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Posted by: Kenya Today - Kenya News on 19/10/2017

Will repeated elections change a thing, or are we preparing for doom

Will repeated elections change a thing, or are we preparing for doom

We live in a country where the election period has seen us go through turbulent times. Most notably the post-election violence witnessed in 2007 when the country was plunged into violence following claims that the elections were rigged in favor of former president Mwai Kibaki. The 2013 elections also had their fair share of problems after CORD, which was the losing party, cried foul claiming that the elections were rigged.

CORD (Coalition for Reforms and Democracy) filed a petition to the Supreme Court and what ensued was a tense period in the country with people fearing a repeat of the 2007 post-election violence. This year’s elections seem to have followed in the same vein as the preceding ones as NASA (National Super Alliance) headed by Raila Odinga, has announced. The losing party took their pleas to the Supreme Court claiming that the Independent Electoral Boundary Commission (IEBC) did not follow elections procedures as stated in the constitution.

NASA claims that the elections were filled with a lot of illegalities and irregularities, which the supreme concurred and ruled in their favor. The country now finds itself in a precariously similar position as the economy suffers due to political instability. Fresh elections are due to take place in less than two weeks, but it’s still to be seen whether the elections will be held because of the ongoing power struggle between NASA and Jubilee, the two protagonists in this elections.

This now brings us to the main question will the forthcoming elections change anything in this country? After months on end of the push and pull between IEBC, NASA, and Jubilee, does the country have anything to gain? With the economy in a nose dive due to the political instability, investors watching with a keen eye hesitant in doing any form of business, the tourism industry also affected by the same, will the end really justify the means?

Most Kenyans go to the ballot to vote expecting their preferred candidate to win eventually, and this might translate directly to the betterment of their lives. However, that is never the case. Time and time again after elections most of these leaders disappear after enriching the lives of their families and those close to them. I believe the next elections will be no exception and this vicious cycle will continue until we start voting for leaders of integrity.

The government had set aside 42 billion which was used for this year’s election and a further 10 billion will be spent on the repeat elections. This figure, coupled with the hard economic times the country faces means we are in for hard times ahead. We are more or less likely to continue facing the same problems we went through in the last four years, especially if there is no change of guard in the top seat.

I say so because this is what we have witnessed in this country for the last fifty years. The elections have become a formality, different trees grow, but it’s the same old monkeys that live up there, and I believe these elections won’t be an exception. However, there has been a slight growth in the political class, and there are a few notable leaders who are taking this country in the right direction, but it’s yet to be seen just how they will influence the rest and how this stimulus will affect future voting patterns.  

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