This August, Kenya, Rwanda, Angola and Liberia go to the polls for general and presidential elections. The outcomes are most likely to reshape the political institutions in these nations and impact on the respective countries’ peace, security, governance, development and economic growth.
The dread of political and ethnic-induced violence in Kenya, the mystery around the succession plan in Rwanda, the end of the world’s longest running presidencies in Angola, and the task of replacing Africa’s first female president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia certainly create a lot of anxiety.
Kenya which goes to the polls next week must decide whether the long term interests of the country will be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency, negative ethnicity and bloated egos. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) must ensure that the elections are free, fair and credible to avoid inflamed passions and a repeat of the 2007/8 chaos. Kenyans, on the other hand, should turn out in large numbers to exercise their democratic right in the framework of the rule of law.