There is no doubt that there were clouds of uncertainty hanging over Kenya in the period leading to the election of the fourth President of that country since independence in 1963. The fear justifiably stemmed from the violence that erupted after the 2007 elections which led to the loss of over one thousand precious lives, and some 500 thousand people displaced. The ethnic polarization of the Kenyan politics and the interference of the west through the so called indictment of one of the President-elect, Uhuru Kenyatta, of the Jubilee Alliance Party, and his running mate, William Ruto whose charges have just been dropped are not issues that should be swept under the carpet.
The elections are over and the son of Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta, 51 year old Uhuru has been declared winner. The call by the main opposition challenger, Raila Odinga, on his supporters not to engage in violent acts is highly commendable.His decision to challenge the results in the Supreme Court, the same judiciary he said he did not trust in 2007 is also laudable. One hopes Raila Odinga’s actions before and after the court’s verdict will portray the peaceful Kenya he claims to seek. The truth is that the elections have been hailed as transparent, at least by African standards and in the history of Kenya. The choice of the people must be accepted and respected in the interest of peace not only in Kenya and Africa, but the international community as a whole. It is in this regard that comments by senior government officials from the US, Germany and Britain before the elections can be interpreted as interference in the domestic affairs of Kenya and must not be allowed to continue. It is true that the world has become a global village, as such what happens in any country can have a rippling effect across the globe. That, however, is not enough justification for anybody or country to decide who democratically rules a particular country. Uhuru Kenyatta hit the nail right on the head when he responded by saying that he does not seek the presidency of the US or UK but his home country Kenya and is democratically doing so without forcing anyone to vote for him. Irrespective of how one sees it, the people of Kenya have defied the ICC indictment against both Keyatta and his vice Ruto as well as voices of foreign diplomats and have accordingly by 50 point–zero-seven percent margin given the mandate to them to rule. Uhuru Kenyatta has become the second African President to face Indictment by the ICC after Sudan’s Umar al Bashir.
African leaders must rally behind Kenyan President elect Uhuru Keyatta to help improve that country’s economy and hopefully move it to the much anticipated middle income status. Africa appreciates the support of western nations but the west ought to know that providing assistance and other forms of handouts does not mean the political independence of Africa should be compromised. In all dealings, the advanced nations must be guided by the Biblical injunction in Ecclesiastes 12:14, which states that “God is going to judge everything we do, whether good or bad and even things done in secret. Long live Kenya and long live Africa.
BY: GEORGE ASEKERE, A JOURNALIST.