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

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    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.

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