It was a strange sensation, watching Kenya elect suspected criminal Uhuru Kenyatta as its new President by a sliver of a margin from across the continent. Five years ago, after Kenya’s 2007 election, I was in the country reporting, with slight disbelief, on the mystifying violence that had taken place after a poorly run (and possibly rigged) election, and that had debilitated what was once the political and economic beacon of East Africa. I was also there for the long-awaited peace negotiations that gave some of us hope in Kenya’s new coalition government. After the coalition fell apart, though, and proved to be up to past regimes’ old tricks (bloated cabinet, extravagant parliament salaries, stolen government funds, land grabbing, and the rest), and clashes among ethnic groups over scarce resources in parts of the country began to flare, observers sounded the alarms. Will this year be a repeat of the last election, when neighbors of different ethnic groups turned on each other? Will Kenya really elect Kenyatta, who is charged by the International Criminal Court of helping to organize the 2008 violence? Monday, foreign journalists at the polls reported, sounding surprised, that there was no violence during the ballot casting. But it was never the voting that was the problem; it was the aftermath, when the winner was announced.Full Article: Kenya Elects Uhuru Kenyatta : The New Yorker.
Mar 11 0003