Kenyans ‘stepping up’ to vote

They tell Al Jazeera who they will vote for and what the key issues are for them.

Al Jazeera asks Kenyans how they will be voting in the upcoming elections and what the key issues are for them.

Michael Areba, 19, student

I will most probably vote for Raila Odinga. Voter turnout will for sure be higher this time round, especially among the youth. There is usually a feeling that one vote won’t make much of a difference, but this time round most people will step up.

Key on my election issues are road infrastructure, corruption and the way resources will be shared out.

The reason why I will not vote for the current government is tribalism. The president has people from his ethnic group in virtually all top positions. Moreover, he has built the infrastructure in his backyard and left the rest of the country to go backwards in terms of infrastructure.


I’m voting in this coming election because I want to exercise my constitutional right.

I would like to see the incumbent [Mwai Kibaki] win this election as he has tried to revive the dilapidated economy and to bring free education to the proletariat. Furthermore there are free HIV/Aids drugs in the hospitals. Our leader has given us what is normally alien in our continent – freedom of expression and speech. Kenyans have never been free since time immemorial.

Voter turnout will be high as our president has encouraged people to vote.

The key issues will be the economy and the constitution. Although the current government has failed to deliver on its election promises – to date no one has been prosecuted for corruption – we feel that given another chance, this government can achieve its goal.

Adam Hussein Adam, NGO worker

I would like Raila to win – not for what he has done, but for all the wrong that Kibaki has done. First the question of honesty – Kibaki has allowed dishonesty to be the hallmark of what defines Kenya and its people. We cannot afford to have a president without honour and bonded by what he says.
Kibaki has allowed selective punishment in the case of Muslims and marginalised communities that are being the target of rendition missions/terrorism. We also have witnessed the processes of denationalisation of groups – Nubians in Nairobi are technically stateless and now know it simply because Kibaki’s government went ahead to tell this people that they have questionable nationality.
Kibaki has allowed ethnicity to re-emerge after people united to keep him in power.

Kibaki did not win in 2002 because he was tried and tested to be good but because people did not want what [Daniel Arap] Moi [the former president] had done in 24 years.
I think the voter turnout will be higher because we have a higher registered vote this time. For the second time people are seeing the power of voting. Previously many people tried to change the status quo and it did not work. The then-government had mastered the art of rigging.

But after the 2002 election and 2005 referendum people have realised votes work and are, therefore, willing to use it to work for themselves. People want change and are willing to use the voter’s card to express that change.

Previously, the youth did not turn out because politics was seen to belong to the old generation but we are witnessing a wave of youth interested in politics and this could be the beginning of that change from one generation to the next. 

Farhiya Cabdulqaadir

I don’t plan on voting in the upcoming election because I fear there might be some violence.

We have seen Kibaki and his ruling, so I know I don’t want him back, but sometimes I feel like there is no better person than him.

Raila, well he is making some promises, but I am not sure he will follow them. But if he is as sincere as his campaign, then I would want him to win.

Voter turn out will be high because unlike before Kenyans want some real changes not promises and bribes and many MPs will not return to parliament.

The key issues are to stop corruption in our country, insecurity, roads, and the increasing traffic jam, and cleanliness of our society.

Kibaki and his people have failed. They tried, but it was not good enough.

Simon Njuguna, 23, network administrator

My favourite is the current president Mwai Kibaki. You have no idea what he has done for us. Most roads now have been re-surfaced. Human rights are now known to so many people. At least he has done things we can see.

As for Raila – this is one guy who is manipulative to his advantage but I know that is what politics is all about. However in this case he is hungry for power. He can be a puppet to the West and the US. At least Kibaki has tried to go to the Arab world and the Far East.

However, the current government has failed to stamp out corruption and to improve security. It also has not created the jobs it promised.

Abdi Mohamed, tour guide

I will vote for Raila Odinga in this year’s election.

The voter turnout will be very high in these elections, simply because we have more parties fielding presidential candidates and high voter registration.

The key elections issues are to finish corruption from all government offices, police, and public offices.

The current government failed to deliver from the beginning with a lot of empty promises, for example it promised to create 500,000 jobs for the jobless but there has been nothing so far.

Source : Al Jazeera

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