1000 Kenyans In Western Uganda Miss Historic Voting

1667 Views Mbarara, Uganda

In short
Over 1000 Kenyan nationals living in south western Uganda did not travel back home to take part in the general elections on Monday.

Over 1000 Kenyan nationals living in south western Uganda did not travel back home to take part in the general elections on Monday.

Kenyans wait for an official announcement of the winner to take over from Mwai Kibaki as President of East Africa’s biggest economy. Provisional results show Uhuru Kenyatta, son of founding President Jomo Kenyatta, in a commanding lead. His closest rival is Raila Odinga, whose father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga was Kenyatta’s first vice president.
Provisional results from Kenya’s presidential elections show Jubilee candidate Uhuru Kenyatta in a substantial lead, with Raila Odinga in second position. The presidential race attracted eight candidates, but the contest is between Prime Minister Odinga and Deputy Prime Minister Kenyatta. The other candidates are Martha Karua, Musalia Mudavadi, Peter Kenneth, Mohammed Dida, Paul Muite and James Ole Kiyiapi.

But for some 150 Kenyans in Mbarara district, most of whom operate hotels, electronics, photo studios, and boutiques, the exercise passed without their contribution.
Another 50 Kenyans work at Mbarara Nile and Wood Factory while a big number are students at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and Kampala International University Ishaka campus.

Selestine Omondo, a Luo from western Kenya who operates a secretarial bureau and a boutique along Makhansingh Street in Mbarara town, says she did not see any reason for her to travel to Kenya to take part in voting because the past leaders have neglected her area in terms of infrastructure development.

Omondo says she was forced to leave her country in 2005 to look for survival in Mbarara because her home village was under developed. She notes that most people in western Kenya are living a miserable life unlike those in other regions as if they are not Kenyans.

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Miriam Kipai, a Kenyan national operating a hotel in Mbarara town, says she never took part in Monday’s polls just because she feared to be a victim of post election violence that characterized the 2007 polls.

Kipai, who now holds a Ugandan citizenship after fleeing Kenya in 2007, says the violence in the last elections that claimed her relatives was a big lesson for her not to risk taking part in any other polls.

Kipai says she is comfortable watching the proceedings of the polls on TV than being trapped in Kenya.

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Samson Mwai, another Kenyan national who operates a photo studio along the High Street in Mbarara town, told URN that in his life time he has never taken part in Kenya elections.

The 52-year-old Mwai says he doesn’t even own any voters card just because he is not bothered with what takes place in the political circle.

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Pastor Jethro Kiprot of Church of Swahilis based in Nyamityobora ward in Mbarara Municipality, says he was unable to travel for the polls because he never got a chance to register as voter on time.

Kiprot, a former politician in Kenya, says though he never took part in voting he has dedicated special prayers to his brothers and sisters in Kenya to vote wisely and peacefully.

He says he has been fasting for a week in order for peace to prevail in Kenya’s elections to avoid a repeat of 2007 post election violence in which his family members were among the 1300 people killed.