Stephanie Odhiambo: My quarrel with the 2017 General Elections key participants
By Stephanie Odiambo
FIVE TALKING POINTS OF THE 2017 GENERAL ELECTIONS
On August 8th Kenyans from all walks of life trooped to their respective polling stations to finally put an end to the Kenyatta/Odinga family dynasty. Well they somehow “succeeded” because by 11th August we had put an end to the Odinga dynasty but gave more power to the Kenyatta dynasty. That is now done and any dissatisfied candidate should follow the constitutional procedure. Anyway that is just beside the point, I wanted to address five talking points of the just concluded elections.
As a member of the fourth estate I am immensely ashamed by how the Kenyan media handled the period of voting, tallying and announcing of results. It was so clear that the media was practicing self-censorship. They also seemed to be leaning on one side throughout the period. The analysts they were bringing to the studios were so partisan clearly demonstrating where their allegiance lied. The media failed to give the opposition enough airtime to air their grievances. Even after the announcements were made and there were some unrests in some parts of the country the media still opted to give that blackout and instead show how Jubilee supporters were celebrating thus aggravating the situation more. It was sad to see the church die in 2007, depressing to see the civil society die in 2013 but it is extremely shameful to see that the media has definitely died in 2017.
Secondly, I am thoroughly disappointed by how our observers observed this elections. They were right up to the point of voting but when it came to tallying and announcing the results, it is like they had lost interest in the whole process. They somehow seemed like they had taken sides making them look like Jubilee pawns. They did let us down and there was no significant impact they left
It was disturbing to see the way IEBC conducted the whole process of tallying and announcing results. Seriously, who announces results at 10p.m? I will give credit where it is due, yes, the voting process was smooth however the tallying was just something else. They ignored the grievances and whatsoever doubts the opposition and went ahead and announced the results. I mean they had up to Monday to make the announcement, they did not have to rush it. I will place the current unrest partially on them.
The Jubilee Party really took me by surprise. The party won almost if not all elective posts. All I can say is that I have never seen such an outstanding election. They were even preparing to celebrate even before the results were announced, it is like they knew their candidate was going to win. I am so surprised by their level of confidence.
Lastly, my deepest worry will be NASA at this point. The fact that their candidate went mute and the unrests in the country probably because of them is making me antsy. By them first saying that they would not contest the results in a court of law but rather in the court of the public must have stirred the government and the relevant stakeholders to find a way forward.
The whole world was watching as Kenya made another milestone only that is in the wrong direction. It is high time we found a resolution to this unspoken conflict and not let our children inherit decades of unresolved injustices. But after all is said and done, I would just urge Kenyans to remain calm and maintain peace. At the end of the day we are still brothers and sisters who share common problems.
Ms Odhiambo is a University Student and an intern at Everest Media and Planning Solutions Limited