NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – United States Secretary of State John Kerry has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and other leaders in the country to ensure a credible election is held next year to avoid a similar situation to what was witnessed in 2007.
Kerry lauded the country’s leadership for moving fast to institute electoral reforms which must be accepted by all players.
“Holding a free and fare election next year is a critical step in consolidating Kenya’s democracy and unlocking the full promise of the 2010 Constitution. I am very confident from our conversation with President Kenyatta, he fully understands that; he has made it clear there is no going back,” he said.
Kerry said the United States will offer more funds for women and youth participation in elections.
Kerry says America has set aside some Sh2.5 billion to support women and youth initiatives ahead of next year’s General Election.
“We want to see the full participation of women and youth during the elections and that there are mechanisms to support any kinds of dispute. In the end this is your country, we don’t want to step on any toes, we are not doing anything that your government is not comfortable with,” he stated.
The message was emphasised by President Kenyatta who spoke at the 38th memorial of his father Jomo Kenyatta, vowing to ensure no more bloodshed in Kenya due to a political contest.
“Kenya is a democratic country, a free nation and we shall compete healthily, but we shall never compete again in this country to the detriment of our people or to cause bloodshed in our nation and our land, “he stated.
President Kenyatta, urged leaders and other citizens alike to put their political differences aside for the sake of the country’s unity.
“Especially given that this is the last celebration of this day before the next General Election…for those who win and those who lose, we must all at the end of the day join hands and work together for our country and towards that end I am very happy and excited to have my brother Raila with us on this day,” he added.
Speaking during the same event, CORD leader Raila Odinga also echoed President Kenyatta’s peace call saying Kenyans should never again fight because of political competition.
“Political competition should not bring enmity between our people. As we get into campaigning never again should we shed blood because of political competition,” he said.