On June 16th 2016, highly reputed tabloid New York Times published an article titled; ‘Kenya’s Collective ‘Uh-Oh’: Another Election Is Coming’, which depicted the spiral pattern of political and ethnic intolerance often orchestrated by opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The article was an overview of the persistent threat of politically instigated ethnic animosity every-time the Republic of Kenya goes to election. It is this commonplace downward spiral that has Washington wishing it’s last steadfast ally the best in August 2017. The very prosperous and tolerant country is often pitted against ethnic bigotry each time a presidential election is concluded.
General elections in Kenya take place within the framework of a multi-party democracy and a presidential system, however, this policy has been stained by opposition upon losing the election, a situation that often factors ethno-political tension in the country.
While there is no evidence of incumbent regimes rigging the past 2 elections, the opposition in Kenya has often misinformed the world about the events in the country. Election observers have often given the elections a clean bill of health contradicting the opposition. The courts also dismissed the petition that the 2013 election was not free and fair as the losers portended.
The diplomatic community in Nairobi has also given the elections thumbs up. Many embassies silently loathe the opposition gimmicks. It is obvious the opposition lost the election but has never been honest with it. If global election observers and diplomatic community attest the elections were clean, why would they (opposition coalition in Kenya) insist otherwise? It is an indicator of intents that often plunge the country into uncertainty and worse, ethnic animosity which forestalls economic growth.
President Obama did call his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta mid-September 2016. The US President discussed the upcoming general elections insisting he wished Nairobi the best through a free and fair electoral process. According to President Kenyatta of Kenya, nothing is far from that. The 2017 general elections will be free and fair, as often put. The President insists he has no business clinging to power through rigging and malice.
While pollsters have already concluded the election will be won by the incumbent, President Uhuru Kenyatta, it’ll be very interesting to watch and analyze the unfolding events throughout the electioneering period. Hopefully, as the government in Nairobi insists, ‘there won’t be ethno-political problems in Kenya again under it’s watch.