Although the official presidential results have not been announced by the Electoral Commission of Kenya, Kenyan blogger, Gerald Baraza, has already declared the winner on his blog, “Kenya has a new President: Hon.Raila Amolo Odinga!… Congratulations Your Excellency Raila Amolo Odinga, 4th President of the Republic of Kenya!”
This should not surprise you. Kenyan bloggers have been following this year’s elections very closely. They have been covering the historic Kenyan Elections 2007 with constant updates of presidential and parliamentary votes. Other bloggers have been posting photos and writing about their own experiences and observations.
Mzalendo, a citizen-led parliamentary watchdog in Kenya, has done an excellent job of posting regular results of the parliamentary votes.
An update from Mzalendo at 2pm yesterday read:
Mzalendo now has the results for 47 Constituencies. For the complete up to date list click here
– All of Moi’s sons have lost
– Minister Munyao has been defeated
Mzalendo now has the results for 64 Constituencies. For the complete up to date list click here
We’re now up to 95 constituencies, view the latest list here
BTW guys need to relax a bit on the requests for updates. We’re doing the best we can with our staff of two, and my laptop rapidly (and I do mean rapidly) approaching its deathbed. I was last in bed on Wednesday.
Kenya Imagine blog has a special Election Update page. Apart from posting regular updates, the blog asked voters to share election news and their experiences:
Have you any news on the elections? Please share it here. It needn't be anything untoward or alarming, although news of that will be very much appreciated also. Even news on the turnout, any delays in opening and so on is welcome. Are there enough observers about? Are there long queues? Do the Commission's officials look like they will cope with the hard work? Read here as Kenyans give their election experience.
How did the whole exercise go? Kenyan Pundit (Ory) considers this election a historic one even by international standards:
Folks this is a historic election by Kenyan standards, regional standards and international standards – I don’t think there is a precedent for the number of incumbents that are going down despite having massive resources behind them and attempts to bribe voters. And I challenge you to find an election in the Western world in recent times where people have come out with such determination, conviction, and a strong sense of civic duty .
I’m very very proud of Kenyan voters and you all should be no matter who you are supporting.
The media has focused on the presidential race and on the tribal nature of the campaign, but the story of the revolution (as I keep repeating, but really it’s worth emphasizing) is at the local level – Kenyans have realized the power of the vote and will no longer be taken for a ride. I think this election will be a watermark as far the maturity of voters and the impact it will have on the next Parliament (now we need to get rid of pensions for one-term MPs), Kenyans want results and CHANGE and not empty talk, and if ODM wins they will have an incredibly difficult time at managing expectations.
Ory’s observations of the voting day:
Despite turning up at 6:15 am turnout was already crazy. I’m really curious to see what the turnout will be overall because the few polling stations I visited in Lang’ata had an incredible turnout. When talking to guys in the line in Mada, they said they’ve never seen anything like this.
Observations from the day:
– Ballot papers were not on site like they are supposed to be. They only got delivered at 8:00 am, leading to lots of agitation among the crowd that had turned up early to vote. The crowd finally broke the gate into the school and rushed in (me included otherwise I’d still be in the line) after getting tired of waiting. Once that happened temperatures came down. Apparently many stations in Nairobi and especially Lang’ata did not start voting until around 9:00 am.
– Once inside the school, things were very chaotic. There was no one directing you on where to go and since you voted according to your last name’s initials it was a unneccessarily maddening process trying to figure out which classroom you should go to and then you have to line up again.
– There was lots of camaraderie and good humor in the line. Something very social about voting, which I didn’t expect. People also expressed their determination to vote no matter how long they had to stand in line. No one was wearing any party insignia or logos. There was also heavy tension in the air – any hint of something shady and the crowd could have lynched guys.
Thinker’s Room observed some interesting stuff:
I may have forgotten to carry my camera to capture the scenes, but there’s nothing wrong with my eyes and ears. Here is some of the interesting things I came across
• Some people woke up between 3 and 4 and were at the polling stations from 4 AM in the morning to vote
• If you’re thinking of heading to the ECK command center and waiting sweatily at ECK Chairman Kivuitu’s elbow for the results to be announced think again my child. No doubt remembering the events of 2002 the ECK has made sure that idlers and riffraff do not coalesce their shouting selves around the officials. Most roads leading to the KICC have been cordoned off and some very grim faced security personnel that appear to be either Administration police or General Service Unit. I found myself apologizing from a sharp look from one of those gentlemen.
• Some bars refused to serve customers who do not have the magical inked finger to indicate voting
• Some matatus refused to carry people that did not have the magical inked finger
• In Kibera things almost became sticky when it was discovered that Raila Odinga was not on the voter’s roll. Neither were people whose names started with O and A. Naturally this caused some acute consternation. The ECK explained that the lists had been split along alphabetic lines to reduce the numbers on the lines, and some lists were not delivered in time. Mercifully updated lists were updated and voting took place. I for one am very grateful that people kept their cool. Considering that in some communities names beginning with A and O are fairly thick on the ground, it could have been interpreted quite differently with very nasty results.
• Lines in Kibera were up to 2Km long. Yes, that’s kilometers.
• Nairobi polling stations are heavily populated by party agents that are reducing the speed of counting the ballots to a crawl
• Anticipating long nights, some ECK officials are making use of lulls in the voting to catch 40 winks on benches and on the grass.
