The View From Kenya: Part I

Kenyan voters go to the polls tomorrow in the first general election since 2007, when a disputed vote sparked ethnic violence that killed and displaced thousands.  Many of our members had lost their homes and assets in the 2007 clashes, and used Zidisha loans to rebuild their livelihoods.  We are all hoping that this time, the elections will be peaceful.

Despite the tension and uncertainty in Kenya, many of our members there have taken the time to share updates with lenders.  Here is a selection of recent comments:

“It’s on a time that Kenya our country is getting a new president after having a new constitution and a hard task is a head of the government because of new structures of six elective post… my message to every one reading this may you pray for Kenya to have a peaceful election and not to repeat the post election violence … May the lord also bless you (Zidisha Team & Lenders) for making it work for the Kenyans from the loan that they acquire from you .. we really say thanks and keep it up….. we need more organization like this to help our economy grow.” – James Ngugi, Naivasha, Kenya

“I again thank you again for funding my loan. My business is doing well though with challenges especially now the country is preparing for a general election. People are just being cautious and thus they are not buying much to save money just in case there is a post election violence. However i cant complain and i thank the almighty God for the far He has taken me.” – Judy Mburu, Nairobi, Kenya

“Dear lenders.
Its an election period and in less than two weeks on 4th March. Kenyans will have their democratic right to votes new leaders and new Government for the next five years. Its the firstelection done under new constitution we voted in 2010 which has created a devolved form of Government, a new experience where we shall be having new representation and new mode of leadership. In a country with many tribes during election time in our country there is tension after the experience from previous general elections, where there has been some tribal violence in different parts of the country and we are hoping this time we shall be peaceful elections.” – James Mwangi, Nairobi, Kenya

“Dear lender the business it low because of the forth coming general election in Kenya people are not willing to spend and this has really affected my business of transporting building materials and my dairy business is not good because of dry season. I hope the business will improve soon and our election will be peaceful.” – Francis Mwangi, Mangu Village, Kenya

“The business is fairly doing well , hoping after the peaceful national election on March 2013 it will pick again.On election year customers are afraid of their security leading to low sells.” – John Muturi Chege, Salgaa Rongai, Kenya

“Hello Lenders, My name is David Nyaga and am a beneficiary of zidisha loan which has really contributed to more than 80% of my business success and i owe all thanks to my zidisha lenders.Recently a former member of zidisha staff team (Andrew Weber) paid me a visit at my work place and as we socialized i showed him how much the zidisha loan had helped me earn a extra shilling as well as create employment for others… I also showed him my salon where i have employed Timothy who cuts hair and two ladies who are hair dressers… i hope that during this period that my beloved country is going to the general elections that it will be peaceful so that my business may grow and i may clear my second loan aquire a new loan to expand my business since this area has a very promising business potential and also employ more youths to my business.I hope one day i will fly to Canada for more studies since its my dream to do a masters degree in Canada and maybe graduate from a high school teacher to a lecturer .Finally let me take this opportunity to Give thanks to the Almighty God,my zidisha lenders,zidisha team,Andrew Weber and all those that have supported me in the effort of supporting others.its more blessed to give than to receive…” – David Nyaga, Nairobi, Kenya

“Dear lenders pray for Kenya during this election period which is affecting our business as most people are not willing to spend so that we may have peaceful elections and stable Government thereafter.” – Gladys Kagunda, Nairobi, Kenya

If you would like to learn more, The Economist Magazine has published a good overview of the political situation in Kenya:

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