News / Africa

    Kenyans Hope Next President Will Unite Divided Country

    Kenya's President-Elect Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at the the National Election Center where final election results were announced declaring he would be the country's next president, in Nairobi, March 9, 2013.
    Kenya's President-Elect Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at the the National Election Center where final election results were announced declaring he would be the country's next president, in Nairobi, March 9, 2013.
    Kenya's election commission has officially declared Uhuru Kenyatta the outright winner of the country's first presidential election since disputed 2007 polls. Kenyans across the political spectrum are hoping the president-elect will unite the country and prevent any return to violence.

    After Kenyan election commission chairman Issack Hassan declared Kenyatta had won the election, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who finished in second place, said he is not conceding defeat, and he vowed to challenge the results in court.

    Uhuru Kenyatta

    • Deputy prime minister, former finance minister
    • 51 years old, son of Kenya's first president
    • Faces crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court at The Hague relating to post-election violence in 2007
    • Nominated to parliament in 2001
    • Appointed to run the Kenya Tourism Board in 1999
    Kenyatta received 50.07 percent of the vote, just enough to avoid a runoff.

    The president elect and his running mate, William Ruto, both face charges before the International Criminal Court for allegedly helping to orchestrate the post-election violence that caused bloodshed throughout Kenya. in early 2008. Both men deny those charges, which have yet to be heard in court.

    Political observers say Kenyan politics over the years have been based on tribal groupings that polarized the country.

    Onesmus Mutisiya, who supported the prime minister, says the election outcome "cheated" Mr. Odinga of victory. He does not see a bright future ahead for Kenya under these circumstances.

    “I think life will be hard," Mutisiya says,"because the person who we thought would change our lives for the better did not come out on top. And this was not because he didn't win the election, but because he was sort of cheated."

    Motorcycle driver James Njuguna, 27, an ethnic Kikuyu, says the next president's first task is to unite the country for the sake of peace and stability.

    "[In] this country there is half that support Uhuru [Kenyatta] and there is another half that doesn’t support him. The first thing he should do is to unite the Kenyans," he said.

    Mutisiya says the president should serve all Kenyans, not only his tribe.

    "He can unite Kenyans but he has to stop the mentality of tribalism," the Odinga supporter said, adding, "even if the president is a Kikuyu he is not the president of his tribesmen but of all Kenyans.”

    As for resolving the causes of the violence that swept Kenya five years ago, even before the election results were announced, the international court in The Hague postponed Ruto and Kenyatta's trials until May and July, respectively.

    • Supporters of Kenyan presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta celebrate what they perceive is an election win for him in Nairobi, Mar. 9, 2013.
    • Kenyan president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta waves at supporters after winning the elections in Nairobi, Mar. 9, 2013.
    • Supporters of presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta celebrate what they perceive is an election win for him in Nairobi, Mar. 9, 2013.
    • President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta displays the certificate from Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declaring him the winner of the country's presidential election in Nairobi, Mar. 9, 2013.
    • Riot police walk past residents in Nyallenda slums in Kenya's western town of Kisumu, 350km (218 miles) from the capital Nairobi as tension arises after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner of presidential election, Mar. 9, 2013.
    • Demonstrators chant slogans in Kenya's western town of Kisumu, 350km (218 miles) from the capital Nairobi as tension arises after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner of presidential election, Mar. 9, 2013.
    • Supporters of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga look out from the balconies of a building in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Mar. 9, 2013.

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.