Kenya Elections 2007: Should Raila Supporters Celebrate?

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

At 3pm:

Mzalendo now has the results for 64 Constituencies. For the complete up to date list click here

At 9pm:

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 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 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

She is also blogging the election from Eldoret at Afromusing.

Two leading Kenyan newspapers, The Standard and the Daily Nation, set up multimedia election platform and for the first time introduced blogging in the newsroom.

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.

Jesse Masai's latest post titled, Finito:Vox populi, vox Dei, reads:

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.


  • kibakiout

    In the very same way that former president Moi handed over power to Kibaki after losing in the 2002 election, so should former president Kibaki hand over power to President Raila (2007). He was won fair and square, and if anyone says there was no rigging involved, then they must be kikuyu because everyone else saw the rigging happening right before their eyes. How can you claim to have won the presidential elections, considering the fact that 159 parliamentary seats out of 210 went to Raila’s party (the opposition), only leaving 51 seats to be shared amongst the other losers (kibaki’s PNU party, etc). If kibaki and his PNU party were anywhere as popular as Raila’s ODM party, they would have surely won more seats in government. Rigging elections, looting public funds and oppressing press freedom, are the legacy of kibaki’s government.

  • mswahili

    it is with heavy heart i write saddened by the situation back at home..someone is so seriously thinking bout state house and has forgotten the ordinary kenyan..
    What’s up with kibaki?haoni haya?how can he do this?he has now divided the country so harshly.He is the same person described as one of the brilliant politicians in Kenya..shame..shame

  • penny

    I cant believe all you Kenyans, I mean, everyone is seems to be screaming ODM, Raila. The man has absolutely no credentials. OK, fine Kibaki has his faults, but surely he is the better choice of the two evils. I have a list of the reasons of why I didn not vote for Raila:

    1. As minister for Roads, he did nothing! The infrastructure was so bad that it put tourists away. In the short period that Kibaki was prezzo, he managed to fix Nairobi-Mombasa Road.

    2. Raila claims he is for the poor, but look at the state of his constituency!! Kibera slum is an eyesore, an utter embarassment to the nation.

    3. Raila named his son Fidel Castro, his dad had known ties with the Russians, I do not think Kenya need communism, we need a capitalist and generate wealth by all means.

    4. Raila claims that he will distribute wealth to the poor? Just how will he do that? open bank accounts and dump govt cash into them? I hardly think so?
    I much rather prefer Kibaki’s tactic of economic growth, which will generate wealth, jobs and equal opportunities for all.

    5. Raila incites racial hatred. We all know it, we all ignore it, we are so bloody blinded! After elections, riots broke out only in his strongholds! God knows what message he was fueling his supporters with.

    6. I watched every one of Kibaki’s campaigns. They are all accessible at Never once did he raise his voice, incite, insult, slunder. His message was mature, measured and intelligent. Nothing makes more sick than gloating politicians who cannot piece words together to make a sense. Raila calling some politicians donkeys??/ what was that all about?

    7.Driving a hummer during campaigns? a show off sign? the whole world is crying global warming and our wanna bee president is floating around in perhaps the worst pollutants.

    8. Kibaki introduced free education, because he realises the importance of that, he has promised free medical care for children under 5yrs. The guy is a genius! He is crying development and when you are hurling insults at him.

    9. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Raila, knows this, and as part of his campaining tactic, he stirred idle, jobless, and very vulnerable youth with violence. Hence the violence in Kibera, Kisumu and elsewhere.

    10. Upto 7% economic growth. Kibaki’s reign can boast this. And for those of you out there with brain, this is a no brainer! it is a sign of success. Other African countries are looking up to us, the international comm was applauding his efforts.

    I wish, for all who read this to seriously think clearly and deeply about the kind of Kenya you want. Next time you hurl insults at a man who has your best interests at heart, remember they did the same to Jesus.
    For me, I long to live in a nation free from tribalism, a developed nation, poverty free and peaceful.

