Kenya on the threshold of democracy

Answering questions about what he would do if he lost the then upcoming elections in early March 2013, Raila Odinga, the scion of a prominent Luo political family put Kenya and the world on notice stating as a matter of fact, “If I lose, of course it will be because of blackmail and intimidation and there would be dire consequences worse than last time.”.
Post-election news, however, says otherwise. By the time of going to press, Raila, Prime Minister in a power sharing arrangement with President Mwai Kibaki, plans to contest the election results which he alleged was largely interfered with. “Every instrument deployed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) failed and that there was interference with the vote register following failure of the electronic voter identification kits.” He claimed further that numbers were reduced in his strongholds, adding “It is clear that a constitutionally sanctioned process of electing the new set leaders to take us to the next level has been thwarted by another tainted election.”
The good thing is that Mr. Odinga has called on his supporters to refrain from all acts of violence and wait for the verdict of the country’s Supreme Court. In an earlier remark, he expressed confidence in the current Supreme Court describing it as more credible.
It is painful to lose an election, especially when one’s opponent is being tried for crimes against humanity in his role in the violence in which more than a thousand Kenyans died in 2007 after the elections, as Uhuru Kenyatta is currently facing. We on the other hand believe Odinga’s decision is premised on a similar action by Ghana’s opposition NPP at the country’s Supreme Court.
Violence begets violence and political violence begets more violence. Kenya has come a long way as a fledgling democracy. It has long been a voice of reason and stability in a volatile region, and 2007 was an unexpected disappointment.
Except for a few skirmishes during the elections, it was relatively peaceful. Any loss of life in elections is unnecessary as it is inconsequential, and it is time for African nations to appreciate that.
As President Obama said to the Ghanaian Parliament in 2009, it is important for African nations to develop strong institutions rather than around strong men. And democracy, of course develops around strong institutions.
Democracy is not the preserve of any selected racial or ethnic group. It is the recognition of fairness, equity and freedom, a universally accepted concept. Amandla joins the world to wish Kenya well.

Posted by on Mar 22 2013. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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