Kenya has a Win-Win Choice in the Upcoming General Election

By: Agou Anyieth Kur, Political & Communication Strategist living in Canada, AUG/07/2017, SSN;

An appeal for a peaceful and fair democractic process.

As you go into the August general election, I want to draw your atten-tion to something that might not be too obvious in all the current hus-tle and bustle towards the general election. This concept of mine as given away by the title of this article is that contrary to the zero-sum narrative coming from your political class and the media, I implore you to view the forthcoming general election as a win-win contest and a celebration of your democratic journey and self governance: Madara-ka, as it is popularly known in your country.

“Siasa Mbaya”

In the East African region and other parts of the world, you have seen the suffering, destruction and death caused by Siasa Mbaya, to use the famous phrase by Mzee Daniel Arap Moi, the former president of Kenya. But what exactly is Siasa Mbaya?

If it will help, let me disclose right away that, I, the author of this article, I am from South Sudan. That must have rung a bell in your head even if you haven’t been keenly following the political happenings across the region and around the globe in the past few years.

At this very moment, the degree of human suffering happening in South Sudan is so despicable and un-imaginable for this century. Innocent civilians are needlessly dying and starving because of a recklessly-played politics that disregards the aspirations that many South Sudanese had for their country.

Syria and Yemen are comparable cases to South Sudan but I will stick to South Sudan for illustration since it neighbours your beautiful country and you possibly know it better than the two aforementioned coun-tries.

Having given this example, I hope I have laid bare the dire con-sequences of Siasa Mbaya without having to explicitly define it. From Siasa Mbaya, a chain of unfortunate events can transpire leading to an all-out war and needless suffering as is the case in South Sudan. When Thomas Hobbes, a 16th-century political philosopher wrote in his Leviathan about the state of war as being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”, I would say that he had South Sudan in mind.


Despite the post-election doom and gloom being predicted by some pundits, how colourful the Kenya’s 2017 presidential field is should not go without getting noticed. It may appear obvious but it is worth the praise and pride of every Kenyan.

From Mr. Mohammed Abduba Dida, to Dr. Ekuru Aukot, to the front-runner duo of Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, Kenyans should be thankful of the diversity of the leadership that they can choose from and the state of their democra-cy.

It is not perfect but it can get better. In my opinion, this current Kenyan presidential campaign is less nasty than the 2016 circus show that ended up producing Donald Trump as the president of the United States.

I will pay much attention to the two front-runners for now since only both of them have considerably higher chances of winning the upcom-ing election in comparison to the rest.

To begin with H E. President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, some may question his ability but only a few may doubt his kindness, sincerity and good intentions. To the young people in East Africa and across our continent, President Kenyatta is well respected for his modern views and his desire to make Kenya a more developed nation.

Up to this point, he has done a hugely com-mendable job to that effect notwithstanding the corruption scandals that have been a little of a nightmare during his first term. Coming to the Former Prime Minister, the Rt. Honourable Raila Amolo Odinga, a lot of great things can be said about his illustrious career in Kenyan political scene.

Very few opposition leaders across Africa come close in comparison. From his progressive views of the world to his lofty ideals of what Kenya can be going all the way to his contributions (alongside others) to ensure that Kenya gets on a multi-party demo-cratic path, a progressive constition in 2010, it is not an easy task to find a living match for Raila across our continent.

Having Uhuru and Raila among those from whom Kenyans can choose their president in the August 8 election is another thing that you my Kenyan brothers and sisters should be proud of. I think no sane Kenya would opt to trade leaders with North Korea (where there is no diversity of leader-ship to choose from) or Zimbabwe (where our once revered African elder has now clung on to the presidency and would not let go to allow for diversity of leadership and fresh ideas to chart the future).

Kenya still remains a beacon of hope, peace, progress and democra-cy irrespective of the happenings of 2007/2008. Your elections may not be perfect (and elections never are in most parts of the world) but they are regular and your democracy is maturing with every election. 10-15 years from now, your democracy might be the closest thing to perfection in the whole of Africa.

That is, of course, if you build on the constitutional progress of the past few years. Any bystander, like I am, would seriously advise you not to squander that due to some short-sighted and hollow tribal vanity. You would not want your coun-try to go the South Sudanese way.


As the 2007 Election violence had taught you, I have heard voices ranging from ordinary Kenyans to leaders saying that “never again should Kenyans shed blood because of an election.” But do you really mean those words?

