Kenya’s High Commissioner to Ghana Eliphas Mugendi Barine has downplayed reports of violence in the country following the declaration of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto as the President-elect.
The declaration by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Monday, August 15 by Chairman Wafula Chebukati was met with resistance by followers of Raila Odinga, who polled 48.8 percent.
His political base in Kisumu, however, saw supporters burning tyres and mounting barricades in the aftermath of Monday’s announcement.
Speaking on TV3‘s New Day on Tuesday, August 16, High Commissioner Barine said it is usual in any democracy for parties to feel hard done by when decisions do not go their way but so far the “excitement” have not broken into violence in the East African powerhouse.
“I think there has been a little bit of excitement,” he observed.
“We have seen people celebrate in different ways, we have seen some bonfires but it hasn’t really gone into violence that we all expect.
“Clearly, I think the weight is heavy because there were those that felt that our voice was not heard but that is democracy.”
‘We’ve crossed the bridge’
He stressed that the most important thing is that “we have crossed the bridge”.
Mr Ruto, who has been Deputy President for almost 10 years, has since given his acceptance speech.
He disclosed that he had earlier called Mr Odinga, a former Prime Minister, to agree with him that they will accept the outcome of the polls no matter what.
“To those who have done many things against us, I want to tell them there’s nothing to fear. There will be no vengeance. We do not have the luxury to look back,” Dr Ruto assured in his speech.
H.E Barine was of firm conviction that the new President, who will be the fifth for the country when sworn in, will definitely work with the country’s blueprint document, Kenya Vision 2030.
“He has committed to continue because he has been part of that. So, there will be no change in terms of policy [and] in terms of focus on where to go.”