Task of building Kenya awaits winners, losers
It represented the first step in the country’s forward motion towards healing the wounds left open by the abrasive campaigns conducted by all sides. Now, the leadership of the country must take deliberate steps to begin the healing and rapprochement so that citizens can gather the confidence to accept the verdict of both the ballot and the court and embark on the next phase, which is the political transition.
Political leaders had in part gone to court because they needed to understand the truth of what actually happened during voting and after. They had also pledged to respect the verdict of the court. Now, the court has pronounced itself in summary, with a pledge to give an expanded verdict within 21 days. This is important in providing a thorough audit of the electoral process so that all Kenyans can understand how we go to where we are.
What has emerged, and this is something that our country should take pride in, is that we have been systematically building robust public institutions and they have demonstrated capacity to largely meet the expectation of citizens. However, they are far from perfect and the work of revisiting and fixing the loopholes identified by the Supreme Court must go on so that we can improve the conduct of future elections.
The citizens of Kenya must also be commended for conducting themselves peacefully. This cannot be taken for a granted in a country and continent that suffers from deep historical and ethnic fissures. That is not to mean that we have arrived our destination as a country. The journey towards fostering inclusivity for all is still a work in progress and must not be forgotten in the din of victory or the disappointment of defeat.
Now, we cast as a nation, our eyes on Parliament, where we expect collegiality when legislators meet for their inaugural sessions on Thursday. The country expects nothing but exceptional demonstration of leadership and maturity when the two Houses convene on Thursday. They must borrow a leaf from the citizens they represent.
Even as we congratulate those who have won and spare our thoughts to those who have lost, we must remind all that we have a responsibility to build Kenya, to make public systems work for the benefit of citizens and to undertake economic and social programmes that increase wealth and happiness for all, irrespective of where they come or who they supported in the General Election.