Kenya ELections - At last the long gruelling election campaigns have come to an end in Kenya. The moment of truth has come. Tomorrow, Kenyans will be the centre of world focus as they vote for their fourth president.
For anyone who has been following the campaign trail, it really feels like this has gone on forever. In Kenya, politics is life. And therefore there is no need for the ref to blow a whistle for the campaigns to kick off. Actually, the campaigns are always on. Every move is seen with political lenses.
Political parties are mere formalities - the real political power lies in tribal numbers. One political scientist, Mutahi Ngunyi, has even coined a phrase to suit this phenomenon: 'The tyranny of numbers.'
After the 2007 mess, Raila Odinga was seen as the man to beat in the elections. He has spent a huge amount of his life fighting for most of the political freedoms that Kenyans enjoy. He fought Daniel Arap Moi's regime, something that even earned a good number of years in jail.
When Moi seemed to go nowhere, Raila joined the former's KANU and destroyed it completely. He backed Kibaki in 2002 and the old economist enjoyed a resounding victory, giving Kenyans a lot of hope for a new chapter.
When a referendum was held, Raila's side (Orange) took the day, further highlighting his political prowess. It was often said that a sitting government in Africa cannot lose a referendum it has organised but Raila proved that theory wrong.
In the 2007 elections he rallied most of the tribes save for the Mt. Kenya region that stood behind 'their' son Mwai Kibaki. When the counting was done, a lot of bad manners followed and the country plunged into a deep hole of violence.
Greed and tribalism had torn the country apart and even opened other wounds like the land problems in the Rift Valley area. The electoral commission that was led by the now deceased Samuel Kivuitu threw all caution to the wind and bungled the election in the most 'amateurish' way.
As Kivuitu was looking for where to make the announcement of the winner, the chief justice was already dressed and ready to swear in only one individual. And that is how the region got one of the fastest swearing-in ceremonies ever. And one that was witnessed by the smallest media fraternity ever.
It is now 2013, Kivuitu is gone, his incompetent and tribal electoral commission was long disbanded, Kibaki is retiring, the then formidable - or is it unbwoggable - pentagon is no more. The dynamics have changed a lot.
Raila is still the man to beat but William Ruto, Najib Balala, Charity Ngilu, and Musalia Mudavadi have all switched sides and thus taken their tribal numbers elsewhere.
At one time there were talks of a KKK alliance between Kikuyu, Kalenjin and Kamba. Then we heard so much about the G7, also a grouping of tribal heads whose sole intention was to stop Raila.
When this one collapsed, Kalonzo Musyoka was forced in bed with Raila. The Luhyas tried to go alone as Pambazuka (Mudavadi, Jirongo and Wamalwa). But all said and done, it was Raila whose word came to pass when he said it would simply be a two-horse race, that the rest were just donkeys.
So the race is now said to be between the wealthy Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga. From a real Kenyan lens, it is again a duel between Kikuyus and Luos with the rest only adding weight to tilt the scale.
As Kenyans make their choice, we all pray that we do not see a repeat of 2007. The winner of the day should be the one who takes the day and the country moves on to achieve its development goals.
The winner should not be one who cannot accept defeat or one who takes a manufactured victory that makes it difficult for others to accept such a victory. As we all pray for peace in the election, more prayers should be accorded to justice.
Let the winner be the one that Kenyans want to lead them and not the one who is wanted by a click of wealthy and powerful government operatives with the capacity to play with the outcome.
These games always cost lives and Kenya does not need that anymore. In East Africa Kenya leads in many aspects and the elections should be another chance for our brothers to make us proud.
By Allan Brian Ssenyonga
The New Times/04/03/2013