Kenyans from all corners of the country woke up early today to perform their civic duty. The presidential election is highly contested between Raila Odinga, the opposition leader and Uhuru Kenyatta, the sitting President. The balloting began at 6 a.m, and no major hitches have been reported from any polling station so far. Kenyans from all walks of life and some leaders alike have already thronged the polling stations and voted. The leaders have led by example, and some have already voted including;
- Siaya Senator, James Orengo of National Super Alliance (NASA), who cast his vote in his hometown, Ugenya at Urenga Primary School.
- Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyongo, who is vying for the governorship of Kisumu County under an ODM ticket. He voted in Rata, Seme Constituency.
- Baringo Senator, Gideon Moi, son of the former President Moi, who cast his vote at Tandui in Baringo County
- Joseph Nyaga, who is vying for the presidency on an independent ticket voted in Mbeere South Constituency at JN Mwonge Primary School.
- Martha Karua, Kenya’s “iron lady,” vying for the governorship of Kirinyaga County voted in Gichugu at Mugumo Primary school as early as 6 o’clock.
The start of a peaceful election day is encouraging due to the country being gripped in fear just before the polls begun. Many people have left the city to go to their villages for various reasons, mainly to vote and in fear that violence may erupt after the polls. Yesterday, Kenyans were highly engaged in last minute shopping as they prepared for the outcome of the election. There have, however, been calls for peace with both sides maintaining that they will concede defeat following the announcement of the results. The elections are also being watched closely by both international and local observers including United State’s former Secretary of State John Kerry and NASA, who have set up a parallel polling center to ensure a smooth transmission of results. Kenya police have also been deployed in various areas, especially those that are highly polarized to ensure that violence does not erupt.