There has been a lot of talk about what is going on with the Kenya Presidential vote in the news. It can be hard to understand without the context from a local. So our CHOICE Kenya team has put together an update on the situation.
Kenya is going through a tough political period with protests and counter-protests owing to the conduct of the last general election. We had election 8th August 2017 that its results were contested. Generally, the elections went ahead without a hitch, people were able to vote without any encumbrances. However, when the tallying and reporting of results started, serious allegations of interference and manipulation of that process was highlighted and later confirmed by the Supreme Court of Kenya. The Supreme Court nullified the presidential election results and called for a repeat vote presidential vote within 60 days.
Since then and for various reasons, the two main parties have taken different stands, on the repeat presidential vote. The ruling party has campaigned vigorously for reelection while the main opposition has refused to participate unless certain reforms are undertaken at the electoral body (IEBC) to avoid the same situation recurring. The actions taken by the electoral body following the Supreme Court ruling has not satisfied the opposition, leading to calls to boycott the elections and for demonstrations against the electoral body. It is this demonstration, which has, unfortunately, lead to some loss of life, during confrontations between demonstrators and security forces. The majority of the destruction in life and property has been witnessed in certain areas of Nairobi and opposition strongholds in Western Kenya.
Choice Kenya’s area of operations in the Coast has experienced no unrest despite some demonstrations being held in Mombasa. In Samburu and other rural settings where we operate, work continues, as is the case in the majority of Kenya. People wake up every day and go to work as usual even in Nairobi and Western Kenya. The repeat polls have been scheduled for 26th October 2017. We are waiting to see how the impasse will be resolved as more and more religious, Kenya elder statesmen, civil society, and other relevant international institutions have called for dialogue between the two main political parties to address the standoff. Otherwise, we remain hopeful that this political standoff will be resolved sooner rather than later to reduce anxiety in the country and restore normalcy in our communities, society, and economy.
Thank you again for your concerns. We continue to visit the field and work with our communities to end extreme poverty.