Kenya (MNN) — Tension simmers just below the surface in Kenya. In the past two weeks, “there has been a lot of violence, a lot of people injured; a few people have been killed, and a lot of destruction of property,” Kenya Hope’s Joy Mueller says.
Anti-government protests have injured more than 400 people. Demonstrations paused on Sunday so the opposition leader could begin talks with the President.
“We don’t know at this point if any positive things will come out of this, [but] we hope so,” Mueller says.
Kenya Hope works alongside church partners throughout rural Kenya. More about that here. Believers say, “The demonstrations are over a couple of things,” Mueller states.
“The first [issue is] the elections held last August. The opposition claims [election results] are fraudulent, and the current government is not showing transparency.”
Secondly, “[pressures] have not changed since the new government came in,” Mueller says.
Costs continue to escalate, even though “one of the campaign promises made by the current government [was] that prices would go back down,” she continues.
“[Families are] now being told that their electrical [bill] is going to go up by 40 percent and water will go up by 30 percent.”
Kenya Hope recently increased its food aid to local churches. A fourth year of drought means crops and livestock are failing, but believers cannot buy food in the market because it’s too expensive.
“Fuses are short right now,” Mueller says, metaphorically describing the population’s attitude toward the government.
“If there isn’t a big change soon, demonstrations could escalate. People want to see things go back to [normal].”
Pray for perseverance. Believers continue Gospel work, even though conditions keep getting worse. “Pray for peace in the country,” Mueller adds.
“Pray that the talks would be productive and we can see some answers to these situations.”
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Nicholas Gray/Unsplash.