Kenya looks up to new President outside Kenyatta Dynasty
In less than 14 hours, polls would have opened in Kenya to elect a brand new president. Despite all permutations and alliances, chances are higher that President Uhuru Kenyatta is leave g the saddle. The battle is a two-horse: between Raila Odinga, Kenya’s former Prime Minister and the leading opposition candidate who has been gunning for the position foe the last 20 years and Williams Ruto, the incumbent Deputy President.
The odds seem to favour Odinga to win the election. The incumbent, Kenyatta is rooting for Odinga to succeed him against his own Deputy, Ruto. However, a section of the country sees Kenyatta’s action as betrayal against Ruto. This feeling is giving Ruto fillip in sections of the country.
Odinga, on the other hand is seen as a dogged politician who has been on the turf for several years, a major reason why Kenyatta is willing to give him a chance.
Whatever happens, the Kenyatta dynasty is leaving the seat of power.
Travel companies in Kenya are seeing a surge in last-minute bookings and travels ahead of Tuesday’s landmark general elections.
A spot check by BBC in Western Kenya found hundreds of passengers trying to get home to their registered polling stations. In some areas, bus fares have almost doubled due to demand.
The western region is home to Kenya’s second most populous ethnic community and is seen as a swing region. It has a combined voter population of 2.6 million spread across five counties.
“Here in Bungoma we are all OK. We have seen a lot of travellers passing through here as they head to Busia town [on the border with Uganda] where they registered as voters,” said travel agent Kennedy Ajimbi.
In Eldoret town, voters have also been verifying if they are on the final election register.
Eldoret in Kenya’s Rift valley is seen as the stronghold of Deputy President William Ruto who will on Tuesday be casting his vote in his hometown of Sugoi.
“Yes, we’re going to have a free fair and transparent and credible process, the area’s electoral returning officer Irene Mutahi said.
There has been confusion on Kenya’s coast, following a mix-up of ballot papers between Mombasa county and the neighbouring Kilifi county.
The error was spotted at an election material distribution centre, prompting concern from rights group Haki Africa who told the BBC they feared the problem might not be sorted in time for Tuesday morning when voting begins:
Quote Message: There has been an issue that has been noted here, whereby, a ballot box of Mombasa gubernatorial candidate was opened but it contained ballot papers for Kilifi County gubernatorial candidate… this confusion is also in other parts of country.” from Salma Ahmed Haki Africa
There has been an issue that has been noted here, whereby, a ballot box of Mombasa gubernatorial candidate was opened but it contained ballot papers for Kilifi County gubernatorial candidate… this confusion is also in other parts of country.”
Salma AhmedHaki Africa
Officials from Kenya’s electoral commission, the IEBC, have appealed to Mombasa residents to remain calm, and assured people that the problem will be addressed in good time.
“There has been a bit of a mix-up. But that is an issue which is within our means. We have already communicated to the relevant authority, and it’s being worked on,” says Sudi Masha of the IEBC.
Mombasa county has 641,000 registered voters with a total of 1,041 polling centres.