The Kenyan Crisis
- 30 Posts
- Age 22
I don't know how many members of the Voices of Youth community read about Kenya. If you do, you know that things aren't going very well down here. If you don't, now you know. Things aren't going so well here in Kenya. Long story short, on August 8th, we had a national general election and, on 1st September, the results of the presidential elections were annulled by the Supreme court after the National Super Alliance, NASA, team took forth their grievances that the presidential election was marred by irregularities.
The Supreme court ruled in their favour primarily because the election body, the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), refused to grant them access to their servers. Additionally, evidence presented before the court showed that there were indeed some irregularities. This was a first in Kenya and in Africa at large. In fact, only 4 countries, including Kenya, have had a presidential election annulled before - the other three are Ukraine, Maldives, and Austria.
Now, due to VOY policies, I cannot possibly tell you the full story on here. Fortunately, you can read it online. However, beware of exaggerations. Some news sites, especially international ones, are notorious for their exaggerations. I would recommend you read international reports such as the Guradian and Al Jazeera alongside local ones such as the Standard and Daily Nation in order to get a clearer and nearer-to-the-truth picture of what's going on.
Following this annulment, some celebrated while others exploded in anger and began threatening the judiciary. The economy took a nosedive. There were, and still are, some riots and protests. Police brutality has been reported. Not to mention, we were dealing with a food crisis and water crisis before the election and we still are now but our leaders seem to have forgotten about that. Furthermore, we're currently handling a cholera outbreak due to the water crisis. And nurses are currently still on strike, further deepening the health crisis. As with any political crisis, it is the common citizen that suffers the most, and this has been the case with Kenya too. This impasse has taken attention away from other critical matters.
A repeat election was set to October 17th but moved to October 26th, which is tomorrow, and most of us are just waiting with bated breath. The opposition swears that there will be no election tomorrow as there haven't been reforms within the IEBC. The government swears that there will be elections tomorrow come rain come shine. Schools have been closed, universities included, due to the situation. People aren't really going to work this week. Businesses have closed for the week.
None of us knows what will happen tomorrow. In fact, I myself have stored food and water and emergency supplies as if I'm awaiting the apocalypse because I don't know what will happen. I don't know if I will still be able to go outside and get food and supplies. And many have done the same too. You've got to know that as a nation, this situation is very triggering for us because the 2007-2008 post-election violence crisis is still very fresh in our minds and hearts, hence the major national standstill on the citizens' part.
The only good thing that I can say about this situation is that majority of the citizens have begun feeling that the people they vote for really might not have the country's interests at heart. Kenyans have begun to recognize the challenges of the electoral process. People have begun getting serious with knowing their rights and have begun educating themselves on democracy - especially on voting rights. There has been some sort of national awakening, if I may call it that.
However, this awakening has left most of us feeling quite helpless as there is no clear way forward for us right now. With all the countries in the world undergoing different crises, we're all hoping Kenya won't be the next to fall. #PrayForKenya