Finally, December 27th, 2007 has arrived.
It was my experience and countless others, as Kenyans who were not spending Christmas in Kenya, to call home to wish people a merry Christmas and end up engaged in a long conversation about elections. I don't quite think December 25, 2007 was that much Christmassy for many Kenyans, more like 2 days before they had to go vote. I found this to be encouraging. I hope that it means many Kenyans intend to go out and exercise their rights to vote, and with that, their rights to complain about all things wrong (not that they don't). hopefully, Kenyans after this, will learn to view their glasses as half full, a very elusive attitude amongst us as a nation.
I've been all over the web in the past 3 or 4 hours. I'm in search of a site that will be giving updates on the elections consistently throughout this process. No luck as of 11pm EST, Dec 26. Now I wonder why I don't pay for that service where for a certain fee I can get free access to news or something from some specific stations online. It appears I'm not the only one. I've made several calls to people I know who would be likely to have that service. Dead end as well. CNN is not talking about elections in Kenya at all. I guess they will be there as soon as some fracas and chaos breaks somewhere. Not a mention, not a whisper. there was a tiger zoo attack over Christmas and that's seems to be all they're discussing and periodic brief mentions of the upcoming caucuses. I haven't caught the BBC news yet, I hope they'll do better. If anyone knows where I can get some kind of consistent update please point me in that direction.
This blog has been clear about being a Kibaki, not necessarily PNU supporter. With that, I say may the best people win. I hope people have the common sense to vote wisely and accurately, including voting across political parties for candidates they feel are worthy to them. After all, if the politicians have taught us anything recently, it's that they have no loyalties to any parties. Hence, may all vote for the candidates not their parties. Perhaps I ask for too much!
I'd like to take a moment and applaud Kibaki's good work in the past 5 years. Obviously my personal opinion but one that needs to be heard. I hope he gets another 5. I quite sincerely don't see how anyone could lose from that. But in case the tide does not flow as I would like to see it, Asante sana bwana Kibaki. What you have done is still phenomenal!
I pray there will be no chaos and that this day will not be marred by the kinds of violence that were observed during the primaries. With that I send this prayer from our national Anthem
Oh God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty!
And all peace loving citizens said, Amen!!!!
(all times EST... hope to provide opinions and reactions from accessible diaspora).
I just called both my parents at 2 separate polling stations close to each other. The weather though a little rainy is favorable. They declare the glaring sun would have been much worse.
I'm told the voter turnout is phenomenal. - Kudos Kenyans!
Apparently there is a lot of tension in that particular area. Majimboism scares them and the hints of violence from ODM supporters have been loud and clear against kikuyus.
Not voting is being looked down upon. All stores are being opened only after their operators have a blackened thumb to show that they have already voted. Otherwise some hostile stares and comments would be witnessed. It is an unspoken rule that everyone should be voting.
So far so good. Voting is going well. Queues moving quickly. Security seems well planned.
Will be back with more as I get it. i wonder how many other Kenyans in the diaspora are finding it difficult to get as much as would feel adequate...
Best place for updates for kenyans in the diaspora so far seems to be BBC.com They are including some posts from people across the nation in polling stations.
Absolutely no coverage from the huge media outlets. Pakistan's Bhutto has been assasinated. With this sad turn of events, no eyes are on Africa and hence there's no coverage of any kind of elections in Kenya. Also no hope that there will be any coverage, unless of course the situation turns into one of violence and bloodshed. So maybe it's a good thing that the elections are not being covered.
Still relying heavily on texts and opinions from the ground via bbc.com. The problem with these methods is just how different each person's tale seems to be.
Still barely any news coming in which is in itself good news - it means that there is no violence. It seems that I could actually go ahead and applaud Kenyans on a peaceful voting day without seeming to have spoken too soon. I pray and hope that the same peaceful, mature attitudes will be maintained as the election results come in and are broadcast to the public. While kazi iendelee is a PNU slogan, I insist that no matter what, "kazi iendelee". That means maintaining the peace and ushering in another prosperous 5 years for the country, regardless of the president elected today.
CNN and BBC are now streaming text at the bottom of the screens about Kenya having elections. No actual coverage; Benazir Bhutto's death and related broadcasts will continue to dominate the news channels throughout this day (may she RIP). Hopefully, they'll take a moment and announce the Kenyan election results after they are officially announced. BBC.com continues to be the best source of news.
Provincial results have started streaming in slowly.
You can silently watch the results here.
Once again, I'm extremely proud of the peaceful day Kenyans observed as they cast their votes.
Ory explains the "missing names" in this post. They weren't really missing but better communication needed to have been exercised.
Is it possible that this has been the slowest tallying of votes in democratic elections history anywhere, ever? I need a good nights sleep...
Some serious ballot box inconsistencies noted ina few places including Kajiado North. What does it mean when ballot boxes are open and found to be empty?
When a helicopter drops some more ballot boxes, I personally declare it absolutely stupid to set these ablaze without deciphering if they are coming in late from a legitimate polling station; maybe after being wrongly delivered to an incorrect counting station. And to further burn ballots that were on the table? Stupidity has to cease!