Kenya: Kenyan writers’ reactions to post election crisis

Kenyan writers’ reactions to post election crisis: “Kwani? is running a series of articles and opinion pieces based on the reactions of Kenyan writers to the post election crisis.”

1 comment

  • Stephen

    I must say that I can’t say in entirety who won the presidency and justice needs to be done. But I have some comments just to make sure our conclusions and perceptions (especially by the international press) are drawn from correct information:

    1. Kibaki’s PNU was involved in election irregularities – It is true that there were irregularities in some PNU strongholds. But there were irregularities in some ODM strongholds of Nyanza and Rift Valley with some constituencies reporting voter turnout of over 90% (very suspicious) or 100% (outrageous) and Kibaki’s party agents chased away during tallying. Unfortunately, this has been completely blacked out by the press as it happened at the beginning of the vote tallying process.
    2. Raila beat Kibaki in 6 of 8 provinces and thus by inference won the elections – Let’s get mathematical for a moment. Question is by how much in the 6 provinces? What is the voter population in these 6 provinces vis a vis the remaining 2 provinces? If indeed Kibaki managed to garner between 18% and 45% in 5 of these 6 provinces, and Raila on the other hand had between 2% and 5% in the remaining 2 (which account for approx. 30% of the country’s registered voters), a Kibaki win is not entirely unfathomable. Non-Kenyans may not be aware but Kenya’s law is about who wins in terms of absolute numbers as long as they fulfill the 25% requirement in at least 5 of 8 provinces.
    3. ODM won 99 parliamentary seats and PNU won 43 seats and therefore Kibaki lost the elections – Two issues:
    • Though conducted concurrently, the Parliamentary and Presidential are 2 separate and distinct elections. A party can win one and lose the other and vise versa.
    • PNU was just the lead party among 15+ parties that supported Kibaki. These parties fielded competing candidates in certain areas which resulted in a split parliamentary vote sometimes giving ODM victory in the parliamentary election. Thus, in some instances, PNU lost the parliamentary seat but Kibaki won the Presidential vote due to a ‘consolidation effect’.
    • PNU and it’s pre-election affiliates (i.e. excluding Kalonzo Musyoka’s party) have a total of 75 seats. Again, it is not unfathomable for a President to be from such a team.
    4. Raila won by between 500,000 votes and 1 million votes (read ‘Landslide’) – The US Amabassador recently said that though not committing on who they think won the elections, their analysis indicates that whoever won did so by no more than 100,000 votes. Of course their report is not infallible. But it seems to be consistent with opinion polls conducted just before the elections that showed a difference of 1% between the 2 leading candidates (approx. 100,000 votes of the 10M who voters who turned out)
    5. On the ethnic violence – In ODM’s final campaign rally in multi-ethnic Nairobi, Raila spoke in his native Luo language urging the crowd to give him Nairobi while Mudavadi did so in Luhya at the same venue. What would you have thought or felt if you were a Kikuyu who supports ODM and you were attending the rally? Though not necessarily a pointer to ethnic indifference, Kibaki to his credit never addressed a campaign rally in his native Kikuyu language even when in his home turf of Central Province where 99% of the population is Kikuyu.

    I agree that Kibaki should not force people to accept his leadership. But neither should Raila.

    Again, I say that I can’t entirely tell who won the presidency and truth and justice in that regard is required. But even if he knows he will win, I am sure Kibaki will be unwilling to step down for fresh elections as long as Raila continues to take the moral high-round. Such an act will simply give Raila credibility that I am not sure he is altogether entitled to.

    But my saddest day for Kenyans was on Tuesday during the first day of parliament. Members from both sides of the divide shook hands laughing heartily despite their vitriol-filled public statements. As we kill each other ‘fighting for our man’, our man is eating and drinking with the ‘enemy’ (with whom by they way share business interests) in his lavish mansion watching us clowns on TV.

    God save us Kenyans from this foolish blindness!

    Nairobi, Kenya

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