Kenyan election will take place on August 8, 2017. Plenty of international observers have already arrived at the country. All of them are worried if the polls are fair. There are also many other reasons why the world worries about upcoming presidential elections in Kenya.
Kenya is still troubled by the post-election fighting, which happened ten years ago. At that time, over 1300 people were killed, and over 600 hundred thousand lost their homes. Therefore, many of them are afraid that such violence can return if the trustworthiness of the election is doubtful.
The campaigns of current President Uhuru Kenyatta and his main opponent, Raila Odinga, have already extremely polarized Kenyans along ethnic lines. There are already frequent reports that many people take their families and leave ethnically diverse neighborhoods in all districts likely to be flashpoints of violence.
The legal system in Kenya stays weak. In 2007, the opposition did not entrust the electoral argument to the court, which immediately resulted in the massive violence across the country. Presently, the opposition has announced that if the Kenyan election is suspected to be rigged, they will never go to the courts. All will result in mass street protests, which potentially can sink into mass violence.
Another issue that keeps on worrying the world is the unsettled legacy of Kenya’s colonial past. It continues manifesting in the form of large class and regional dissimilarities and constant land conflicts. In 1963, Kenya became independent from the United Kingdom. However, more than 60,000 Europeans possessed half of all areas in Kenya.
Since that time, succeeding governments have concentrated those areas in the hands of a small elite, thus, further worsening land hunger as the population keeps on growing. Therefore, all this caused the hugest possible huge wealth differences. 0.02% of people own 63% of Kenya`s capital. Moreover, Kenyatta’s government has not implemented any Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations concerning the land issue.
People do not trust Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. It completely lacks transparency. After a doubtful audit process, IEBC agreed to give public access to the voters’ registry. However, there is still no clarity on how the Commission is going to work if biometric and electronic systems, which are obligatory for recognizing voters and preliminary results from all polling stations, will stop working, as it happened four years ago.
One should hope that Kenyan election will take place without violence and aggression. The country needs continuing developing economically and culturally.