Following the outcome of the March 4. 2013 elections, Kenya now has a new president in the person of Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. He garnered 6,173,4333 votes (50.03%)out of the 12,338,667 votes cast to beat the country’s Prıme Mınıster, Raıla Odınga who got 5,340,546 of the total votes cast.
Having met the 50% plus thresh-hold needed to avoid a run-off, Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first President, Jomo Kenyatta was declared President-elect by the country’s Electoral Commıssion. Eight candidates ran for the presidential election. Prime Minister Odınga is disputing the outcome of the election and has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court, whereby he has accused the electoral authorities of manipulating the result. Besides, lawyers to the Prime Minister have faulted the voters’ register and the electronic vote counting machines used for the elections.
Regardless of these, we commend the people of Kenya for a fairly peaceful election compared to that of 2007 in which no fewer than 1,300 people were killed in post-election vıolence in which Uhuru Kenyatta was named as a prime suspect of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague. He was alleged to have planned and funded violence in Naıvasha and Nakuru provinces of Kenya, charges Uhuru has denied and wants his name cleared.
He maintains instead that Odınga should take political responsibility for the acts of violence and killings that followed the 2007 Presidential elections in Kenya. Instructively, the outcome of the election demystifies the incumbency factor which remains the bane of political elections in Afrıca. Perhaps Kenyans are mindful that their country risks imminent civil war between the two dominant ethnic groups in the country, the Kikuyu and the Luos, if the elections were mismanaged.
The ınternatıonal election monitors have said that the election was largely free, fair and credible, and that the electoral commission conducted its business in an “open and transparent manner.” This declaration speaks well of Kenya, irrespective of Odınga’s petitions. Mr Odınga’s pledge to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court is encouragıng. The interest of the country should supercede individual ambition.
There is always life after politics. This is the time for the political leadership to sink their differences, especially the most powerful political dynasties in the country, the Kenyatta and Odınga families. The time to start healing the wounds of the election is now. In that regard, Kenyatta should mend fences with his rival as soon as possible. Good enough, Kenya is not new to power-sharing arrangement among its key political actors.
It needs recalling that following the controversy that resulted in the 2007 presidential election in which Mwaı Kibakı was declared winner, despite claims of fraud by Raıla Odınga and his Orange Democratic Movement, a power-sharing agreement was reached in which Odinga was appointed Prime Minster and Kenyatta as Deputy Prime Minster as part of the Grand Coalition Government.
We suggest that a similar arrangement becomes exceedingly necessary. But it is up to the political class in Kenya to decide what is best for their country. For the new President, time is of essence to keep to his campaign promises and bring Kenyans together again. His political pedigree is such that he cannot afford to fail. Few politicians ın Kenya have had the kind of mentoring and favours like Uhuru Kenyatta