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Kenyans must guard against repeat of electoral violence

By the time you read this, the world will have a good idea of who is going to win Kenya’s presidential elections, which took place Tuesday.

Because of the history of elections in Kenya itself and Africa in general, tension is high amid fears of violence as incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition kingpin Raila Odinga face off.

Uganda is particularly concerned because as Kenya’s neighbour and major trade partner, through which 90 per cent of our imports find their way into the country, any large-scale violence would be highly disruptive.

These fears are not unfounded because ten years ago, a Kenyan election ended with thousands dead, many refugees entering Uganda, and some leaders arraigned before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

To be fair, this time round, the leading players in the election have consistently called on their supporters not to engage in violence, which is commendable.

What remains to be seen is whether the leaders will live up to their pledge for peace. As for the ordinary people of Kenya, they need to keep in mind that their country is bigger than any of the people seeking to lead them and will remain long after today’s politicians have gone.

Politics is, therefore, not worth fighting or, worse, killing over. Unfortunately, elections in many African countries have become a matter of life and death. This is partly because they tend to be neither free nor fair, leading to public mistrust.

Yet they are exacting a big dent on the concerned economies with coffers emptied to organise, investors putting plans on hold to study the situation or tourists readjusting plans accordingly to avoid getting caught up in trouble.

Thus, instead of propelling a country forward, elections at times stand in the way of socio-economic progress, which Africans badly need to overcome widespread poverty.

Kenya and other African countries where elections are a tension-filled affair have the big challenge of finding a good balance between promoting democracy and good governance without undermining the little economic gains being made.

Always remember that destruction takes a moment, but rebuilding takes ages.

Comments   

+1 #1 Terence Kaliisa 2017-08-09 21:16
"Kenyans must guard against repeat of electoral violence".

Wishful thinking unfortunately, someone has to die first before cool heads prevail, this is the african way always.
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0 #2 Akot 2017-08-10 20:20
Kenyans went to polls to make sure the stability-peace-economic progress... U.Kenyatta made it possible is maintained made better, right?

What is most important is that Kenyans shouldn't listen to calls from any lunatic to refuse result of their democratic expression:

- 2 choices, yet there MUST be just 1 winner!

If Kenyans go against one another after, then they shall have wasted time-bluffed the world by chosing peaceful election & going to polls, instead of just fighting one another openly!

Kenyans cannot join those who go against democratic election as that of D.Trump & UK exit from EU!

Why does any country go to polls if it's to drag the world into madness-lies-confusion-violence & blood shade...by not accepting the result?

No opposition leader was locked out in prison-put under house arrest, right?
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0 #3 Akot 2017-08-10 20:31
Terence Kaliisa, agreed, yet,

By conceding defeat in election that goes well without threats to any candidate from the one rerunning, it's the loser who sets the ball rolling for the country & proves he/she is a real leader who loves his country & never wants to see his people kill one another savagely!

I hope Kenyans will not listen to the loser if he calls for violence & not accept defeat so that they continue consolidating the gains they made with U.Kenyatta, what ever the result is!

Are there not enough poor waiting for government help & want to be reassured right away in peace?

Is this not why Kenyans went for election: to continue consolidating their peace-acceptance of one another...?

I hope am not boring Kenyans reading this!
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0 #4 Akot 2017-08-10 20:48
Written by Editorial,

Thanks you so much for this article because it awakens us as to situation in Uganda!

While Kenya is still a Republic & must continue to be so, Uganda is a conquered territory ruled through a tribalistic system in which only the conqueror has right to win!

So Ugandans MUST liberate their country & be in position to go for the kind of election Kenyans went for!

Yet, even when we would want to have the Kenya election in Uganda, we should not forget that it's only our Unity that will first give us chance to say NO to museveni, then be able to do as Kenyans!

The future of every child lies in our Unity to give a beginning to a tomorrow on a Uganda under our control without muiseveni, whatever kind of administration we will decide then it will be in our country Reformed Republic or Independent Tribal States!...
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0 #5 Akot 2017-08-10 20:49
...I hope by now, Ugandans know federal states is not possible because it takes a National Leader to sing a people to Unity for a Federation that will have Central governance to whom ALL are responsible/answerable to!

But if our Unity throws museveni out, we would be able to go for Federal States & accept one of us as National Leader, then why not?

This will call for ALL tribal leaders to stand down & give chance to formation of our country & eradicate tribalism in Uganda!

Until we decide as to what we want, museveni will go ahead maneuvring his way to own our country & throw us ALL out-make us refugees-migrants...for good!
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