The upcoming Kenya presidential election, part of scheduled general elections, has been described as the most critical election for Kenya in a decade. The election is critical because it is the first of its kind since a disputed vote in December 2007 sparked chaos in the country.
In Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2013, Kenyan native, Nwangi Kimenyi, director for the Africa Growth Initiative at U.S. Brookings Institution says: “This will also be the first general election after the 2007-2008 post-election violence, and there is growing anxiety over whether there will be a repeat outbreak of violence.”
Not only that, Kenyans will be electing leaders in other areas as well.
“During the elections Kenyans will choose a president, members of parliament and senators, county governors and members of the newly formed county assembly,” according to the BBC.
While this is the case, the country will be voting for the first time since a new constitution was enacted and promulgated into law in 2010. Among many changes, the constitution scrapped the post of prime minister. The topmost levels of government will be the president, a deputy president, and the cabinet.
The new constitution also created a national “Bill of Rights” which recognizes the socio-economic rights of Kenyan citizens.
Far away from home and wary of the outcome and potential consequences for the country, Kenyans in the Denver metro area, gathered at Anchor of Hope Church in North East Denver on Saturday, March 23 not only to pray for a peaceful result but to celebrate their country as well.
‘We love Kenya. Our Church is better, richer because you are here,” said Ken Roberts, pastor at Anchor of Hope Church, in his welcome remarks.
The community sang to chants of “hallelujahs” and dance. They also sang both the U.S. National anthem and that of Kenya. The event was organized by the Colorado Kenyan Community and lasted over three hours.