18-01-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
During the pandemic year, Kenya's two big 'neighbours', who in fact make up 90% of the East African Community, faced general elections.
Tanzania and Uganda not only called their citizens to the polls, but gave a clear direction to the near future of both countries, choosing continuity and strengthening the power of their leaders, to the detriment of democracy and freedom of expression.
On the other hand, the inevitable accusations of fraud were matched by such high percentages of preference for the two re-elected presidents and victories by a clear margin that no doubts were raised either by the population or by international observers.
If anything happened, it was before the vote.
We have already spoken about the confirmation of President John Magufuli in Tanzania, the man who declared his country "Covid Free".
Magufuli has never forced his people to wear masks or keep their social distance in a country where deaths in 2020 are no higher than in the previous year and hospitals are not full, and the fact that he has not closed the country or blocked the economy is one of the reasons for his re-election. The other reason smacks of dictatorship: restriction of social networks, intimidation of the press, "police" methods and obstruction of the opposition's election campaign.
This modus operandi also characterised the last year of government of the undisputed leader of Ugandan politics, President Yoweri Museveni, who at the age of 76 and in defiance of the constitution he had already changed 20 years ago, was re-elected for the seventh consecutive time.
Since 1986, Uganda has had a master father who is 'forced' each time to throw the emerging opponents into jail and demotivate all the others.
So much so that if it had not been for a young and courageous rapper and civil rights activist, Robert Kyagulanyi, better known by his stage name Bobi Wine, there would have been no opposition at all. The singer, who has been arrested four times in the last two years and forced into months of exile, received only 13% of the votes, especially from the young and very young, and Uganda's problems remain those of tribal wars in the northern regions and great poverty and backwardness in the rural areas.
What changes for Kenya and its approach to the 2022 elections, with the strengthening of leadership in the two neighbouring countries and Africa's main partners in trade and day-to-day cross-border relations?
Undoubtedly for Kenya, Museveni's re-election represents continuity, especially in the area of trade. Uganda is not only Kenya's most important economic ally, but is also the largest buyer of Kenyan goods.
An economic report covering 2019, shows that Kenya exported goods worth Kes. 64.1 billion to Uganda the previous year, which is almost half the value of Kenya's exports to other East African states.
For Kenya, according to political columnists at the national daily Daily Nation, it is not just about trade, as Museveni could be a major player behind the scenes in President Uhuru Kenyatta's succession campaign.
In fact, it is well known that Kenya's Vice President William Ruto has very good relations with Museveni and has helped him in the past in election campaigns and by 'softening' sensitive situations in border areas.
On the other hand, relations between the Ugandan leader and his almost contemporary Raila Odinga have never been idyllic. So the alliance in the name of peace and anti-tribalism between Odinga and Kenyatta could favour Ruto even more.
Museveni's re-election, according to the Daily Nation, means maintaining the status quo in East Africa. Internally, the repression of opposition leaders and those who oppose his rule is likely to continue.
According to representatives of human rights organisations and Kenyan political analysts, the elder Museveni's victory, following that of Magufuli in Tanzania, is a sign of the decline of democracy in East Africa, a decline that the alliance between Kenyatta and Odinga may not put an end to, The alliance between Kenyatta and Odinga may not put an end to this decline, but it could represent a middle way, rejecting the idea of a dictatorship with an inter-ethnic oligarchy that would keep the peace and continue Uhuru's discourse on the country's development, even if the ever-increasing public debt and the constant search for Chinese or American footholds do not bode well from an economic point of view.
In a year's time, according to the plans of Uganda and Kenya, it will be possible to travel by fast train...
he Supreme Court of Kenya upheld the appeal of the Opposition represented by Nasa Alliance and its candidate President Raila Odinga, annulling the result of the national elections.
This is an unprecedented fact in a Republic of the African Continent.
US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec spoke in press on the forthcoming presidential election in Kenya.
"We do not have a preferred candidate - said Godec to the Kenyan press - for us it is important that the new president...
Uhuru Kenyatta would be confirmed President of the Republic of Kenya.
This says the most recent survey of the specialized agency IPSOS, which reports the leader of the government party to...
"There was no intrusion into the data transmission system during the elections in Kenya on 8 August.
By means of a press release addressed to the press agency France Press, taken up by the Kenyan newspapers, the French telematic company...
He chose the celebrations of Madaraka Day, the day of the Constitution, the President of kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, to make a peaceful announcement and peace in view of the upcoming national elections scheduled for August 8th.
"I will calmly accept...
"Raila Odinga's NASA alliance has a precise political scheme to postpone the elections in December this year."
The statement by the President of the Republic of Kenya and a candidate for the majority at the forthcoming national vote scheduled in August,...
"These elections are to be canceled and Kenyatta has to be sent home, but we ask our people to be quiet and not to come down in the square at least for now."
Raila Odinga and his NASA alliance, who according...
There will be 150,000 employees of national law enforcement agencies called for peace in view of the upcoming government elections scheduled for August 8th. The agents will be used from the official start of the campaign, scheduled for May 29.
by Kenya Tourist Federation
Statement on Supreme Court Ruling: Kenya Presidential Election Petition
Following the general elections on the 8/8/2017 which declared the sitting President the winner, the opposition filed a case at the Supreme Court seeking redress with a view of nullifying the...