News / Africa

    Kenyan Reaction to Kenyatta Victory Decidedly Mixed

    Jill Craig
    Kenyan election officials have finished their week-long counting of ballots and named Uhuru Kenyatta the fourth president of Kenya. But, predictably, given the violence after the 2007 election, reactions from Kenyans are mixed.

    Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission says Uhuru Kenyatta secured a slim majority - 50.07 percent of the vote. That eliminated the need for a runoff against his main rival, Raila Odinga, who plans to appeal, claiming election fraud.
     
    The mood around the country varies, but most people are urging acceptance of the results and for peace to prevail.
     
    In the town of Dagoretti, a Kenyatta stronghold, people like Ann Benika are pleased with the outcome.
     
    “The election was fair and good, because there was no fight. There was no tension,” says she.
     
    Both Kenyatta and Odinga supporters live in the Nairobi slum of Mathare, an area heavily impacted by the 2007 and 2008 post-election violence.
     
    Resident Hesbon Osiga says that he is willing to accept Kenyatta, as long as the new president lives up to his promises.
     
    “So we expect the [winning] side, Uhuru Kenyatta, and his deputy president, they should stick to their manifesto. These young people, who are with me, they are unemployed. They have got so many challenges. Our prayer is that they deliver as per their manifesto.”
     
    However, Joshua Deya says that he agrees with Odinga’s decision to contest the elections results.

    “We are not going to take the law into our hands, as in 2007. But now we have another [option]. If you are not satisfied here, then we’ll go to court.”

    The reaction in Odinga’s home base of Kisumu to the Kenyatta victory was more extreme, with some calls for secession, as voiced by Odinga supporter David Omondi.
     
    “If the others who voted for that other candidate, cannot come together with the rest of the country, then we are ready to have our own republic.”

    Back in Mathare, residents were quick to say that they will continue being friends after the elections are over.
     
    And some, like John Gatiba, say they are focusing on Kenya’s future.
     
    “Please guys: Maintain the peace. Go back to work. And let’s move the country forward. And the elections are just a short-time moment, but we have a lot to do for this country and that is what matters at the end of the day.”
     
    Voter turnout was 86 percent in this election, with more than 12 million votes cast.

    Kisumu footage for the video report was provided by Amos Waganga

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Kizee Ba Mkubwa from: Kenya
    March 11, 2013 6:36 AM
    Opiyo`s comment is very irresponsible.Uhuru Kenyatta never stole any money and he stated very categorical during presidential debate that it was an ERROR! on paper.It is very unfair for Opiyo to call over 6,000,000 kenyans ignorant.We know that mr.kenyatta has a date with the icc but everybody is INNOCENT until proven otherwise.

    by: Opiyo from: Winnipeg, Canada
    March 10, 2013 3:39 PM
    Kenyan election of Uhuru shows just how long it will take to wipe corruption and to make leaders accoutable. Uhuru's track record is very disturbing noting that when he was finance minister he 9 billion shillings (USD $102M) went missing and this is the amount he bribed his way back to being president. Uhuru has a case with ICC which should bare him illegible to run for any office yet despite these there is a bunch of ignorant Kenyans who have decided to vote him in. There is a very dark cloud hovering over Kenya.
    In Response

    by: chephochok from: Kenya
    March 11, 2013 7:49 AM
    In response to Opiyo's comment,i totally dispute the allegation level against Mr. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.Before the president elect vied for the presidential position,he was thoroughly vetted by the Ethics and Anti-corruption commission of Kenya (EACC).This was a mandatory procedure for all the candidates vying for various positions.The president elect was issued with a clearance certificate to show that he was not implicated in any form of financial corruption, save only from the glaring icc issue.

    Moreover,the icc case has not been proven beyond reasonable doubts to convict the president.I wish to remind mr.Opiyo that the allegation against the president is wrong and intended to whip the emotions of innocent Kenyans into rioting,like what we experienced in 2007.Perhaps you do not care since you live with your family in abroad.Therefore in case of any break out of clashes you will not suffer at all.It is very bitter to abuse over six million kenyans a ''bunch of ignorant'',who voted for Uhuru Kenyatta.Who could be ignorant,a bunch of six million Kenyans on Mr.Opiyo who resides in offshore country?On behalf of other kenyans we have accepted the results as they are and we require whoever is in power to build the kenyan economy so that we move forward.

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    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 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 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.