Political

First Multiparty Elections in Kenya

In 2007 the country was rocked with post-election violence that saw ethnic violence occasioned by disputed election results. The violence left more than 1,300 killed with scores of others displaced, especially in the expansive rift valley.

The country has made remarkable efforts in restoring calm in through reconciliatory efforts from the citizens themselves, the government, and lobby groups. The purpose of this paper is to explore the significance of the first multiparty elections in Kenya to the country and to the citizens. It will also describe the most important causes of multiparty elections in Kenya, and the extent to which the first multiparty elections in Kenya has been a representation of the general trend in Africa at the time.

Kenya, like many other African countries, began its self-rule under one party system, as a way of containing political activists. Kenya, for example, introduced the one party system in 1960 by imposing a ban on other political parties other than the Kenya African National Union (KANU), led by the then former president Jomo Kenyatta. In fact, nobody was allowed to disobey what the government in power had instituted by law. This implied that anyone who attempted to disobey the presidents’ directive had to face the wrath of the powers that be through detention without trial (Oyugi, Wanyande and Odhiambo-Mbai 221).

This gave the government in power the opportunity to do whatever it wanted leading to many forms of social injustices such as corruption, land grabbing, and torture. The situation, however, became worse after President Moi succeeded Jomo Kenyatta following his (Jomo’s) sudden death at the statehouse in Mombasa. During his reign, President Moi made KANU party very powerful and expected everyone to worship it. However, his leadership style failed to please many people. At one time, air force military personnel led by Hezekiah Ochuka&nbsp.made a coup de tat attempt to over throw Moi’s government.&nbsp.

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