One sensationalistic video is even predicting an apocalyptic future of mass starvation under a Raila Odinga presidency.
(A woman I met recently told me that her relatives in central Kenya are convinced that if Odinga wins the elections, all Kikuyus will be forced to wear shorts! She has been unable to convince them otherwise, which makes me wonder just how gullible Kenyans are.)
All these developments do not augur well for the country.
There is a sense that things are getting out of hand; that laws and court judgments can be broken or ignored at will and that the institutions that we should be relying on for stability, continuity, predictability — and sanity — have been compromised or are hopelessly inefficient and ineffective.
The international media are keenly watching the pre-election climate in the country.
An article in Bloomberg stated: “Less than a month before Kenyans are due to go to the polls, electoral authorities are behind on everything from printing ballot papers to finalising the voter list.
"That risks a disputed outcome and unrest, a decade after post-election violence engulfed the East African nation.”
I personally believe, and hope, that widespread violence will not occur.
I think violence has become unpalatable to the majority of Kenyans who learned in 2007/2008 that it is only the poor who are killed, maimed or displaced when there is political violence, while the leaders who marshal their troops to battle sit comfortably in their mansions, watching the mayhem on television.
I am not advocating peace for peace’s sake; peace without justice is just forced silence. But violence for violence’s sake is just madness.
In 2008, when the post-election violence had destroyed several communities, and before the signing of the peace accord that brought Mwai Kibaki and Odinga together in a coalition government, I wrote about people in Nairobi’s slums “sleeping with their clothes and shoes on” in case they were attacked.
I also wrote about a woman who had been raped “in revenge for the Kiambaa church killings” by two men, who not only impregnated her, but also infected her with HIV, and about an unarmed protester in Kisumu who was killed in cold blood by a policeman.
These horrific events took place some 10 years ago. I pray that nobody will experience or will be writing about similar incidents after the August 8 elections.