Kenyans will today go to the polls to elect their next president in what is a hotly contested race between incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and his longtime rival, Raila Odinga.
The campaigns, which ended on Saturday, have been heated and in some cases tensions were high as some politicians took the divisive approach in search of votes. Divisive politics during elections have previously landed Kenya into violence leading to death of people and destruction of property worth millions of dollars. It also affected regional countries that depend on Kenya’s major port of Mombasa for trade.
Therefore, today’s vote is a big test for Kenyans and they should use it to send a message to the world that Kenyans speak with one voice and will move on in unity regardless of the outcome of the poll.
Whatever the outcome of today’s election, Kenyans should uphold unity and peace for the good of the country and the region at large.
The bigger picture is that there is no loser here, one will go to state house to lead the nation and the other will be expected to embrace the will of the people and help champion the dream that the electorate aspire to see come true even from outside government. At the end of the day, every Kenyan must be a winner, and a united and peaceful Kenya is good for regional integration.
Last week, Rwanda had a peaceful election that was a reflection of values that we should espouse as a region in the wider pursuit of regional integration. As the EAC region we need to keep the lane of peace and unity at any cost.
The world is watching. This election is about the Kenyans and how they want to define their destiny going forward. And to the candidates in the race, true leadership lies in uniting people and this should be the case when the final results are announced.