Divisive populism, weak institutions a threat to orderly transfer of power

Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta

Former President Mwai Kibaki (left) hands over the presidency to Mr Uhuru Kenyatta on April 9, 2013. 

Photo credit: File | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Nearly all political transitions in Kenya have been prone to divisive populism linked to politicised ethnicity.
  • None of last six elections since Kenya’s return to multiparty politics in 1992 can be unequivocally judged as a peaceful transfer of power.

Orderly transfer of power after elections is the platinum standard of a stable democracy. On the road to the August 9, 2022 election, Kenya is emerging as a posterchild of an emerging democracy besieged by resurgent populism. This casts a dark shadow over peaceful political transition after next year’s elections.

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