We continue our blog marathon about the Kenyan election with entry numer four, from Purity Kagendo, program officer at Diakonia’s regional office in Nairobi, Kenya. In this entry, she expresses her reaction to the results of the election, and the peaceful manner in which it has been conducted.
It’s about 7:00 AM on a Sunday morning and I can’t wait to tell the world that I slept and woke up in a peaceful African country that just released the final results of a general election. I am very excited, and I am very proud to be Kenyan this morning; not because my presidential candidate won, and not because our electoral body was fault free (though they did their best and have learnt lots of lessons for the future), but because of the peace and patience demonstrated by my fellow countrymen.
I salute each and every Kenyan for this, the Kenya Police for being a ‘service’ and not a ‘force’, the local media for focusing the nation to peace and managing politicians, the religious fraternity for their prayers and call for peace and friends of Kenya who crossed their fingers for us in those tense moments. Asanteni sana! I am also very proud of our partner organizations in the Kenya Country Program who worked tirelessly to contribute to this peace in various parts of the country. These are great people changing the world.
Although the results have been declared, the election is not yet fully over since one of the presidential candidates is discontent with the results and will be moving to court. This makes me quite happy since every Kenyan has an opportunity to exercise their constitutional right and more so, we are confirming the existence of a strong judicial system that we have faith in. This is very different from the past where we did not have faith in our institutions, making it easy to settle it in other ways, most often with violence. But now, we can go back to work and build this nation in a peaceful way!
What makes me alittle bit sad in this joyous moment is when I reflect on the International Women’s Day that was commemorated on Friday the 8th of March. We are yet to analyse the representation of women as a result of the election, but as I have been scheming through the numbers, they are not as encouraging as I expected and hoped for. But then I remember what Mama Africa (Miriam Makeba) sang, ‘aluta continua’, meaning we will continue. And that is really appropriate for this situation; we will continue with the struggle to have gender equality in decision making positions.