On Elections and the Peaceful Transfer of Power, Part Two & Reactions to the Death of Queen Elizabeth II

Written by Osetemega Iribiri – September 12, 2022

As a follow-up to last week’s report on Kenya’s presidential election: Kenya’s Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Martha Koome, outrightly dismissed Raila Odinga’s claims of election rigging and irregularities. The decision was a stinging defeat for Odinga, who has persistently contested for the presidential seat five times in a roll and challenged the results thrice at the law court. The Court unanimously upheld the results declaring William Ruto Kenya’s President-Elect. He won 50.49% of the vote against his rival, Raila Odinga’s 48.85%.

On Monday evening, after the Supreme Court verdict, President Uhuru Kenyatta, the outgoing president, said he would “oversee a smooth transition to the next administration.” “Unfortunately, President Kenyatta has not seen it fit to congratulate his vice-president and president-elect,” said William Ruto in an exclusive Wednesday interview with Christiane Amanpour. William Ruto, 55, will be sworn in on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, as Kenya’s fifth president since independence from Britain in 1963. He has a single term of five years and can seek reelection for another.

Additionally, there have been divided reactions to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

It was during a tour to Kenya that later-to-be-crowned Queen Elizabeth II, 25, was informed of her father, King George VI’s, passing. He had sent her there in the wake of the Mau Mau campaign. Seven (7) decades later, her reign has ended, and the world mourns her death.

Her death has sparked mixed feelings about the Queen and the British Empire she represented. African Union Commission President, Moussa Faki Mahamat, tweeted, “Our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, the people of the United Kingdom, and the countries of the Commonwealth on the death of Her Majesty Queen. Likewise, other African leaders have sent their condolences to the royal family. Africans, home and abroad, have also taken to social media to share fond thoughts and memories of the queen.”

Conversely, not all Africans share enthusiastic sentiments. Her death has reopened the deep wounds of slavery, imperialism, and colonialism experienced by many Africans during the British occupation of Africa. In their view, the queen is the symbol of Africa’s exploitation. Furthermore, they believe she had the opportunity to right the wrongs by acknowledging, apologizing, and ensuring reparations were paid for the atrocities of the British Empire, but she never did. They referred to horrendous cruelties and economic deprivation such as the brutal 1950s crushing of Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion, Nigeria’s Biafra war, and a huge diamond, also called the Star of Africa, which the British royal family acquired from colonial South Africa in 1905, which the queen never returned despite calls to do so.

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