(Xinhua) -- Optimism among Kenyans has risen
following the successful conclusion of the Aug. 8 general
election, with many citizens expecting the new leaders to help
This is despite the fact that the fate
of the presidential election winner is in the hands of the
Supreme Court after opposition leader Raila Odinga said he
Wednesday would challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win.
Many citizens are watching keenly how
the dispute would be concluded but this has not stopped them
from having faith in their other elected leaders who include
MPs, members of county assemblies, senators and governors.
Some 25 governors out of the 47 in the
country lost their seats as voters rejected incompetency and in
some cases bad leadership.
The election also saw voters elect
several women and the youth to various seats, what is pushing up
optimism among citizens.
“I am happy that we have a new, young
governor in Nairobi,” businesswoman Faith Wakiru, who runs a
clothes shop, along Moi Avenue said Thursday. “I am among
people who patiently waited for five years to send the other
leadership home,” she added.
One of the things that made the
outgoing governor lose, according to her, was poor management of
garbage and high taxes.
“For such a shop I pay 75 U.S. dollars
to be able to get a licence to run it for a year. This
figure was doubled when the current governor came into
office. It is too high because our businesses are smaller
and we don’t make much,” she said.
Her hope is that the incoming
leadership would better the working environment for traders like
her and others who include hawkers.
“All I want is for the governor to
reduce the licence fee to 40 dollars or even less and
collect garbage regularly and ensure that we have water,”
The incoming governor, Mike Sonko, has
promised to clean up Nairobi city, create jobs for the youth,
eliminate traffic jams and generally better the welfare of
“Currently I am helping the county
clean up the streets and pull down campaign posters, a job
in which we are being paid 5 dollar per day by the new
governor. If he has started this way, then life may be
better under him,” said Martin Momanyi.
In Kakamega and Uasin Gishu counties,
where residents retained the incumbent, optimism is also high
with the electorate expecting a lot from the leaders.
“I am a maize farmer and the
agriculture function is devolved. What I expect from my
governor is employment of more extension officers to help us
produce food. I also expect him to boost access roads to
farms,” said Bernard Chibole from Uasin Gishu on phone,
adding he is optimistic the leader would do the work.
From their legislators who include
senators, woman representatives and county assembly members,
Kenyans expect better legislation and help to fight corruption
by checking governors and the national government.
But it is on the president that
expectations are higher regardless of the outcome of the Supreme
“Both the Opposition and the ruling
party promised free education, better healthcare, monthly
remittances to the old, over a million jobs, more loans to
university students and better healthcare, among others. I
am optimistic that these were not empty promises. If they
are implemented, life would be better,” said university
student Cleopas Marambi.
Marambi, a final year commerce
student, further said he is looking forward to a one-year
government internship programme Kenyatta promised.
“It is the reason I voted for him and
I am happy that he won, but if the win is overturned by the
court, life would go on as even Odinga said he would
increase loan allocation to university students. The 400
dollars we currently get is so little,” he said.
Henry Wandera, an economics lecturer
in Nairobi, noted that the optimism arises from the fact that
the electorate believe they threw away bad leadership.
“Most of the leaders lost their seats
because the electorate saw they did not deliver their
promises. The new leaders must therefore have learnt a
lesson and would thus work hard to deliver. It is on this
premise that people are optimistic,” he said
However, he cautioned that leaders
must find ways to manage peoples’ expectations as failure to
deliver on the promises might lead to despondency.