- Posted March 11, 2013 by
- sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer
March 9th 2013 4 o’clock in the morning, the media had projected; Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is the fourth president of Kenya. My phone could not stop buzzing; people waking me up so that I could catch up with the historic moment being televised in all the stations. It wasn’t a surprise to me that Uhuru had won, we had waited for one whole week, patiently scrolling through different TV stations and he, Uhuru was still in the lead. I don’t think it came off as a surprise to anyone but the anxiety of the news to be made official was what kept us glued to our screens. So it was official, Kenya was awake, hooting of cars, blowing of vuvuzelas, singing, shouting all this could be heard at that hour of the morning. The son to Kenya’s first president Mzee Jommo Kenyatta is the president elect of this beautiful country.
Amid all the joy were a people sulking over Raila Odinga’s loss, Uhuru’s main opponent. The race was termed as a two horse race and many Kenyans from all over the country and East Africa had divided their votes between the two candidates.
‘I am disappointed that Raila lost, I am more disappointed by Kenyans for choosing Uhuru Kenyatta. But the issue is not yet over, in my opinion the election was not free and fair and you could notice that the tallying process was not accurate,’ says Muigai Karago a pig farmer in Kabete and a political scientist .
So what happens if Raila does not get the platform of court hearing as he anticipates? What happens if at the end of the day Uhuru Kenyatta is inaugurated as our president?
‘I will be lying to you if I say that I congratulate him for being the fourth president, I will not be a hypocrite and join the rest of Kenyans in celebrating him, fine I respect the opinion of Kenyans but that’s just it!’ he states.
Some you win some you loose. Linet a data analyst in an international NGO located in the outskirts of Nairobi and a Kiambu resident where Uhuru Kenyatta has a huge stronghold, tells me she voted for Uhuru because he managed to convince her as a voter that he was the best contender. She goes ahead to say that she believes in Kenyatta’s manifesto which will serve her as a Kenyan.
‘It is not a secret that our president elect is suspect to crimes against humanity, what is your take on this, as a strong and proud supporter of Uhuru?’ I ask her.
‘He is only a suspect, not guilty yet. You see with the withdrawal of witness number four a lot of questions are raised on the integrity of this case. There is no way you can tell me that number 3, 4,5, and 6 were guilty yet they were not the ones contesting for the presidency in 2007 elections. And about the consequences of having Uhuru as our president, I think that other states should respect our decision and respect the fact that we are a sovereign state.’ She adds.
Kenya has set a pace for many African countries that are yet to be liberal when it comes to democracy. East Africa was busy watching these elections, maybe to see if war would spring up or to see if our notion of what we term as democracy would be portrayed in the outcome of the results unlike in 2007 elections where rigging allegedly took over the whole process. I got to speak with Dan Barigye a civil engineer and a citizen of Uganda where they have had one leader in a period of over 20 years to find out what his thoughts were on Kenyan elections.
‘Kenya has set a good example for East African countries and more so Uganda. Having one president over 20 years is the worst experience because it has muted other people who would have taken my country to greater heights. But I must add that in as much as Kenya is better placed democratically compared to Uganda their elections were leaning on an ethnic side as I could see from people’s opinion in social media and different articles in the web.’
Kenya has decided, with a voter turn out of over 80% we were on a mission to change the leadership of this country. What really mattered most for me in this elections was the fact that peace prevailed, we had faith in ourselves although a couple of people had already packed and moved to other countries in fear of another violence, but we who stayed here at home had faith that we would tackle with whatever came our way and preach peace until the last minute.
Daudi Were the project manager of Uchaguzi , a platform created to mobilize ordinary citizens to participate in protecting their vote and the election process says that Uchaguzi processed over 5000 messages from citizens during the election week.
‘Most of the messages we got from citizens were positive for whom voting had gone smoothly. The main problems citizens reported to us were centered on logistical issues at polling stations, such as polling stations not opening in time. Despite the few skirmishes, Kenya remained largely peaceful,’ he adds.
‘Kenya Ni Sisi’ - We are Kenya. In a time capsule of 6 days we patiently waited and now we have a president, whether we voted for him or not, we simply have to work together and plenty will be found within our borders because we are one