We have now reached the third entry in Diakonia’s blog marathon about the elections in Kenya. Today, 3 days before the election, Purity Kagendo from Diakonia’s regional office in Africa writes her thoughts about the election process, and lifts the important work that several of Diakonia’s partner organizations in Kenya is conducting for a just election process.
Here in Kenya, things are good. The topic on everyone’s mind right now is the election on the 4th of March, and I am right now counting down the days and hours to the elections. The context is developing very fast and in my view, there might be a peaceful time ahead on the 4th March and thereafter as well!
On Monday the 25th of February, we had our second presidential debate with all the 8 candidates and it was fun seeing them being ”grilled” and sweating out explanations on their past corruption scandals. That was a great thing to watch, and I’m really happy that it happened. The fact that the presidential candidates have shared a podium for three times is a strong indication for a fair election, and a bold statement to the citizens regarding the need to maintain peace during this time.
Our partners organizations have also done some fantastic work around the elections. One of them, The Legal Resources Foundation, successfully filed a petition regarding the right for prisoners to participate in the elections. A ruling has been made but the elections body (IEBC) is yet to comply. Still, our partner organization is pushing very hard for their cause, bravely challenging the system. We at the Diakonia office support them completely, and we really hope that their lobbying will be fruitful.
Another partner organization, FIDA, has lobbied for the lowering of registration fees for female candidates, which has been halved by the political parties. FIDA will also launch an interactive portal on their website that will allow women to report Gender Based Violence cases during this elections. These are very interesting developments, and I definetely see this as an improvement compared to the last election. When the election is over, we will hopefully be able to share the outcome of this, and several other highlights and success stories that our partner organizations have been a part of with regards to the election.
Right now, I love what’s going on in my country. In fact, I have never been more politically alert as I currently am, and as actually most Kenyans are. Even my 4 year old son can identify 4 of the 8 presidential candidates, and I think that says a lot!
We really are hoping for the best on Monday the 4th and the days after. My personal wish is that we get a clean win in the first round so we won’t have to go through a second election round. If that happens, it will just create unnecessary tensions and the probability of violence will surely go up. Still, I pray and hope for the best; this election will be different.