It’s been five years like no other in Kenya as far as general elections are concerned, but in the end, President Uhuru Kenyatta proved more popular than his long time political rival Raila Odinga.
Uhuru who fought tooth and nail to ensure he doesn’t embarrassingly end up as Kenya’s first one-term president, following a the bitterly contested election, wore a wide grin as he accepted his certificate from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chair Wafula Chebukati.
In his acceptance speech on the night of Friday, August 11, the Head of State reached out to the National Super Alliance (NASA) flagbearer, Raila Odinga, and the entire Opposition, which had already rejected the provisional results that put Uhuru ahead early in the count.
The Nasa brigade maintained that the election was rigged and walked out of Bomas a few hours before the all-important final announcement by the electoral commission was made.
“We shall work together, partner together, grow together and develop this country together,” Uhuru said amid cheers.
He asked the citizens to observe peace and pledged to work equally for all of them regardless of the their political affiliations.
“Elections come and go. Kenya is here to stay. Let us remember we are brothers and sisters, your neighbour is still your neighbour,” he noted.
Soon after Uhuru was officially announced the victor, violence broke out in different parts of the country including Kibera in Nairobi and in the Nyanza region especially in Kisumu and Migori counties which are Rala’s strongholds. Gunshots rented the air as police engaged the protesters in night running battles.
Kenyatta who won his first term in 2013, managed to convince 54.3 per cent of the electorate to vote for him while Raila bagged 44.7 per cent of the total votes.
The son of Kenya’s founding father, Jomo Kenyatta, Uhuru whose name means “freedom”, was declared winner of the historic Tuesday’s presidential election by garnering 8,203,290 votes. Raila had 6,762,224.
According to the final numbers released by Chebukati who also doubles up as Returning Officer for the Presidential Election, the incumbent President and leader of the Jubilee Party scored at least 25 per cent of the total votes in a record 35 counties
“Having fulfilled the requirement by law, and having garnered 8,203,290 votes, representing 54.2 per cent of the votes cast and 25 per cent in 35 counties, I wish to declare Hon Uhuru Kenyatta president elect,” Chebukati said, sending the Bomas auditorium into frenzy.
Raila secured 25 per cent of the total vote in 29 counties.