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

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More