A statement by renowned Ugandan journalist Simon Kaggwa Njala on Tuesday, August 9, General Election, has gone viral in Kenya and the neighbouring country.
Njala, a presenter at the NBS TV station, expressed shock at how the government led by President Uhuru Kenyatta had not shut down the internet with less than 24 hours to the voting day.
His comment regarding the availability of the internet and the freedom of Kenyans online attracted a lot of reactions after it was reported that Uganda restricted internet use during their Presidential Election, in which the incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, defeated activist Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, popularly known as Bobi Wine.Ugandan journalist Simon Kaggwa Njala during his past TV interviewFile
"This is shocking. Kenyans have internet on the eve of elections," the statement posted on Monday, August 7, read in part.
Following his observation of Kenyan polls, a section of Ugandans hailed the country for its mature democracy, arguing that it had granted the citizens the opportunity to exercise their civic responsibility without interference.
"There is opposition but their quality and mindset are different; ours hereon are too angry, obstinate, recalcitrants and extremists. Kenya is a mature society with a critical mass of genuine middle class," Ayeny Angulo wrote on his social media page, responding to NBS TV journalist.
Others praised Kenyans for maintaining peace ahead of the voting day, unlike in Uganda where polls are often characterised by physical violence.
"It is really shocking, they even don't know how to use tear gas," Matsiko Robert commented.
"Clear testimony that Kenya has grown politically and Uganda has some growing to take," another Ugandan national wrote on her social media platform.
However, some Kenyans disputed the positive comments about Kenya's preparation to conduct the polls. One accused the government of trying to manipulate the polls.
"The incumbent can manipulate state agencies to his interests. I hope the electoral atmosphere is a little fairer," a Kenyan stated.
The comparison between the two nations comes just days after Azimio la Umoja Presidential Raila Odinga divided opinions after refusing to be compared with East African countries.
"Other people have continued to compare Kenya with countries around us. Oh look at Somalia, look at Ethiopia, South Sudan, look at Uganda and so on. Kenyans does not want to be compared with the worst in the world. We should be compared with success stories and I give people the examples," Raila stated while meeting lecturers.
A section of Ugandan national corrected the former Prime Minister arguing that their country is on an upward trajectory.
Njala, who ignited the debate between the two countries, gained global fame while hosting his morning show known as Breeze, where he had invited transgender LGBT rights activist Pepe Julian Onziema.
Onziema received an international award for her performance in the interview where Njala asked her to explain her gender identity.File photo of Kenyans in a queue waiting to cast their vote in the 2017 General Election.Fileviolence
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