Kenya presidential election: Another electoral hotpot in Africa

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Raila Odinga (l) Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenya may never be the same again after the controversial presidential election boycotted by the main opposition leader, Raila Odinga.

Africa and the world praised Kenya’s Supreme Court for its independence when it nullified the Presidential Election and called for fresh presidential elections.

This praise has been short lived coupled with threats and name calling from the leaders against the judges.

This should be an eye opener to all African countries, that allowing an interested part to hold on power during an election more especially a re-run or run-off, can electorally manipulative and unfair to other players.

Therefore, handing over power to the neutral person during a run-off or re-run may be the right path to an even electoral play field otherwise, the Kenya repeat will be the order of the day in Africa.

Truly, Africa will continue to be laughed at because of her failures by her people and leaders to resolve the continent’s own internal problems both as individual countries and as a whole continent.

What happened in Kenya, is a testimony of another failed electoral democracy due to failure by local leaders, players, stakeholders and interest groups to resolve identified electoral knots.

It was inconceivable for one to expect a true credible, fair and free election when reports of heavily armed police manned voting places and concerns unresolved over the managers of the election-electoral body.

It was too to be a miracle to see credible elections when the chairperson of the Electoral Commission confessed that it would be impossible to guarantee free, fair and credible presidential election under the prevailing political and electoral circumstances in that country.

As Africans, we shall remain a laughingstock to the west because we only believe western mediators and solutions are best for Africa.

Look at Spain, who is resolving her Catalonia crisis? It is not Africa but herself Spain and perhaps at some stage, the European Union.

With the foregoing, soon we will hear that UK has sent a mediator in Kenya and yet African mediators have been either ignored or got little attention from the Kenyan leaders.

It is time Africa starts resolving her own problems. Political Independence will mean nothing if Africa continued to put all its faith in western solutions and yet the same individual leaders in Africa would want to call the west names when they demand good governance, democracy, transparency and accountability.

Lastly, Botswana’s President Ian Kharma’s statement on the need not manipulate the constitution to prolong his stay in power is timely and hope President Edgar Lungu listened and digested such statement from his Guest.

We, as Zambians, don’t need his 3rd term bid in 2021. The desire to manipulate the constitution using courts to accommodate his desire for re-election for the 3rd time is uncalled for and must and will be resisted.

Such leaders’ egos in Africa have been a contributing factor to many of the electoral and political instabilities in most African countries like in DRC, Burundi etal.

Today, President Lungu is trotting to and from the Great Lakes Region Summits because of the political and electoral crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This crisis which has triggered inflow of refugees to and asylum seekers in Zambia from DRC is as a result of DRC leaders’ insatiable desire to remain in power beyond their electoral mandate through constitutional manipulations.

Today, Zambia is spending too much money to resolve a problem which it would have help prevent from occurring being a good neighbor to DRC as it has now proved to be now when it comes to meetings to resolve the political electoral crisis.

The money being spent flying to Brazzaville, Congo or and Luanda, Angola would have been served if Zambia used its geopolitical vantage to persuade President Joseph Kabila retire at the end of his electoral term.

By MacDonald Chipenzi

Electoral Expert / Journalist 

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