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Let peace be the winner, it’s all that Kenyans want.

Aug 24, 2022 06:48:40 AM

On Tuesday August 9, Kenyan voters will participate in one of the most keenly contested general elections since the advent of the multiparty politics in 1991.

The campaigns for the elections are on the homestretch with various candidates from the Presidency to grassroots representation (Member of County Assembly) fighting to win the support of the more than 22 million voters who are registered to participate in the polls.

The ongoing campaigns are largely being undertaken in a peacefully manner and the expectations of Kenyans is that this climate of peace and harmony will continue to prevail even after the general elections.

Concerns related to the high cost of living, insecurity and a growing cadre of unemployment among Kenyans have been among the issues at the center stage of the campaign period.

It is heartening to see that from every corner of this great country, the call for peace has been sang in unison by all Kenyans. Voices of reason from religious leaders and other opinion leaders are growing stronger in urging Kenyans to maintain the atmosphere of peace before, during and after the election period.

The catastrophe experienced during the 2007/2008 post-election violence elections should serve as a valuable lesson for Kenyans that peace is a prized asset which should be jealously guarded and the elections which is a one-day affair should not be the reason to divide Kenyans along ethnic or political differences.

Amidst the campaigns, political temperatures have been soaring generating concerns among Kenyans on the eventual outcome of the elections. The spats and verbal exchanges from the main contenders for the top seat, the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Alliance candidate Raila Odinga and his rival William Ruto from United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Kenya Kwanza Alliance are not helping matters either.

At this time when tensions are rising, it is imperative that the contenders calm fears by reassuring Kenyans that all will be well after the elections and they will all abide by the election results.

A duel will definitely produce winners and losers and it is important that the outcome is accepted by all players.

In this, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has a heavy obligation to ensure that it delivers free, fair and credible elections. This is what Kenyans from the different political persuasions are yearning for.

Kenya has achieved significant democratic progress since independence, and the world will be watching eagerly as Kenyans showcase the strength of their democracy on Election Day. A peaceful election that reflects the will of the

Kenyan people will further cement Kenya’s role as a cornerstone of democracy.

A peaceful transition of power from President Uhuru Kenyatta to a new regime will enable Kenya to reach new heights as a regional and global leader as we seek to address the challenges facing Kenyans at the moment among them the high cost of living. The IEBC has had five years to prepare for the 2022 general election and the transmission of results issues that led to the nullification of the 2017 Presidential elections should not be issue in the 2022 polls.

Chairman Wafula Chebukati and his team must ensure that key polling data and information is available to all the residential candidates, the media and observers to ensure the Commission gains the trust of all Kenyans.

The Commission should also clearly publish how many polling stations there are and where the 6,000 new ones are located. Another grey area is the voter register audit report which was done by KPMG but the Commission is yet to make public the new voters register after the implementation of the audit report.

The bitter memories of the 2017 presidential election circus are still fresh in our minds, after the Supreme Court nullified results of the presidential election, citing irregularities, and ordered a fresh one within 60 days.

IEBC had declared incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes against Raila Odinga.

The then Chief Justice David Maraga and the Supreme Court ruled that the disputed presidential election had not been “conducted in accordance with the constitution” and declared it “invalid, null and void”. The verdict was backed by four of the six Supreme Court judges.

The verdict forced the IEBC to conduct a repeat presidential election which was boycotted by Odinga, the main Opposition candidate leading to an easy win by President Kenyatta.

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