Kenya and the whole wide world waited and waited and waited for almost a week. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ran a marathon of making history to a finish line in Kenya to declare the 4th president of the Republic of Kenya. He or she was to succeed President Mwai Emilio Stanley Kibaki whose two terms as the president was coming to a permanent close.
From the crowd of eight presidential contestants, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, 51 years, and his running mate, William Kipchirchir Samoei Arap Ruto emerged the victor and proclaimed the slot to lead Kenya on Saturday, 9th March 2013.
It was after a long fought battle which the Jubilee Alliance eventually won in the first round with 6,173,433 of the votes (50.07 per cent), whereas the main challenger on CORD ticket, Raila Amolo Odinga, 68, garnered a mere 5,340,546 of votes ( 43.31 per cent) out of 12,338,667 total votes cast.
Raila has vowed to lodge a case with the Supreme Court that there was colossal tampering with the counting of votes. Additionally, there was delay to deliver the results from all parts of the country and the breakdown of the tally machine at Boma. Martha Karua one of the presidential aspirants has gone ahead to applaud Raila that it is better that way than stirring violence. Raila rallied his supporters to keep calm as his team of lawyers seek the grace of court.
Raila said he would accept the ruling of the Supreme Court and that he himself and the Kenyans had faith in the country’s reformed judiciary. He summed it up that democracy in Kenya “was on trial.”
Earlier on, the Kenyan high court declined to stop vote tallying process lodged in by Civil Society Groups, ruling that it had no jurisdiction to hear the case.
However, the Supreme Court has 14 days within which it is required to rule on any petition challenging the presidential results.
Kenya just like Tanzania in the whole East Africa, is the only country where the president honours the constitution and presidential term limits to relinquish power to another leader. The world waits to see if Rwanda under the leadership of President Paul Kagame will honour the constitution and hand over power to the next president in 2017.
Uganda has failed miserably hurting its already wounded nose whereby President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni himself, bribed members of parliament from his own party in 2005, the NRM (National Resistance Movement) to alter and scrap the two presidential term limits to apparently no term limits from the 1995 constitution. The MPs have been alleged to have pocketed a mere 5,000,000 UGX or USD 1,884.932 at the current exchange rate. What a shame.
Kenyans went to the polls to elect the President, Senators, County Governors, Members of Parliament, Civic Wards and Women County Representatives. The most cardinal and awaited results to be announced, was that of the president.
Yours truly was always following on twitter, facebook, Nation Media website and IEBC website for the final tally and declaration. The latter had announced that it would only take 48 hours to declare who had won the presidential vote. Hardly did the world know that the 48 hours will turn into days.
Uhuru now follows in the footsteps of his father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. Jomo Kenyatta was the first president of Kenya from 1964 to 1978. He was succeeded by Daniel Arap Moi who was the then Vice President. Moi served from 1978 to 2002 and was always referred to as Baba wa taifa.
Historically, Mwai Kibaki becomes the first president ever in Kenya ready and waiting to pass and hand over instrument of power to another president after the presidential term limits have come to a close. Bravo bwana Kibaki.
ICC, tribal, land and ODM factor
You may agree or refute but the International Criminal Court (ICC), tribal inclinations, land issues and ODM factor led the Jubilee Alliance to thump CORD (Coalition for Reforms and Democracy) alliance mercilessly.
With Uhuru and his running mate, William Ruto who have to defend themselves at the ICC in Hague, Netherlands, this was a great boost for the Jubilee Alliance to garner maximum and sympathy vote/support. The two huge and dominant tribes in Kenya, Kikuyu and Kalenjins where Uhuru and Ruto emerge respectively, it was time to bath their children with votes. It would be very hard to see these tribes not to support their home grown children and leave them without a smile in the ballot box.
Daniel Branch from Warwick University once said that “The ICC process helped both Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto and that it gave them a powerful message, a real motivation for victory and kept the debate on them the whole time. Odinga was unable to seize the initiative back.”
The ICC has gone ahead to postpone the trials Uhuru Kenyatta to July 9, 2013 and has since dropped charges against former head of civil service, Francis Muthaura. The trial judges have on the contrary, yet to decide on the trial dates for the other accused Kenyans, William Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang.
The hearing of William Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang is set to start on May 28 as opposed to April 10.
Marriage gone bad
William Ruto and Raila Odinga were close political bed fellows and it is believed that it was Ruto who rallied a lot of support in hunt for votes in the Rift Valley for Raila in 2007 presidential campaign. Ruto went on to be elevated to Minister of Agriculture in the coalition government before being dropped due to scandals associated with his ministry in 2009 under his watch. The relationship did not last long after the honeymoon until Ruto was shown the door that brought him into the ODM. Other leaders like Najib Balala were not spared and have since joined the Jubilee Alliance that will form the next government.
Mobilisation skills vis-a-vis Financial muscle
It was the mobilisation skill that Ruto employed in 2007 to have Raila win massively in 2007 in Rift Valley and it was Raila financial strength that summed up the votes.
It was the same dance floor that the Jubilee coalition used to run a much better campaign this time around. Ruto used the same tactics among others to rally support for Jubilee coalition. He has now turned out to be an effective mobiliser in his own backyard and elsewhere. This was equally accelerated by Uhuru’s riches that softened everything more effectively.