It was inevitable. The people of Kenya came out in numbers to vote for the one person who can bring them together. After over 40% of the votes counted, Uhuru Kenyatta has taken a commanding lead over his rival, Raila Odinga, a man who has spent the most part of three decades fighting, albeit unsuccessfully, to be president of Kenya, and who at one point was even arrested after allegations of involvement in a coup attempt to oust the then Head of State. Tired of the apparent ethnic divisions sowed by Raila Odinga, and his alleged incessant attempt to influence the trial of Kenyatta and William Ruto at the Hague, Kenyans voted in protest than anything else to ensure the wrongs so evilly perpetuated by those that can only be referred to as enemies of the state, in an attempt to deprive Uhuru Kenyatta of a shot at the presidency, are corrected. And even as we go to press, there are reported machinations in the working to influence the country’s electoral commission to include spoilt votes as the counting continues, to decide the country’s next president.
Kenyatta has been outraged by the position taken by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to include spoilt ballot in the counting, something he firmly blames foreign missions in the country for instigating. It seems the West is determined to do everything to ensure Obama’s candidate, Odinga, wins, even if it means interfering in the legitimate process of Kenyans choosing their preferred candidate in such a crucial election. This camouflaged move is one meant to deny the Jubilee Coalition of an outright win, thereby causing a second round contest. Raila Odinga must be urged to accept defeat and not harbour any ideas of contesting a vote that has already been hailed free and fair by most observers. Odinga’s thirst for power should not be allowed to instigate another round of violence in a country that has already bore the brunt of tyranny.
The Kenyan constitution clearly states that a presidential candidate must secure 50 percent of the total votes plus one vote of all votes cast to be declared winner of the election. And Kenyatta is way ahead of his rival at the moment and it seems we will see the momentum being kept as more counting of votes continues. The sudden change of rules by the IEBC to include spoilt votes is serious cause for concern, and is recipe for trouble in a country that is still yet to recover after the 2007 post elections violence that saw over 1,000 people losing their lives and many more displaced from their homes. The IEBC must not allow its reputation to be the subject of scrutiny, or be put under any pressure from outside forces, and must ensure that the peoples voice prevails. The elections body has a duty to the state and the people of Kenya, and must act according to law, not to be dictated to by those who do not have Kenya’s interest at heart.
It seems the International community have not learnt the lessons of the past and is again sowing the seeds of discord that will instigate ethnic violence just to install a puppet leader who should be contemplating retirement from public life. Odinga still has questions to answer after being accused of presiding over the disappearance of tons of maize meal in a scandal that has refused to dissipate, and was recently the focus during an election debate that revealed the Kenyan Prime Minister’s incompetence in responding to allegations of abuse of office.
The ICC’s decision to get involved in the politics of Kenya was rather an unfortunate one. As the matter was an internal affair and could have been best dealt with by a Kenyan court. No external forces were involved in the post election violence to warrant the intervention of an international court tribunal, and Kenya’s judiciary is more than competent to deal with such matters. But it just shows the west’s vested interests clearly at work here. The people of Kenya have spoken, and no dirty politics will prevent them from deciding who they want their next president to be. And with the way the results are mapping out to be, it seems Odinga is set for a massive defeat at the polls.
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