From the foot soldier’s perspective: The Kenyan elections 2013 from an election observer’s viewpoint
Chapter 16: A Celebrating Nation
Ruto, on the other hand, came from humble beginnings. That humble, as he started his life selling maize in the streets for a living. His big chance to show his talents came in 1992, when he worked himself up to play a leading role in Youth for KANU ’92 (YK’92). YK’92 was a group mainly consisting of young Kalenjin, rallying support and funding for the then incumbent president of Kenya Daniel arap Moi, in the (manipulated) presidential elections of those days. YK’92 was widely accused of being complicit in ethnic violence directed at Kikuyu’s in the Rift Valley in the elections of 1992.
After the Judgement, the Kenyan television channels announced that Kenyans were celebrating all over Kenya.
Curious to capture the ongoing celebrations, I hit the road again. Now the dice were thrown, I wanted to make my way to the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Uhuru’s Headquarters for the elections. As a new era of Kenya would start now, I wanted to witness the start of the transformation of Uhuru ‘from a son of’ into a legacy of his own.
Instead of the countrywide celebrations as announced on television, I came across quiet streets and the occasional patrolling Police and military. Somewhere close to CUEA, I was stopped by a Police roadblock, part of the security parameter around CUEA. Uhuru, I was told by a Police officer was already preparing to drive to State House, to move in straight away. The best option was to join the crowds lining the streets outside CUEA and to wait for Uhuru’s convoy to come out.
The common men in black suits were arranging the crowds and the air was full of anticipation. Suddenly, I was addressed by various people.
‘Mzungu, soon there will be other times.’ ‘No Mzungu times any more!’ ‘Soon you will not make pictures any more.’
Why I was still trying to understand these statements, one of the men in the black suits came standing next to me. He did not say anything to me, rather nodding conspicuously to the people who made the statements.
Uhuru’s convoy passed by.
So this was the new Kenya.