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Overeager voters, faulty biometrics and arrests as #KenyaDecides

Long queues were the order of the day as Kenyans took to the polls Tuesday to vote in a hotly contested national election, pitting current president Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party against former prime minister Raila Odinga’s Nasa party. Voters started queueing as early as 2am, according to Caroline Kantai, presiding officer at Moi Avenue Primary School. Polling centres officially opened at 6am. Some centres opened late due to poor weather conditions, the delayed arrival of voting materials and problems with the Kenya…

#KenyaDecides: What you need to know

Tuesday, August 8 marks Kenya’s 12th elections since independence. The Daily Vox rounds up all you need to know. 1. Who are the main contenders? While there are eight contenders for the presidential elections, the focus is on incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta who is vying for a second and final term, and opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is contesting for the seat for the fourth time. Kenyatta represents the Jubilee party with Deputy President William Ruto as his running mate. Odinga is running as the flag bearer of the…

Kenyan election commission under scrutiny as poll day looms

Kenya’s Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has faced unprecedented hurdles over the past few months, causing concerns over its preparedness for Tuesday’s elections. Despite their assurances that they’re up to the task, the events of the past few weeks have not quelled concerns over possible vote rigging or post-election violence. The alleged murder of Chris Msando, a technology officer for IEBC, last week revealed the rising fear and tension in the run-up to the country’s national election. Protests…

Kenyan youth: We want peaceful and credible elections

In a country in which half of registered voters are below 35 years old, not only do the youth have a role in choosing their leaders, they also have a responsibility to change the direction of the country. Kenya goes to the polls on Tuesday; here is what the youth expect as they cast their vote. Kasi Mumba, 27, lawyer, Nairobi Kenyans seem more aware of the kind of governance we have been having and what they would like changed. I am going to vote. I feel it is a step towards changing not only political leadership, but also…

Propaganda, security and democracy: Kenyan female journalists take on the elections

On Tuesday August 1, the Association of Media Women in Kenya, held a forum on the online harassment of women journalists in Kenya leading to the August 8 elections. The Daily Vox spoke to some female journalists about their experience in election coverage and their hopes for this week’s polls. Anne Macharia, 23, (K.U. TV) This is my first time in covering the election. It has not been as easy as I expected but I am happy I am getting to learn and earn experience. What has stood out the most for me in this election is that…

Young Kenyans are using Twitter to help them find jobs

Loise Wanjiku (23) was sure she would be employed as soon as she finished her internship but after days and months of using traditional methods to send resumes - through the post office and dropping them off at employers offices - there were no calls inviting her for interviews. “I cast my net wide in the job search. I applied for reporting jobs (both radio and TV), video editing, writing jobs and content creation jobs. But I figured that half the time the envelopes don't get past the receptionist,” she says. Wanjiku, who…

How technology is changing elections in Kenya

With its thriving IT industry and net savvy population, Kenya has been touted as Africa's “silicon savannah”. This has manifested itself in several ways during the 2017 electioneering period. Here are three ways Kenya’s elections are changing, thanks to technology. 1. An integrated election management system An amendment to Kenya’s 2011 Elections Act requires that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) use the Kenyan Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS) for voter registration, voter…

Kenyan women live in fear of election violence

Women peace builders representing more than 10 informal settlements in Nairobi have raised their concerns over the impending violence ahead of the August 8 elections. On Thursday July 27, a group of 10 women from Kibera, Mathare, Korogocho, Huruma, Kiyambiyu, Shauri Moyo, Kaloleni, Mukuru, Kangemi and sections of Ruaraka and Ngong held a press conference to address their concerns over election violence. These 10 areas have been marked as election violence hotspots by police. *Alice from Mathare says people have started…

Stigma contributes to Kenyan teens quitting HIV treatment

The United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAIDS) has revealed that Kenyan teenagers are most likely to quit HIV treatment, thus undermining the fight against the virus. According to the UNAIDS 2017 Global Update, treatment adherence by adolescents aged 15-19 in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda is lower and treatment failure rates are higher than in their older and younger counterparts, especially in teenagers transitioning to adult care from paediatric care. “Studies in Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania indicate…

What you need to know about extrajudicial killings in Kenya

When a Kenyan police officer shot and injured a young woman after a Wizkid concert on Saturday in Nairobi, it sparked anger among Kenyans. A similar kind of reaction was seen in April when cops were caught on camera killing suspected gang members in Eastleigh. The Daily Vox rounds up some facts about this not-so-new occurrence in Kenya. 1. Kenya had the most extrajudicial killings in Africa by October 2016 According to Amnesty International’s 2016/2017 annual report on Kenya, Kenya has had at least 122 cases of extrajudicial…

No country for the youth if the Kenyan presidential debate is anything to go by

Kenya held the presidential debate organised by the Debates Media Limited on Monday night ahead of the August 8 election. In a parallel universe, all eight candidates - President Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee Party, ODM’s Raila Odinga, Cyrus Jirongo of the United Democratic Party, Ekuru Aukot of Thirdway Alliance, Abduba Dida of the Alliance for Real Change, and independent candidates Joseph Nyagah, Michael Wainaina and Japheth Kavinga - would have been present to showcase their qualifications to lead the country. However, only…

These young Kenyans are vying for MP positions in the 2017 elections

Kenya’s national elections in August will feature some of the youngest aspirant politicians seen yet in Kenya. The country has a large youth population, with 80% of the population aged 35 and under, making the youth vote one political parties will be eager to capture. In the 2013 elections Kinoti Gitobu, the MP of Buuri in Meru County, was elected to the country’s 11th parliament at just 26 years old, making him the youngest member of the house. These are the aspiring politicians hoping follow Gitobu's lead and become…

Kenya rushes to contain cholera outbreak

On Monday Kenya’s ministry of health launched a 21-day plan to contain an outbreak of cholera in Nairobi. More than 336 cases of cholera have been reported in the city since May. About five hours from the capital, Garissa County also has an active cholera outbreak. In Muranga County, which have a history of cholera outbreaks, four towns have been put on alert. The county health department has banned food hawking and is inspecting eateries across the county. The first cholera incident in the capital city occurred in May at a…

Kenyan authorities are cracking down on social media ahead of elections

Ahead of the general election on August 8, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) announced on Monday that it would hold the administrators of WhatsApp groups responsible for any hate speech and falsehoods shared on the platforms they manage. The announcement was made at a stakeholder meeting on election preparedness, which highlighted the need to monitor cyberspace for any forms of hate speech. This is hardly the first time such announcements to monitor social media has been made. Earlier this month, the National…

The top five issues Kenyan youth want addressed now

Acording to statistics from thinktank youthpolicy.org, 75% of the Kenyan population is below 30 years old. They are considered the future of the country, but are currently dealing with different issues that prevent them from taking advantage of the abundant opportunities available in the country. The Daily Vox rounds up five important issues that young Kenyans need addressed now. 1. Unemployment Many young people have been unable to access employment opportunities, and those wishing to start their own businesses struggle to…