The gruesome election pitted Kenya’s eight political heavy weights which saw the son of Kenya’s founding President Jomo Kenyatta, Uhuru emerging a winner.
Uhuru Kenyatta garnered 6,173,433 (50.07 per cent of the votes cast) defeating his greatest challenger Raila Odinga who received 5,350, 546 (43.7 per cent).
Uhuru also won in 32 counties. Observers say this year’s election turn out was 86 per cent of the about 14 million people who registered to vote, making it the highest turn out in Kenya’s political history. Uhuru’s victory is also described as well deserved in the highly contested campaign and election.
We in Tanzania would like to join the rest of the world to congratulate Kenya for displaying highest degree of political maturity in electing leaders of their choice. In their own words they said Kenyans have made their choice, something which the international community was not expecting, considering the bitter experiences of the 2007 general election aftermath chaos.
The closest neighbour to Tanzania, Kenya’s election was closely monitored especially after what had happened that saw hundreds of Kenyans dead, countless number of internally displaced people as well as refugees. This year’s election outcome, therefore , is a reflection of lessons learnt from the 2007 bitter experience.
Tanzanians have been keenly following Kenya’s election because whatever outcome would have an impact here having the historical good relations between the two countries. For, it is a known fact that the 2007 elections in Kenya had adverse impact on the Tanzanian side. Those who lost their lives and became displaced had relatives and next of kin in this country.
We joined hands with our brothers and sisters in Kenya to pray for a peaceful election because of those experiences. It is the first Kenyan election under the country’s new constitution. We congratulate our neighbours for the well organized but complex and hotly contested elections.
Of course, in any election there must emerge winners, losers and the losers must show a sense of political maturity by accepting election results. In this case, Peter Kenneth and Musalia Mudavadi displayed this example by accepting defeat earlier - a stance which has been hailed by IEBC chairperson.
There had been impressive trends that took place in Kenya during the run up to the just-concluded elections. Massive media campaigns on the need for peaceful election have paid off. The aim was to ensure that what happened in the 2007 election did not recur. They focused on the need to do away with hatred on the basis of ethnicity, status or religious inclination.
They also realized how the media played a major role in broadcasting hate speech that ended election aftermath chaos. The power of the media has been realized in Kenya and parties concerned made sure they utilized the media full to restore the lost glory and ensure they correct the mistakes of the past.
Tanzanians too are in the process of preparing a new constitution that must be in place before the next general elections slated for 2015. We have to borrow a leaf from our neighbours’ experiences which have been very fruitful in ensuring peaceful democratic process for the highest sense of political maturity that is worth emulating.
Several observers have noted and congratulated Kenya, saying the stance has been exemplary in the East African region and beyond, that Africa can have peaceful elections without having foreign influence.