Well, in just a few hours, the polls will open in the most important election in Kenya’s history so far. Daniel Moi, president since 1978, will step down and let someone else have a shot. The numbers seem pretty clear, with Kibaki expected to take 55-60% of the vote, and Kenyatta taking about 35%, but who knows how accurate those polls are, and how much of a roll vote-buying and other corruption will play.
Ironically, now that it is almost over, I think I might actually finally believe Kenyatta’s claims that he would break from the former administration, and that Moi would not have influence over him. However, all along, people have believed that the opposite would be true – that Moi would still rule through Kenyatta, and that we would just have another few years of the same thing.
It will be interesting to see what Moi does – whether he actually retires to his country home to take it easy for a while, or whether he remains actively involved.
I pray for peace and calm. I’m concerned that, whoever wins, there will be violence in Nairobi, and that many people will be killed. I pray that the people can recognize the solemn importance of this, and that whoever wins, that the transition will be a smooth one, paving the way for a peaceful future. If this transition goes well, it will bode better for the next one, and the next one, and perhaps in a few decades, Kenya might be able to drag itself up out of the pit that it has sunk into over the last few decades.
I’m also concerned that people will expect immediate results, and that, in 6 months, when things are still terrible, that they will lose patience with Kibaki (or, I suppose it is still possible, Kenyatta) and demand something different. If people can be patient for a few years, perhaps things really will change. If not, Kenya might fall into the cycle of coups and bloodshed that has plagued so many other places.
NKOSI SIKELELE AFRICA – GOD BLESS AFRICA
She certainly needs it.