Why Kenya needs credible elections?

Why Kenya needs credible elections?


Next month Kenya goes to the polls, with national elections across the country. Everyone is hoping for peaceful politics and mass participation. But expectations are, it’s fair to say, cautiously realistic on both counts.

Elections are important to any democratic government; they discipline governments and ensure the government-elect works towards improving economic policy and governance. Elections increase accountability, they determine the quality of economic policy and governance a country will have.

Despite their critical role in building nations, elections can turn tragic, they can have a disruptive cyclical effect when not properly taken care of, elections introduce frictions, and on such occasions what counts most is accountability. When the quality of the electoral process is compromised, elections do not create the structural effect we would expect in many cases, it instead attracts conflicts and division.

Peace, on the other hand, is the primary foundation of any given country, it is the factor that glues the people of a nation together, it also brings prosperity and development and it promotes cohesion, peace is the pillar that holds stability of a country.

There is no gauge scale for the importance of peace. The post-election violence in 2007/2008 can testify to this statement. If you think peace is less important, take a good look at Somalia, Southern Sudan, and other war-torn countries. The beauty of Southern Sudan has remained a shadow of its former self, Somalia has been a battlefield for a while now, and this situation has shaped a perfect breeding ground for terrorists due to a lack of stability and governing laws. War which not only deteriorates the economy of a country but also comes with famine has made the situation in these countries jump from bad to worse.

As a country, we must carefully think through what we want to achieve. It has taken us decades to bring Kenya to where it is now and we cannot destroy it in a day. The glory of Kenya cannot be compromised. The importance of this nation demands us to be watchful and elude any road leading to violence and incitement; it calls for our leaders to unite Kenyans.

We all need to see, recognize, focus and exhibit our oneness as united people; we need to make a difference this time round. Learning from all the countries experiencing civil war you will realize the real meaning of tranquility, in that without peace tying the fabrics together, everything we do will eventually come to die.

Let no one hold hostage democracy and rule of law, for without this there is no Kenya. Democracy begins with you and me when we refuse to yield to violent calls and incitement from greedy and egocentric individuals.

All the efforts we have made to position Kenya as the most developed country in East Africa and as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa can break down within a short time if peace is forsaken. Therefore, to enable Kenya to continue scaling to greater heights we have to exercise our democratic right without fear or favor, without inclining in our tribes, we have to make the elections credible, our leaders have a mandate to leave a bequest of their leadership to generations that will come, they should be on the forefront preaching peace to Kenyans, let them begin the song of peace and we shall sing it together as a people of one peaceful nation.

We are privileged to be in a democratic country which gives us the ultimate power to choose the leaders we want. We have room to express our wants and needs through the formation of the government we want.

Why Kenya needs credible elections?

Elections are important to us as a country as they give us a chance to exercise our democratic rights. Nevertheless, when an election is conducted in a non-inclusive way, it leads to the loss of confidence, it escalates structural disparities and inequalities which stimulates violence and sometimes leads to civil war. Malpractices in elections have left many productive people dead, and a good number of citizens homeless, it has led to the fall of great nations.

This is not the first for general elections to be held in Kenya; however, it is important to consider that any slight mistake resulting from this democratic exercise can land the country into trouble. In 2013, we had peaceful polls and this year I want to believe the commitment our leaders expressed and Kenyans at large will again take the centre stage.

If we can only base our elections on the reflection of the will of people, peace is guaranteed. All political aspirants should put Kenya first by paving a way for the will of people of Kenya.

What Kenya needs is periodic and genuine elections, and considerate leaders willing to sacrifice for the sake of the nation. Kenya needs visionary leaders, vibrant individuals with radical ideas, courageous and charismatic individuals with open minds, and leaders who are ready to say no to corruption. Leaders who will beat all the odds to place Kenya in the global map, Selfless individuals who are willing to travel far and wide to convey to investors, a noble person,  a straight talker who will not sweep things under the carpet, this is the kind of a leader  Kenya wants.

Kenya wants an electoral process that is trusted by all citizens. The credibility of an election largely depends on the actual and perceived integrity of the electoral process in that, if citizens believe the electoral process is defective, dishonest or less than free and fair many may be discouraged to vote.

Elections are important actors of democracy promotion; this means they can never be compromised. Bodies and institutions concerned cannot fail to avail reliable instruments to voters.

Credible elections are paramount and can easily be achieved, however, the same can only be meaningful and effective if we fight and close all the doors of impunity and instead provide instruments of support as well as assurance of transparency.

Election management determines development of a country, it attracts foreign investors, it builds international relations, the same boosts manpower development to form the basis for a stable economy.

Democracy promotion and credible elections are often linked together such that it is difficult to separate the two, while democracy promotion support increases the chances of conducting credible elections, free and fair election on the other hand is central to democratic consolidation. In this regard, elections and democracy are inextricably linked together since elections lead to the emergence of credible leadership in a democratic context. In this case, Kenyans needs to emphasize on the credibility of the country’s leadership since it is always linked to the ability of electoral management bodies.

 Kenya is said to be eons ahead as her projects are alleged to be at the forefront compared to those of Uganda. The economic stability which is thought to have been boosted by currency stability has managed to keep inflation under control and within the target range of the Central Bank.

 The remarks by this report is a good indication of a growing nation, it shows that we are on the right track, it displays a visionary country with good leadership and my prayer is that the much-awaited election in August this year will make us rise higher.

 Our beloved leaders should also consider their speeches and more especially during the campaigns, they should be vigilant in the war against incitement and hate speech let them set a good example to the young generation. Institutions responsible for promoting of peace and cohesion should also be on the alert to ensure smooth running of the voting process.

 It is important to note that, credible elections guards against democratic reversal and guarantee sustainable development which in turn secures cooperation and generates international political support from other countries. The same is a strong tool for promoting trade as investors feel secure in a peaceful and stable nation. In addition, credible elections are an important vehicle for solving conflicts and promoting the development to a nation.

 The initiators of Mkenya Daima campaign, the private sector under the KEPSA umbrella, should resound their drums and make their dream of building a better Kenya known, they should proclaim their goal of building a Kenya with leaders of integrity who will work to improve the quality of life enjoyed by ordinary citizens everywhere in the country, a Kenya that has responsible and actively engaged citizens from the civil society, youth and the university students and the religious bodies who will all rise up to the challenge of improving their own lives, a country whose citizens will hold leaders and institutions to account. They should campaign for Kenya to have peaceful elections and to put our country first and above all advocate for no violence and no incitement amongst ourselves.

 The significance of elections cannot be disregarded. In this regard, every Kenyan must be an ambassador of our beloved country. The world and especially Africa will be watching us in August. Let us be a living example and promote a peaceful election.

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