After months of campaigning all over the country and traversing the whole country to sell their policies, Kenya decided on its fourth president. For the first time in Kenyan history since the beginning of multiparty democracy, Kenya had a most peaceful campaign with parties moving freely between areas. The Kenyans exercised political maturity in their campaigns as they also preached for peace as they approached the Election Day. The messages of peace spread all over through different means of communication.
This was also witnessed on the Election Day as long queues were experienced in all polling stations, as early as 4:00am. “This evening our own indications are that over 70 percent have turned out,” said Hassan (chairperson of the Independent Electoral Board Commision) on election day. As the vote tallying started Kenya used BVR (Biometric Voter Registration) kits for the first time in this election, transmitting the results electronically to the main tallying centre, at the Bomas of Kenya. With the main contesters being The Prime Minister Hon. Raila Odinga, the son of Kenya’s first Prime Minister, the late Hon Oginga Odinga, and Odinga’s Deputy Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Jomo Kenyatta, the first President of Kenya. Kenyatta is facing trial at the International Criminal Court on charges that he helped organize ethnic violence that followed the 2007 presidential poll. More than 1,300 people were killed in that violence, and thousands more displaced.
As vote counting continued everything in the country was moving slowly, with a rising sense of fear of violence, though people remained calm. Tension started rising when the results continued trickling in, in favour of one candidate, which was unexpected by the larger community, but Kenyans, exercised their political maturity, by maintaining peace, even as the parties involved extended their issues in to the corridors of justice, in the supreme court. Business slowed down in Kibera, shop keepers reducing the quantity of goods displayed on their shelves, and the price of local vegetables rising due to their shortage in the market, people gathered in small groups just to get a glimpse of what was new in the process. As all this was taking place everything on our projects was at a stand still due to fear of violence that never happened. This was similar in all parts of the country. According to the views of the people, even though the election did not go their way, they have a responsibility to keep the country united despite the diversity in political ideas.