Monday, September 5, 2011

Election Time

September 20th is the election for the new president of Zambia. This is definitely something to be praying about. Zambia is known as a “peaceful nation”, but still we should be praying for the elections to remain peaceful ones.

There have been some riots and a few deaths over the course of these last few months in various parts of the country.

I really am clueless as to who is the best party, candidate etc. But people feel strongly obviously on all sides. SO there is always the potential for violence and danger. In think I have heard that a couple of the party leaders have encouraged violence and doing what it takes for them to win.

There is talk that previous elections had been rigged, so who knows what will come of this one. It has been strange to us Americans to see the campaigning going on. You hear messages being blared from loudspeakers on the back of pick up trucks with men hanging out the sides cheering and shouting things. The day they stated the nominations at the state house, people were sitting on tops of mini buses, driving around with their flags raised.

The current president along with his party the MMD has their slogan, “The time has come”. Well all of a sudden he has been having roads graveled and paved, and has even gone into the compounds giving away free bicycles and chitenges. I was told they are paying people 10 pin ( about 2 dollars ) a day to stand where they have raised their party flags and make sure no one takes them down. He has been the president for a few years now but I guess the time for improving roads and things has only now come. Not 2 years ago. Who cared about it then?

We received a flyer promoting a local area candidate. I read it out loud joking with the kids on Saturday as we had been without “running” water for about 5 days. This man claims he will fix the water issues our area of town is having. We all cheered and said, then we are for sure voting for him! In his Bio, it said he was young, vibrant and matured. The kids asked how someone can be young and matured at the same time...

But on a serious note,
Our American embassy has done a great job keeping us informed and I am very thankful for that. Most recently 2 weeks ago, they sent out an emergency message to my cell phone and email, saying to avoid a certain area in town because a riot had broken out.

While this sounds a bit scary, they have done a good job to cover all the bases with taking precautions. Among that being this part of a note they sent out.

The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly, and a foreigner could unwittingly become a victim of harassment or more serious danger. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. For U.S. citizens already in Zambia, the U.S. Embassy recommends that you take this opportunity to ensure that passports for all family members are up to date and children have also been documented as U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens should also store sufficient food, water, fuel, and medicine in the event that it becomes necessary to shelter in place. Should the need arise, the Embassy will communicate emergency messages for U.S. citizens via email and SMS for those who have provided contact information.

Thankfully, just last week we were able to get Grace’s visa for coming to America in her Zambian passport. It is dated for right now so if there was an emergency we all are up to date on those things. ( including James’s passport).

So please pray for all the things relating to this election.
Peace, Stability for the country, Safety. And I will throw in here, pray for our parents not to be too worried!

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