Voting Commences As Kenyans Search For New Leaders
Voting has commenced in Kenya’s all important election. Across Nairobi, Kenya, long lines are seen at polling stations visited by Saharareporters. With rain drizzling, registered voters lined up at polling stations, patiently waiting to cast their votes. Some polling stations have lines stretched around several blocks of school buildings. Some voters with umbrella wait quietly as the long lines slowly move. Others in jackets brave the drizzling cod rain.
It is a holiday in Kenya as over 19 million eligible voters hit polling stations to elect the next set of politicians that will lead the East African country for the next five years. Voters will choose a new parliament, county governors, ward representatives and of course, the big prize, the President of the republic.
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) August 8, 2017
Last night, after an acrimonious campaign that was decisive and in some cases violent, President Uhuru Kenyetta gave a passionate speech where he appealed to his country men and women to rise above ethnic sentiments and uphold the spirit of Kenyan founding fathers. He joined other politicians and civil society leaders to appeal for a peaceful exercise.
So far the electoral process has been peaceful. As Saharareporters crisscross different Nairobi neighborhoods, the process is going on peacefully.
In the countryside, the process had been peaceful. There were pockets of complaints in some areas where Kenyan election commission workers were complaining of non-payment of their allowances. It delayed the process.
In general, the election is going on without hitches. As they say in Kenya, “it is after the vote is cast that the real politicking happens.” That is when it will be clear if this morning drizzle will lead to a bright sun filled-day for Kenyans or another storm as was seen in 2007.
The nation holds its breath.
Kenyans line up to vote this morning in Nairobi
Saharareporters, New York