EDITORIAL: In Kenya, confused armies clash by night

Tuesday October 24 2017

A voter casts his ballot on August 8, 2017.

A voter casts his ballot on August 8, 2017. The political situation in Kenya is too fluid for comfort and the anxiety as to whether there will really be credible repeat elections on October 26 is overwhelming. PHOTO | GRACE GITAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By The EastAfrican
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The world’s attention is focused on Kenya as it heads to a second presidential election on Thursday, October 26, following the annulment by the courts of the August 8 poll, in which President Uhuru Kenyatta had been declared the winner.

However, since the Supreme Court ruling on September 1, the most formidable challenger to the incumbent president, Raila Odinga, has withdrawn from the repeat elections and insisted that no polling will take place on that date.

He withdrew his candidature after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) failed to effect the reforms demanded by his National Super Alliance (Nasa).

Soon after this, the country went into a tailspin when one of the commissioners of the (IEBC) resigned and fled the country citing fears for her life and making the bold declaration that the IEBC would be unable to conduct the repeat election credibly.

On the same day that the resignation was received, the chairperson of the IEBC reiterated this concern about the IEBC’s ability and in some cases willingness to conduct credible repeat elections.

It is clear that the political situation in Kenya is too fluid for comfort and the anxiety as to whether there will really be credible elections on October 26 is overwhelming.

Kenyans and their neighbours in the region do not fully understand what is happening and what will happen next.

Added to this is the insistence by the Nasa coalition on continuing street protests. Then there is the passing of contentious legislation that is certain to create more controversy among the populace and Nasa supporters.

The religious establishment on its part has cried itself hoarse calling for peace – which, in truth, is a euphemism for maintenance of the status quo.  To them, p