Kenyans on Twitter preach peace as voter registration turns messy
The second phase of the voter registration exercise that begun on January 16 2017 has unleashed an unexpected political excitement in the country.
What was meant to be a 30-day exercise aimed at encouraging fresh voters to register has turned into a fully-fledged campaign with all the markings of a violent and destructive exercise.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, Nasa principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetangula and Musalia Mudavadi have for the past 11 days traversed the entire country as they marshal supporters in their strongholds and other areas for votes.
Tempers have flared, tribalism and negative ethnicity has reared its head once again.
In the process, DP Ruto’s convoy was blocked and had to turn around in Bungoma, Ken Obura, an MP in Kisumu, had his car stoned as he tried to speak to voters, Nairobi Governor Evens Kidero was ambushed and three journalists hurt.
The list of violent acts that have been perpetrated in the last 11 days is long and even includes a possible suicide attempt by a Baringo aspirant who was heckled off stage.
In response, Kenyans have turned to each other. Preaching peace messages and warning each other of the dangers of election violence. Individuals took the chance to encourage the youth to register as voters if they wanted to effect change.
The messages, found on twitter and Facebook encourage Kenyans to shun violence and approach the elections soberly. Tweeting under #ResilientKenya and #TriblesYouth.
Here are samples…
On why Kenyans should register as voters:
If you wish to exercise your Democratic right in 2017 general elections, you have 19 days to do so, get registered today #TribelessYouth
— TEETOTALER™ (@LilKoima) January 26, 2017
— Yegon Emmanuel, Certified Storyteller?????? (@yegonemmanuel_) January 26, 2017
— #ResilientKenya (@resilientkenya) January 25, 2017
On why inflammatory statements will not help:
— Pius Muturi ®™ (@PiusMuturi) January 26, 2017
— Eva Muhatia (@evamuhatia) January 4, 2017
Now is the time for men of kenya to unite. Put the swords down,your homes, your children and wives need you #ResilientKenya
— Patricia Mollyne Mataga (@MollyneMataga) January 25, 2017
On why Kenyans should embrace oneness:
Omondi Gets Hungry
He is Helped by Kipchirchir
Awour Has no Fare
Kamau Pays the fare
A vote Will not Change Our Love
— ?_HOI˥∩ſ wαchirαH_? (@JuliohWachira) January 26, 2017
We can't ignore our ethnicity, our beliefs, our religions, but we can't let those differences divide us as a community ✌#TribelessYouth
— Mary Mwangi (@itsnjerimwangi) January 26, 2017
— #DanielJumaOmondi (@realDanielJuma) January 10, 2017
On peaceful voting:
#resilientkenya lets hold each other accountable. be your brothers keeper and ensure they hv a vote. Then urge them to vote peacefully.
— Dollar Bill (@billkitala) January 25, 2017
Elections should bring us together because that is the time we decide the kind of nation we want #ResilientKenya
— Diana Randi (@Kwamboka_Dee) January 25, 2017
I can do what you can't do, u can do what I can't do, we need each other, we need to stick together, make each other better #ResilientKenya
— Mary Mwangi (@itsnjerimwangi) January 18, 2017