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Saturday, October 1, 2022

EDITORIAL: WHAT PEOPLE NEED IS PEACE AS KENYA ENTERS FINAL PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

General elections in Kenya are scheduled to be held tomorrow 9th August 2022. Voters will elect the President, members of the National Assembly and senate, county governors and members of the 47 county assemblies of Kenya.

General elections in Kenya are held after every five years. This will be the third general election and the fourth Presidential one since the promulgation of the 2010 constitutional referendum.

In the 2010 referendum, voters were asked whether they approved of a new proposed new constitution. The new constitution was seen as a vital step to avoid a repetition of the violent outbursts after the 2007 general elections.

About 22.1 Million registered Kenyans will go to the polls on 9th August 2022 to elect the country’s fifth President and successor to the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta.

Four Men have presented themselves for the topmost office in Kenya. Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Leader of the Orange Democratic Party (ODM), The Deputy President William Ruto and Leader of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), George Wajackoyah the candidate for the Roots Party and Mwaure Waihiga of the Agano party.

Tuesday’s presidential election is expected to go down to the wire, with Odinga and Vice President Ruto neck and neck in the polls.

Raila Odinga has based his manifesto on fighting corruption, cash transfers for the poor and negotiating a debt restructuring.

While his counterpart Ruto who has sought to align himself with the Kenyans struggling with a cost of living crisis said in a recent interview.  “I have pushed this campaign to be about trickle down versus bottom up, we must sort out the cost of Living, we must sort out unemployment and the debt situation,” Ruto said in one of the interviews with journalists.

The World is keenly watching these elections because of its significance to the East African Community and the Land Locked countries like South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

It should be noted that the 2007 post-election violence hurt the trade flow in Uganda and the whole of East Africa. This was because these countries were cut off from the port of Mombasa by angry rioters.

These rioters burnt tires to cut the road from the port and uprooted railway lines, strangling trade to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi for weeks.

The inflationary pressures in 2008 suffered by these countries due to the impact of the crisis also damaged the regional growth.

At a moment when the East African Community is gaining momentum with the addition of DRC and an application from Somalia, a democratic electoral process in Kenya would serve as a yardstick for future elections in the region.

A democratic Electoral process and peaceful transition of Power in Kenya is a prayer on the Lips of every East African.

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