Kenya's Election Year: The World is Watching
Kenya is one of the countries that is considered peaceful in comparison to her neighbors such as Sudan and Somalia. Despite being the benchmark for her neighbors, there is a trend that keeps recurring and there are fears that this would be duplicated in the future. In the year 2007, Kenya experienced one of its darkest moments in its history when a disputed presidential election period led to a bloodbath that had not been witnessed before. While more than a thousand people lost their lives, hundreds of thousands were left homeless. The trauma that the citizenry of this country experienced will be forever embedded in their minds.
While the tears, the pain and the trauma may have been forgotten, or at least many people have tried to move past it,fresh fears have been experienced especially if what is happening at the Tana Delta is anything to go by. Two communities that have coexisted together in harmony for ages have now suddenly against each other and are killing each other mercilessly. The massacres that have been witnessed in this region are heart rendering to the say least and the investigations conducted so far reveal that the violence between the Oromos and the Pokomos have been politically instigated. The only place where these people had called home their entire life is the same place that have fled from and vowed never to return.
While the Kenyan government has been put task on the measures been taken, more questions are rising as to whether this is expected trend next year when Kenya will go to the polls. As the General Election fast approaches, the international world is keen to see how the Kenyan government and the entire Kenyan nation will conduct themselves. It is undoubtedly clear that the world does not want a repeat of what happened in the last electioneering period.
If what happened five years ago is to be averted, then a lot more require to be done and most importantly to ensure that the electorate has faith and trust in the institutions that have been set up to oversee the process. The acquiring of Biometric Voter's Registration Machines is one of the steps that Kenyan Government hopes to restore the lost faith in the body that shall oversee the elections.
American President Barrack Obama has categorically stated that he is personally monitoring the progress of the country as the election approaches and the various measures that are being taken to ensure that the 2008 post election violence is not repeated. Even as Kenyans go to the polls for the fist time under the new constitutional dispensation, the world is eagerly waiting to see how differently these elections will be conducted from the last elections. It can only be hoped that Kenya will exercise her democratic right without necessarily having to shed blood.