At the beginning of the month, the Supreme Court of Kenya invalidated the re-election of Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent president, due to irregularities in the election, and ordered new elections on 17 October. A victory for opponent Raila Odinga. But in the strongholds of Uhuru Kenyatta, as in Gatundu, his home town, the verdict is very hard to accept.
Irene Kinyanjui, a vegetable seller, proudly sports a skirt with the image of Uhuru Kenyatta. According to her, the Supreme Court did not respect the will of the Kenyans. ” It’s unfair. Everyone knows that Uhuru has won, international observers have said. And they complain about the presidential election; but the governors and parliamentarians have already taken an oath, no one is complaining about these elections. So this decision is unjustified. ”
Here the frustration is palpable because, in Gatundu, Uhuru Kenyatta is a brother, a son, a father, the only one able to direct the country, explains John Danda which sells CDs. ” The president is close to us, and he looks after all the Kenyans, not just the people from Gatundu,” he says. He has only one mandate, and he has to leave the second one to let him finish his development program.”
Régine was in her stall when the verdict of the Supreme Court fell; she remembers the tears and cries in the market. She is angry with the judges, but especially with Raila Odinga: ” Raila Odinga is selfish, has already lost elections three times, and never accepted defeat. This is just for nobody. And this time, you will see, we will return to vote, and we will end his political career for eternity.”
In Gatundu, we aim for 99% of votes for Uhuru Kenyatta on 17 October. Impossible to see Raila Odinga become president, say the locals, with an embarrassed laugh and worried looks.