BusinessDay

How Ruto’s victory could change governance dynamics in Kenya, by Odion-Akhaine

Sylvester Odion-Akhaine, a professor of Political Science, has said that the victory of William Ruto in the recently concluded Kenya’s presidential election may change the dynamics of governance and bring the inter-generational element to bear in leadership due to his young age.

Ruto, Kenya’s current deputy president and candidate of the Kenya First Coalition, was Monday announced the country’s President-elect by the electoral commission, Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Ruto won with 50.49percent of the vote, narrowly defeating veteran opposition leader and former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, who was contesting his fifth time.

Speaking in an interview with BusinessDay on the conduct of Kenya’s presidential election, Odion-Akhaine noted that the outcome may be a turning point that the East African nation desperately needs.

“The significant thing is that Ruto is a bit young and may bring the inter-generational element to bear on the complexion of governance, but it is also a continuation of Kikuyu hegemony in Kenyan politics,” Odion-Akhaine said.

Read also: …as we wait for Kenya to decide or has it?

Odion-Akhaine, a lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU), noted that he was not surprised by the allegations of rigging by the opposition, stressing that most elections in Africa end in controversy.

“Only few elections in Africa are without controversy. The judicial review process will sort that,” he added.

On lessons to be learned from the conduct of the election, the professor noted that the delay in the counting of the vote was a setback.

He however, added that other countries on the continent could learn from the logistics challenges which trailed the election.

According to him, “There should be improvement in logistics, also the broad enfranchisement of Kenyan citizens, Diaspora and prison inmates is an issue.

Kenya is an important country in Africa. It is the anchorage for eastern African economy.

“For Odinga, age is not on his side any more. He will have to wait for the outcome of the judicial review of the election results. If not favourable should retire as an elder statesman. There’s a need for rotation of power.”

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