole I took a while to reply. I'm not in Kenya! Huna habari?
Sylvia - nawwww... ya think??
Emma - do i knw u?
John - Chick, I'm holed up in shagz, I wish I could but sadly no....
Edgar - weh. wsup nw? uhuru park is 2pm. y r u wakin me up? ya am goin. pray 4 us.
David - YEAH!! KIBAKI shindwe pepo mbaya ibilisi!
Nduta - ya. left will & testament on ur blog. bado mapambano. if i perish i perish.
Joshua - zii... i still thnk therez a better way.
JP - yeap! will update.
Tindi - bila.... my peeps have locked to let me toka diggz.
Rategno - (expletive) YEAH!!
Kevin - changed mind. no transport.
Tom - uhhhh.... is milk white? kubaff!

So that's the story! Same thing with phone calls. Looks like a large number's going, and a large number's not. We shall see how it unfolds... Be careful, everyone!!!
Pray for Kenya.

A very sad day for Kenya's young democracy! The millions of mature voters who fulfilled their civic duty on the 27th of December have been let down!
Kabura, London

January 3 - 07:29
Most media houses are currently playing "gospel and pop" music. Kenyans outside Nairobi are largely in the dark. I am certain quite a number believe there is a rally going on in Uhuru Park right now. The phone lines are a big mess. I have tried to get a few words from our politicians, but, for the calls which have gone through (I have been trying for six hours), I have only managed to speak with three personal assistants, each of whom have told me something along the lines of "Mheshimiwa is currently in a meeting, charting a way forward for Kenyans in the current situation."

Although I felt like they were lying, at least the personal assistants are cordial. I introduced myself to Joe Nyagah and after a disconnection, his phone was "Mteja". I only mention him because these are the same people who, every election year, try to tell us they have our interests at heart. Because I cannot throw around a prominent name like "Reuters" and "CNN" and "BBC" and what-have-you, and because all I can claim is that I am a Kenyan trying to get news out to other Kenyans in the diaspora, they are very occupied - pray, hold them excused. I have not given up yet, though. Two have promised to get in touch with me.

Unaenda Uhuru Park? (Are you going to Uhuru Park?)

I have scheduled phone interviews with prominent pastors in East Africa, to hear what they would like to say to Kenyans around the world. It should be noted that Kenyan Christians all over the country are told every Sunday that if they sow a seed, God will give them a five-fold harvest, protecting them from harm, warding off their enemies, prospering them and giving them peace.

One of the things I hope to achieve: I would like to hear, from Kenyans as well as these pastors, how exactly "sowing a seed", a practise that has been grossly abused, has benefited Kenya at this point. I want to hear from men and women who claimed that their spouses were married to the church and took their entire salaries to the pastor, neglecting their families, literally paying God for His services. Who robbed them; God, or their pastors? Perhaps they should leave their homes (those who still have homes) and make it to distant churches this coming Sunday to sow a seed for peace to ensue?



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