Moments that shaped Kenya’s political direction this decade
Here are some moments that helped shape Kenya’s political direction this decade:
1. Uhuru Kenyatta elected President
Kenyans went to the polls in 2013 and elected President Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto over closest challengers Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka. Uhuruto also won in 2017 in the hotly contested elections which were initially nullified by the Supreme Court. Even though the jury is still out on the impact of Uhuru’s presidency, Kenyans will have to live with the impact of their decisions for the rest of their life.
2. Hague cases against the Presidency
In December 2014, prosecutors at the International Criminal Court withdrew charges of crimes against humanity against President Uhuru Kenyatta, a decision that left the head of State ‘excited’. Sixteen months later, similar cases against Deputy President William Ruto were thrown out owing to insufficient evidence. These two rules helped the President and his Deputy to settle and concentrate on leading the country. It also closed the chapter of political uncertainty that had gripped the country.
3. Raila Odinga’s mock swearing
Kenyans were at a political crossroads in 2018, when opposition leader Raila Odinga chose to swear himself in as the ‘People’s President’. The oath marked arguably the lowest moment of Kenya’s political history since the 2007-post election violence or possibly the attempted coup in 1982. The repercussions of this decision could plunge Kenya into turmoil. Thankfully, the two leaders appear to have put aside their differences for the sake of Kenya.
4. Barack Obama and Pope Benedict visit Kenya
Former US President Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Kenya. The visit, in 2015, was instrumental just like it was monumental as it set the stage for several business relations including the commissioning of a direct flight between Kenya and the USA. Later that year, Pope Benedict also visited Kenya in visits that had all the world shifting its attention to Kenya on a positive note.
5. George Saitoti’s death
Kenya could perhaps be a different place if he’d remained alive. The veteran politician and professor had announced his presidential bid and was about to start his campaigns. He had also promised to make public a list of drug dealers in his speech in Parliament. But he perished alongside his deputy Orwa Ojode in a chopper crash in 2012.