Mathare back to life after ‘dark days’

August 17, 2017 5:04 pm
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She looks jovial when Capital FM News crew caught up with her, despite the loss she has incurred during the days the place experienced violence, bringing everything to a standstill/COSMUS MWONGELA

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17- Lucy Wanjiku is seen trying to salvage remains of her market stall in Mathare, a mark that normalcy is gradually returning to the area.

Besides her, five other traders are fixing their stalls that were destroyed during the post election violence witnessed in the area, following the declaration of President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of 2017 General Election.

She looks jovial when Capital FM News crew caught up with her, despite the loss she has incurred during the days the place experienced violence, bringing everything to a standstill.

“We are used to this,” she jokingly says, as she salvages the remains of her stall.

“Mathare is known of violence more during and after the electioneering period. Without politics, we remain as one people.”

Her motivation is, “they didn’t cut my hands. I, however, hold no grudge against anyone. Life continues.”

Next to her stall, is 25 years old Brian Adelle who is also reconstructing his.

“Some youths took advantage of the situation. They wanted to destroy everything but we stopped them,” he said.

“But we are happy that calm has resumed. Life was becoming unbearable since we do not have any other means of income.”

-Peaceful neighbours-

In Mathare Area 4, Mother Teresa Road, we caught up with Grace Wairimu alias Mama Mboga in her place of work with two other ladies.

The ladies can be seen having a hearty discussion and often breaking into a lengthy laughter.

It is upon approaching them that we established that they are trying to ‘milk’ some fun out of what happened during the days there were chaos.

“I was waiting for you here with a stone.” one of the ladies tells Mama Mboga teasingly.

But she is quick to explain that, “there is no way I would attack my best friend because of politics. She is the one who will come to my rescue when I am in need.”

-NASA Declaration-

Hours after the National Super Alliance move to seek a legal redress of the presidential outcome at the Supreme Court, calm has resumed in most informal sectors as revealed by a spot check by Capital FM News.

In areas where tension had hit the brim, residents have moved on swiftly and besides the marks of burnt tyres on the tarmac, there is nothing to show there was violence.

“Raila (Odinga) did well to go to court. We believe justice will be served there and whatever the outcome, we are optimistic peace will prevail,” Nelson Muga, a BodaBoda rider said.

Jackson Odongo, a ‘diehard’ supporter of Odinga says, “The country is now calm with his move. Things were at a standstill.”

Jackson Odongo, a ‘diehard’ supporter of Odinga says, “The country is now calm with his move. Things were at a standstill/COSMUS MWONGELA

Odongo, a father of five, calls on Kenyans to maintain peace as they wait for the hearing and determination of the court.

“We want to continue feeding our families which can only happen in a peaceful environment. Everything should be settled in court,” Odongo said.

If NASA wins the case, he says “I am ready to cast my vote again. My voting card is still intact.”

-Security Presence-

Even with this, police officers were seen manning the area to ensure the rule of law prevails.

That was the case in Kibera and Kawangware areas, where supporters of the National Super Alliance had been protesting.

More than 10 people were killed across the country, and of these, a 9-year-old girl died instantly after she was hit by a stray bullet.

The girl was playing with other children’s at their flat in Mathare area.

A six months old baby also succumbed to injuries on Wednesday, believed to have been inflicted by an anti-riot police officer in Kisumu.

In Mathare Area 4, Mother Teresa Road, we caught up with Grace Wairimu alias Mama Mboga in her place of work with two other ladies/COSMUS MWONGELA

Trouble started in the area on August 11, shortly after the announcement of Presidential results, where President Uhuru Kenyatta, of the Jubilee Party, was declared the winner against his main rival Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (NASA).

The international community has urged politicians to avoid taking the country back to the dark days of 2007-2008 when more than 1,000 lives were lost while 600,000 others were internally displaced.

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