• It was refreshing to see young aspiring leaders like Jonathan Mueke and John Kiarie showing up to vote. John Kiarie actually came with his wife and baby
• The Uchumi in South B was closed. (4 litres of soda don’t last as long as you’d think!)
• The voting queue at the Catholic Parochial polling station had to be seen to believed. It was even longer than the Kibera ones! Looping and winding on itself like that annoying snake game on Nokia phones
• There is talk that turnout could top 80% this election, which is a big increase from the last election where it was about 55%
• Preliminary coverage is inconsistent across stations. KTN is showing Odinga is ahead and Citizen and Nation are showing Kibaki is ahead (as of 11 PM)
• Some of the preliminary results are verging on the absurd. 99% for a candidate?
Mental Acrobatics calls for an independent news/current affairs radio station in Kenya:
This election has highlighted again that Kenya seriously and urgently needs an independent 24 hour news/current affairs radio station available nationally. Preferably on FM! Yes we have many independent 24 hour music stations and religious stations, now we need a hard hitting news/current affairs station. Something like the BBC’s radio 5 Live.
It is not sufficient to get a quick 3 minute update every hour or so from the music stations’ “team on the ground”. They just repeat what the official news conferences say and add very little insight or analysis. I feel sorry for the reporters, how much depth can you explore in 1.5 minutes leaving 1.5 minutes for a Q and A session?
Thank goodness for the BBC World Service which not only dispatched reporters around the country but also made the Kenyan election the lead story for the day (until the assassination of Benazir Bhutto (RIP) took over as the lead story). A lot of information I am using today is coming from the BBC World Service.
Gerald Baraza posted a breakdown of how Kenyan ethnic groups voted:
Here is a reliable and scientific prediction of how the various ethnic groups have voted:
Candidate: Mwai Kibaki – Raila Odinga — Kalonzo Musyoka
Kikuyu — 2,533,000 —– 5,000—– 2,000
Luyiah — 300,000 – —900,000— 60,000
Luo— 2,000 — 965,000— 1,000
Kalenjin— 150,000— 1,220,000 — 5,000
Kamba– -10,000— 4,000– – 910,000
Kisii- –200,000— 310,000 —- 2,000
Meru — 615,000—- 2,000 — 1,000
Other African— 150,000— 2,800,000 —50,000
Non African— 8,000— 8,000 —2,000
Total —-Kibaki- 3,968,000 –Raila– 6,214,000 –Kalonzo-1,033,000
In the same post, he writes that Kenyans in Michigan are planning to celebrate:
Kenyans in Michigan, plans are already underway for a grand celebration of this victory. Please get in touch if you do not want to miss out!!!
White African was impressed to see innovative use of technology by mobile election reporters:
I’ve been particularly impressed with the AfricaNews.com media group. They use technology in innovative ways, creating real usable systems to report and connect with Africans on multiple platforms. In the case of the Kenyan 2007 Elections, in partnership with the Arid Lands Information Network, they have created a site where mobile reporters from around the country bring news about the elections.
Juliana of Afromusing was covering the elections on her Twitter channel:
driving by polling stations, most of eldy area appears to be raila country by large margins about 19 hours ago from web
visited several polling stations in eld. some with long lines some are done. took pics. 04:39 AM December 27, 2007 from web
nation media txt and blogger daudi confirm railas problem voting in langata.new registers being printed 01:51 AM December 27, 2007 from web
fam. voted v. early in the morningm it was peaceful and quiet. 01:38 AM December 27, 2007 from web
phone call, rumour is that railas nm omitted from register in langata? 01:37 AM December 27, 2007 from web
the queues in eld for voting were v. long. pple were there in the dark of night. 01:30 AM December 27, 2007 from web
tweeting now from eldoret kenya using motorola q on safaricom gprs internet 01:25 AM December 27, 2007 from web
Jesse Masai is probably the most notable parliamentary candidate who kept a blog as part of his campaign strategy. There is also a blog of Youth for Kibaki 2007, which has not been updated since July 2007.
Najivunia kuwa Mkenya.
I’m proud to be Kenyan.
I have lost, but am glad about it all: The immediate-former MP is truly and finally out.
Some of the things the above-mentioned did in at least three of my strongholds over the past few days – including yesterday – are better left unsaid.
I lost to, among a few others, ODM’s Joshua Kuttuny, a one-time schoolmate at Cherangany High School (these day’s St. Mark’s Boys).
We are contemporaries in much else, but similarities end almost immediately, as we do not agree on much in terms of world view.
My loss aside, am happy for my country and the manner in which it has been during this tense and fractious moments.
I believe our best days are ahead of us.
The next few weeks and months will see me sit down and write something decent about it – probably a book
A few minutes ago, Kumekucha, like Gerald Baraza, declared Raila the winner. He explains why:
Even as ODM were holding a press conference to claim victory in the presidential race, my tally as I had indicated in an earlier post clearly shows a Raila victory.
Interestingly the ECK is still giving Kenyans stories about missing returning officers and sitched off mobile phones to divert attention from the crux of the matter.
Back to my figures. Assuming an amazingly high average voter turn out countrywide of 60% from approx 14 million voters, that would give you a total vote count of 8.4 million votes meaning that as soon as Raila hit 4 million votes he should have been declared the winner. Available figures show that Raila has accumulated well over 4 million votes.