Kenyan murder disrupts P.E.I.-based development group
A P.E.I. man is in the violence-gripped country of Kenya because a Christmas Eve killing there has threatened the work of the Island-based aid organization he helped found.
Ted Grant, president of the Mikinduri Children of Hope Foundation, travelled from his home in Cornwall, P.E.I., to the African country after foundation worker Silvanos Otieno was killed.
Otieno, a native of Nairobi, worked with community leaders for the foundation which provides clean drinking water, health care, education and other development services to people in the Kenyan village of Mikinduri, Grant said.
He was killed on Dec. 24 as thieves were stealing his car.
"[Silvanos] was the one that went to the village, gained their respect, and worked with the leaders in the village," said Grant Wednesday, speaking to CBC News from Kenya.
"Even though he was from a different tribe, he quickly worked his way into their hearts and they are literally in a state of shock."
Grant returned to Kenya to try to help Otieno's family and to ensure the foundation's work continues.
Grant finds himself in a country in the grips of post-election violence which the government in Kenya says has killed at least 300 people.
President Mwai Kibaki was sworn into office Sunday immediately after the election results were announced on television, despite allegations by opposition leader Raila Odinga's party that the vote was rigged.
The violence that has erupted has caused many observers to fear that Kenya, once viewed as one of Africa's most stable nations, could descend into ethnic violence similar to that of Rwanda in 1994, during which more than half a million people were killed.
Canada's Foreign Affairs Department issued a travel warning to Canadians advising against "non-essential travel" to Kenya.
Nonetheless, Grant said he feels he'll be safe.
"Generally what you're seeing around Nairobi is … in the slum areas and we avoid those areas. The northeast, where we're going, up in Mikinduri, again it's peaceful there. We've confirmed that," he said.
"We're not expecting any violence or interruption at all. I was speaking to Father Bernard from the village this morning and he told me that everything is wonderfully safe in the village."
President Kibaki has called a meeting with opposition parties in an effort to end the violence.
With files from the Associated Press