Kenyans Get an Early Start on Their Summer Election Season

A Kenyan citizen votes in 2007. Photo: Flickr / DEMOSH. CC 2.0.

Kenyans don't go to the polls until Aug. 8, but election fever is already gripping the country. On Twitter, one trending hashtag is #NotWithMyVote, which people are adding to tweets about their political hopes and fears.

Corruption has been a central theme in these tweets, and many Kenyans, arguing that corruption is holding back the nation's development, are now calling for the ouster of incumbent politicians.

Twitter users have reason to be angry; according to a 2016 survey by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Kenya is the third most corrupt country in the world.

Derrick Mecha used the hashtag to criticize Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta:

Mecha was referring to a controversial campaign by the president to motivate young people to register to vote, #UhuruDabChallenge. As part of the promotion effort, Kenyatta recorded a video of dab moves at the State House with a popular local dance group called FBI.

Tyson Wakhanu also stated his reasons for refusing to support the government:

A national strike by doctors and lecturers is also influencing voters. Earlier this month, a court ruled that members of the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union, a union body that governs all Kenyan doctors, should be jailed over the strike.

Clementine Osodo advised voters not to accept bribes:

Brenda Chebet made the following observation about voter bribery:

The Center for Multiparty Democracy, CDM-Kenya, said a failure in the country's leadership is a major reason for voter bribery:

But “Bwana Mdogo” thought voters should punish corrupt politicians by taking their money without voting for them:

Edwin Ogutu echoed a similar sentiment:

According to a report by Interthoughts Consulting, commissioned by the Center for Multiparty Democracy in partnership with Germany's Konrad Adenauer Foundation, a majority of Kenyans would vote for any politician who gives them money. The study also found that politicians recoup the money spent bribing voters by stealing from the government, once in office.

Shallom identified tribalism and corruption as the main problems in Kenya's electoral politics:

Rose Mute says she will protect the the country by praying and voting:

Ahmed Mohamed says he wants a government that listens to him:

“Shadow Walker” castigated unsympathetic leaders:

Arap Kobilo endorsed a “better the devil you know” attitude, arguing that President Kenyatta and his vice president, William Ruto, represent a safer bet than the election's four opposition leaders, Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka, and Moses Wentang'ula, who have formed the National Super Alliance to challenge the president's ruling coalition.

Michael Tsimangi disagreed:

Robert Muga tweeted:

The doctors’ strike has brought the nation's public health care system to a halt, and an unknown number of patients have died, as doctors continue to stay away from work.

Clement Kange'the complained about incompetent leaders with criminal backgrounds:

Francis said he wants a leader who puts development ahead of tribal politics:

While many Kenyans blame politicians for the country's problems, Tyson Wakhanu said he blames the voters:

Osborned Osoro said he's against the tendency of “recycling” politicians:

Meanwhile, some remain unimpressed with Kendyans’ Twitter hashtag effort. Weke Junior expressed pessimism about the entire #NotWithMyVote campaign:

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