IT is with utter shock and disappointment that I am witnessing the events unfolding in Kenya. I am a Zimbabwean based in Uganda where I have many Kenyan friends and thus have had a closer look into what is taking place in that country.
ustify>Weeks ahead of the elections violence started to flare up between rival camps. At the time I assumed that this was the usual African politics at play yet again. What has transpired since the elections last year has confirmed those assumptions and proved that African politics is the same, wherever you are.
Kenya had become one of the continent’s leading lights, a country with a robust and growing economy, enjoying social and political stability and taking on a more prominent role in the East African Community.
All of Kenya’s progress and good work is at risk of being undone, after the country was plunged into chaos and anarchy following allegations of electoral fraud.
What is most saddening is that the violence in Kenya has been on tribal grounds. One would have thought that such petty hatred and atrocities would have been confined to the past, but alas, events akin to Rwanda in 2004 have come back to haunt us.
This leads me to consider that perhaps all those negative commentaries made on Africa could be in a way accurate. In Africa we still vote on tribal lines, placing greater emphasis on where a person is from and if they’re one of our own. In Africa people are still victimised, beaten and killed for their political affiliations. And we still have allegations of vote rigging and abuse of the electoral process in almost all ballots that take place on the continent.
Even in South Africa, a country that has previously been hailed as being a cut above the rest on the continent, we have a president trying to cling onto power in his party and a campaign within the ANC which was laced with tribal undertones.
In three months time another African hot spot, Zimbabwe is set to go to the polls. What the entire African continent needs now, after the Kenyan debacle is a well run, free and fair election. One with no violence or political unrest, to restore some of our lost dignity.
We wait for Zimbabwe to deliver.