Should politics in Kenya be a national outfit in terms of mentorship?
Elections is a democratic right in most democratic states and Kenya over the years has proved the importance of upholding this right. Looking at the History of the shady violence that took place in the 2007 polls, nations around the world have been peering into Kenya’s compound_ some with the intention of devouring on its failure and a few with the hope that peace prevails. Nevertheless, Kenya proved a peaceful country in the 2022 polls, an outcome that brimmed other East African countries with a mixture of admiration and green eyes.
This year’s elections saw a competitive race between Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga and Dr. William Samoei Ruto- The former deputy president and a first-timer in the presidential race. Hon. Ruto, a man whose friend (Former president Uhuru Kenyatta) became a foe, and Hon. Raila, a man who shook hands with his ‘enemy’ to maintain peace.
With Raila Odinga- the heart of Kenya’s democracy vying for the fifth time in a row, many in their hearts of hearts hoped for him to finally scoop first place and rule the glorious nation. Opposite to his expectations, William Ruto dubbed ‘The Hustler’ was announced president and just like the other times, Mr. Odinga took to the Supreme Court to challenge the results.
Although four members of the election board denounced the results, a consensus was reached by the seven judges, and Ruto’s win was upheld. A verdict that many Kenyans accepted and the former prime minister half-heartedly had to be walked home.
A betrayal you may feel. ‘This old man has done so much for Kenya!’ You might say. But what does democracy say? The ‘AYES’ have it! And the presidency is not promised in politics.
How has Kenya done this? How is it possible to hold peaceful elections, have opposition parties, have homes not broken into during this period, limbs broken? How is it possible for any citizen to have the privilege of downloading election documents in real-time and seeing them for themselves? Many African countries couldn’t cease to wonder and South Sudan wasn’t any different.
Over the years, Kenya has hosted thousands of South Sudanese, and no matter how loose their mouths itched their opinions on Kenya’s election were not allowed to leave their premises. It wasn’t that Kenya didn’t have the freedom of speech, but how do you sweep your neighbor’s compound when your own is dirty?
South Sudan is a young country on the verge of becoming a teenager. The only election the country has seen was that of making South Sudan an independent country. Eight months to the speculated first general elections and the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) is extended for two more years.
Will this be worth the wait? None of us knows but Sir Abraham Lincoln says, ‘’The ballot is stronger than the bullet.’’ Should we give this a shot? Perhaps YES!