  • juliet

    For once Kenyans seemed to fully understand the power they have in electing leaders and taking them out of office as well. It’s unfortunate that the same people they entrusted to help them perpetuate democracy and free will turned on them due to their own selfish needs. This is no different from Moi’s government who practically ruled until he was tired so to speak. It seems like the older generation share alot in common. They cannot be trusted and taking the presidential seat in such a manner begs the question, ” who’s welfare do you have in mind anyway.”

  • Richard Karanja

    This is so sad. Raila won. I didn’t vote for him but we must speak truthfully. We are reaping what selfish politicians have sown. The levels of violence in Nairobi are scary. I’ve spent time praying for about 3 families I know who in banges due to the riots. Please take a moment and pray for peace. There are real people who have died tonight let’s pray that no one do so.

  • Umuchesi Chesi

    Every poll lately has had Raila winning. Kibakis Cabinet has been ousted. Most returns had Raila winning. Most returns from Kibakis stronghold aka kikuyu land were delayed notwithstanding its proximity to Nairobi. North Eastern Province a region that voted largely ODM voted for Kibaki? Kibakis stronghold had returns exceeding the number of registered voters i e 115%. Who can convince me that only two tribes send Kibaki back to State House? Let me say this in some very categorical terms, Kenya belongs to all Kenyans and no amount of rigging is going to chance this reality. Kibaki cannot rule people who have thrown out his cabinet, including him, by force. Kenyans will not allow this. Kibaki is not my President. By the way I am not a LUO either. Raila won the elections..


  • JWK

    The danger in all this is that ODM never considered that they might lose the elections. There is no absolute in this lifetime, so the fact that this reality never crossed their minds is very disturbing. In my opnion mistakes were made in the way the results were being released – obviously the ODM strongholds came in first and the agressive reporting by The Nation caused an extreme high for ODM supporters. When the Kibaki votes came in and might I say in large numbers the other side couldn’t accept them because they had tasted power in their minds. Turn out in Central was very high, only those in the hosiptals didn’t get the opportunity to vote. Even the sick at home were given free transportation to and from the polling stations. The fear that Raila was out to avenge for himself and his father was heard loudly and taken very seriously by the kikuyus and they showed up in very very large numbers. The votes were not rigged! Defeat is hard to accept, but it is also a sign of a mature leader. Inciting the country and having emotional outburst won’t get you places. How about planning for 2012 and doing so without making certain communities feel threatend. Unfortunately kikuyus are constantly accused of being tribal but a vast majority (not all) of the luo community habors ill feelings towards the kikuyus. There is more that bounds us than divides us – we need to find common ground and begin working together with honesty. May all kenyans find peace and wisdom prevail in the leadership.

  • MY Dear kenyans.
    it should not be very hard timelife in kenya.that is How the World political goese. please my brothers kenyan. taked it easy and hold it back for the next decade to come.
    and come for your president as well as he was calling for justic and unity in the country wide.putdown the pass and take the new.

  • Steve

    With benefit of hindsight, we should have expected that Kibaki will pull all stops, including outright theft of votes, to remain in state house. Aftger all he was always part of the Moi Dictatorial clique for 13 years (1978-1991), only jumbped ship to help split the opposition vote (1991-1992), was a lukeward opposition leadr (1993-2001) and took advantage of the Kanu split to win (2002). After which he quickly shed the shhepskin to reveal his true colours of messing up the draft constitution, but lost the referandum (2005). He has now repackaged the conservative, dicatotial corrupt clique to steall an election. This is `not about ethnicity, and I am so soory to see the violence in Nairobi. But is is vintage Kibaki- dictatorial, corrupt to the core, conservative. Before all of the enthnic chauvinists shout of LUO, let me confirm that I am very much Kikuyu Damu.

  • Mutu Mweusi

    It’s sad to see people dying when the outcome of the election is well known. Those dying aren’t dying in vain… they are dying for what the believed in ….. Voting Kibaki out of power. To day i read on the net that police have aquired a shoot to kill order. GOD is not sleeping. The blood that those power hungry individuals in state house, the police including all the ECK Officials have spelt shall haunt you forever. Mr Kibaki you can sit there 5 years but think of your greediness and what it has caused…how many families have lost out by the tax payers bullets that you gave the police to shoot them with. Civil wars break out such ways. Let’s hope it won’t happen in Kenya.

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