Kenyans are glad it’s almost over

People queue to vote at the NSSF polling in Starehe constituency.

People queue to vote at the NSSF polling in Starehe constituency on April 14, 2022, during the UDA party's nominations.

Photo credit: Evans habil | nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Ruto is a man with a burning desire to ascend to the highest office in the land. For that, he can’t be faulted.
  • The only regrettable thing for Raila is that he has dismally failed to galvanise the support of the populous Mt Kenya voters, but he must take heart.


Well, it is all over but they counting now, and Kenyans are grateful.

A collective sigh of relief is making itself heard countrywide but it won’t become pronounceable until a new president is sworn in at the end of next week.

In the next three days, Kenyans will troop to the voting booths and help decide this country’s destiny, and regardless of what role they play or don’t play to make it happen, there will be a new government in place, which they must endure for the next five years if things go wrong.

In the meantime, for many Kenyans, the August 9 elections will mean they can breathe again, and for that they are glad.

They will inhale once more air that has not been contaminated by the poisonous fumes emitted by politicians in the past few months.

They will also be free of the din produced by these same characters that have been hurting their ears.

The day they no longer hear mobile loudspeakers blaring songs all day in praise of candidates, and with the cacophony and hatred unleashed in cyber-space muted, they will know peace once more.

Uniformly duped 

An added advantage is that there will no longer be any need for people to avoid greeting their neighbours or relatives due to politics, once it dawns on them all that their lives won’t change one little bit whoever they elect MCA, MP, governor or president.

Once they realise they were uniformly duped, ordinary Kenyans will just pick up the pieces, resume their dreary lives, and soon enough remember they are brothers and sisters who were always meant to live in peace. 

Judging from the crop of politicians they end up electing across the board, Kenyans invest too much in politics and reap too little.

Right now, all eyes are trained on the coveted presidency.

Whoever they elect as the country’s next leader will have his hands full and cannot afford to party for too long, for there is work to be done.

Indeed, his impact will soon be felt depending on his sense of priorities. Here are the four men to whom Kenyans want to entrust their future.

First is Mr David Waihiga Mwaure, a mild-mannered ordained church minister, lawyer and politician, who has been treated very badly by opinion polls, usually falling below 1 per cent in popularity.

Let us just say that this country is not yet ready for a leader who espouses all that is decent and ethical in statecraft

He probably needs to work harder to spruce up his staid image and messaging.

On the polar opposite is the Roots Party supremo, Prof George Luchiri Wajackoyah, a man who kicked up a storm by mesmerising youth and scandalising the clergy in equal measure.

His message was stark: cultivate bhang and sell it to those countries that refine such stuff into vital medicine, rear poisonous snakes for their venom and export it for a nice profit, and third, hunt hyenas for their gonads and export them.

This profusely educated man became an immediate hit with the youth, but too many conservatives thought he was a joker, and judging from the polls, they still do.

Deputy President William Samoei Ruto has proved to be a formidable political player.

He is an astute operator who started scheming long before the end of the first term, and for the longest time thought the presidency was his for the taking. It wasn’t.

On March 9, 2018, the “Handshake” happened and badly jolted his plans. His differences with President Uhuru Kenyatta became pronounced and his tone a lot more strident.

He incessantly cried betrayal but soldiered on.

The DP is a man with a burning desire to ascend to the highest office in the land. For that, he can’t be faulted.

The only blot in his otherwise sterling political career is that he has long been associated with less-than-ethical conduct in the public space, and he then compounded the problem by choosing close aides whose public moral compass is also askew.

Nevertheless, his bottom-up message has resonated with millions.

Mt Kenya voters 

Mr Raila Odinga is hardly a stranger in Kenya’s elections, having vied for the presidency four times already, and now he is on the verge of clinching it on the fifth try.

The only regrettable thing is that he has dismally failed to galvanise the support of the populous Mt Kenya voters, but he must take heart.

The situation has vastly improved and he probably has more supporters in that region than opinion polls are showing.

He has pledged to accept defeat if he reckons the election was fair, which means there is little likelihood of his supporters pouring into the streets to protest against unfavourable “results”.

Should a defeat happen, of course, it will be the end of an illustrious political career, but there is one bright spot.

Of late, he has been consistently ahead in the opinion polls, and he may yet get the break he has been craving all those years.

Mr Ngwiri is a consultant editor. [email protected]

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