Observer's Report on Kenyan Election Elicits Debate in Tanzania

  • From left, Azimio La Umoja flag bearer Raila Odinga and Kenya Kwanza's Deputy President William Ruto while at polling station casting their ballots on August 9, 2022.
    From left, Azimio La Umoja flag bearer Raila Odinga and Kenya Kwanza's Deputy President William Ruto while at polling station casting their ballots on August 9, 2022.
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  • The highly anticipated Tuesday, August 9, General Election lived up to its historic tag as Kenyans exercised their constitutional rights at the ballot.

    The international community trained its cameras on Kenya, East Africa's powerhouse, sending observers to monitor the polls.

    In particular, Zitto MwamiRuyagwa Kabwe, an election observer and opposition politician from Tanzania, lauded the transparency of the entire electoral process. 

    Suna East MP Junet Mohamed and Raila Odinga's campaign secretariat, Makau Mutua met with election observer, Zitto MwamiRuyagwa Kabwe on August 7, 2022.
    Suna East MP Junet Mohamed (left) and Raila Odinga's campaign secretariat, Makau Mutua (centre) met with election observer, Zitto MwamiRuyagwa Kabwe on August 7, 2022.
    File

    Kabwe, from Tanzania's ACT Wazalendo party, noted that his country ought to take a lot of pointers from Kenya in terms of the election period. 

    "Kenya’s electoral process is so transparent! I took a photo of turnout at a polling station I observed the closing and counting. That is Soy Primary School. Instantly after the last voter, you get turnout. Lots of lessons from this great country Kenya. Congratulations Kenyans," he stated. 

    The sentiments were echoed by Tanzanian-based lawyer, Fatma Karume who also lauded Kenyans for their conduct during the Tuesday, August 9 polls.

    "Kenyans should be proud of their grit, determination and spirit. The transparency we witnessed during these elections is a testament to Kenyans’ perseverance. They sacrificed for their democracy and protected it. East Africans have a lot to learn from Kenyans," she stated.

    Other comments also hailed Kenya among the most developed countries in Africa. 

    "We can learn a lot from each other as Africans if we get over sibling rivalry. So many lessons for us Kenyans to learn from Tanzania in other spheres."

    "The problem with Tanzanian politicians is that they are selfish and hypocritical," read some of the comments. 

    However, other online users opined that Tanzania should not draw similarities from its neighbouring country due to differences in ideologies and policies. 

    "Their way should not be our way. They have travelled a long journey, shrouded in controversy, to be where they are. Our peace and stability outweigh transparency."

    "You're mistaken. The language of "peace and stability" is what used to be used by the ruling party in Kenya to cover up injustices," read part of the comments online. 

    The news comes as Ugandan journalist Simon Kaggwa Njala's sentiments about Kenya's electoral cycle recently went viral.

    In a statement, he expressed shock at how the Kenyan government had not shut down the internet with less than 24 hours to the voting day.

    "This is shocking. Kenyans have the internet on the eve of elections," he noted. 

    A section of Ugandans echoed Njala's comments, hailing Kenya for its mature democracy in allowing its citizens to vote for their leaders without any interference.  

    Kenyans
    Kenyans lining up to vote at Ruaka polling station, Ruaka, Kiambu County on August, 9, 2022
    Kenyans.co.ke