It felt great to cast my vote on Kenya’s peaceful 2013 election day. The predictions making their rounds were that this would be a day to stay out of the public arena. Not so! Kenyans, I included, were ready to make a point that we are a peace-loving people, that we regret the events of 2007/08 and years before, that we have come of age and are ready to be counted as a civil, prosperous and democratic society.
I had the privilege to vote in style. As an election observer, I had clocked close to 2,000 kilometers going to different parts of the country to talk to returning officers, District commissioners, police chiefs and presiding officers. It seemed that the country was upbeat and ready for the significant day. After driving around and witnessing long winding lines (most voters waited in line for 3 to 8 hours!) composed of the mixed tribes and races that populate Nairobi, I was ready to vote. Due to my “Election Observer” badges, I was ushered to the front and the presiding officer let me exercise my democratic right in the quiet of a polling booth.
Here, instead of the popular “six-piece” (each ballot included votes for 6 political offices) I did a seven-piece vote. Besides my six selected candidates, I voted for the end of impunity and corruption; for the end of tribalism; for the end of land grabbing and for the end of marginalization of certain communities. I cast my vote for social integration, for equal opportunities and for prosperity for all Kenyans.
I am aware than impunity and corruption have been with us for a long time, and might not go down easily. They will kick around and even fight back, but will certainly go. With this election, we start to implement the new constitution. I believe God is already helping us make things turn around in this 50th year of our nationhood.
Thank you for praying for and paying attention to Kenya at this time!