KENYA DECIDES: Africa prays for a peaceful and credible election

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  • The election has been dubbed a clash between dynasty and hustler politics.
  • The AU says its a watershed moment in Kenya’s history.
  • Opposition in Zimbabwe hopes a credible free and fair election in Kenya sets an example for the continent.

The Kenyan general elections have grabbed international headlines as a battle of the "Hustlers versus Dynasties" unfolds. 

The elections get under way on Tuesday. Kenyans will be voting for a president, senators, women representatives, members of the national assembly, governors, and members of the county assembly.

The African Union (AU) joint election observer team with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has already been deployed countrywide.

Among international election observers gathered mostly in Nairobi is Ugandan opposition figures, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, alias Bobi Wine, and Kizza Besigye.

For Uganda, and surrounding countries in east and central Africa, the polls are important because Kenya is the region's largest economy.

Its stability is critical for the East African Community and by extension COMESA.

Bobi Wine on Sunday tweeted that he met the two front runners, Raila Odinga - the dynasty runner - and William Ruto, branded a self-made hustler. 

For many political analysts, the race will be down to the two men and because each commands a huge following, the election could be destined for a runoff.

The Brenthurst Foundation, a Johannesburg-based think-tank established by the Oppenheimer family, is hosting a delegation of African election observers. 

ALSO READ | Kenya candidates make final bid for votes as campaigning closes

The foundation said the election was "a big one with even bigger consequences".

"The country is plagued by a system of governance, policy, foreign relations, and an elite mindset seemingly misaligned to deal with the core problems of poverty, corruption, lack of diversification, and mounting debt.

"The winners in this election will have a long road ahead to mend a country reeling with public debt of more than 65% of GDP and a real risk of debt distress."

AU's Political Affairs Peace and Security department said it was honoured to be part of the history-making process.

"We are witnessing a watershed moment in Kenya’s history. It’s our wish that Kenya will conduct peaceful, orderly, transparent, free, fair, and credible elections," the organisation said.

In Zimbabwe, the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa, hopes a free and fair election in Kenya sets an example for the continent.

"Elections must be credible and peaceful. It’s the destiny of a nation - a vital turning point for any nation," said Chamisa.

Global audit firm KPMG announced that it had been officially tasked with auditing the election voters' roll.


  

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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