Le me end with this recollection from 2008. When the National accord was signed, I was watching your parliament’s special sitting when it approved the National Accord. Sometime around noon after the Ken-yan army band had played the national anthem, they marched to the tune of the gospel song: “Baraka za Mungu kweli ni-za ajabu” , which translates to “the blessings of the Lord are truly miraculous.” That moment reflected your ideals and aspiration as a Godly nation of “Amani and Umoja” and it is what you should all aspire for ahead of the upcoming election. Don’t mess your country up.

Agou Anyieth Kur
Political and Communication Strategist living in Canada.


  1. John Obalim says:

    Confused South Sudanese in Canada ( Mr. Agou Anyieth Kur ) You wasted all this times and wrote a lot of nonsense in Kenyan politics with no reasons neither. I wondered what interest do you have in Kenyan politics?

    Your backyards full of bushes, clean it first as an examples then you help your neighbour.
    Speak about your confused South Sudanese government Ok?

    • info@southsudannation says:

      John Obalim,
      We have seen and read articles in Kenyan press and websites written by Kenyans on South Sudan.
      So, why not have our South Sudanese intellectuals write on Kenya politics, especially our scholars who studied and worked in Kenya.
      Do you still want only the Wazungu to write on Kenya?

    • Agou Anyieth Kur says:

      Thanks Mr. John Obalim for reading my article on the Kenyan election . First, I have to thank you for taking part in the discussion; that is the spirit of democracy. One of the requirements of citizenship is to pay attention not only to what is going on in our own borders but beyond our borders. Secondly, I want to tell you that I have also written on the regional issues. Now, I want to let you know that before the current war broke out in South Sudan, I was among the first to raised an alarm regarding “Siasa Mbaya” or a reckless politics. That is why I wrote this article on this website seven month before the 2013 conflict. I am glad to share it with you here:

      • John Obalim Nyeri says:

        Thank you Mr. Agou Anyieth Kur,

        I really would like to apologise if you would consider my comment as criticism, I don’t mean you do’ but I just want to make it clear ; I am desperate of South Sudan’s crises, its painful for me and I know – not only me!! the rest of South Sudanese people are concerns too. I know its heavy duties tasks to handle , therefore my frustration has forced me to tell you my brothers nor sister’s to focused on our unsolved problems. I didn’t mean to pick on you, I know Democratically you have right’s to express what ever you would want to say or write on anything or any other country.

        • Agou Anyieth Kur says:

          Thanks my brother John Obalim. There is nothing wrong with your comment. It shows how genuine you are in appreciating the suffering our people are going through. I share your feelings as well. While you don’t need to apologize, I am deeply touched by your civility and maturity. Asking questions and seeking understanding is the brotherly way to dialogue. Keep it up my friend. Hope the Almighty give us the wisdom to end the suffering in our great country.

  2. John Obalim Nyeri says:

    Mr. Editor,
    I am so disparate would want to hear South Sudanese intellectuals to write about how to fix their problems for examples:- I would blame group of people or intellectuals who are controlling the government of South Sudan, especially those who are involved of mistreating the 64 tribes in South Sudan.

    You can imagine we have no sleep in South Sudan , people are suffering in displace camps, lack of Sanitation , Diseases , sufferings in Refugee Camps similar situation will lead to death especially children are most likely to be vulnerable exposed more than adults. Do we think about tomorrow? I mean the next generation.

    The leader of the country is a Dinka, doesn’t matter a leader can be from any tribe but he or she should know how to balance power in correct ways. I would like to quad one of the Sudanese intellectual Mr. Yacani’s words that: Newton’s law in physics says ; a force applied will impact or equal to the opposite side. Mean if you bit me I will have to pay back, you recruits child soldiers- you will have no future intellectuals , you dominate other tribes- they will unite and fight you back, similar to how they defeated ”Adolf Hitler”

    • John Obalim Nyeri says:

      The Wazungu’s have finished their war in 1945 in Berlin and they now have plenty time enjoying their freedoms and plenty time to write about African.

  3. False Millionnaire says:

    Mr Nyeri,
    It couldn’t be without appreciation witnessing u debating on a south sudanese website.Professor Ali Mazuri took south sudanese for a laughing stock some time back with regards to the distant probability of an indépendant south sudan. For that he didn’t win himself to be à target of a grudge from any south sudanese. For he was entitled for his opinion and judgement as intellectual.
    Many things have happened ever since and the Paradise named Kenya hasn’t been an inpenetratable island for south sudanese either by way of adventurism or by unfortunate ways of flight in search of safety.That’s how many of our countrymen me included have come to know u and your country so much.
    To such context,while illusion of peace and prosperity appear to prevail as reflected by such modern infrastructures that characterize Nairobi in particular,the jolly Kenyan tourism brochures symbolize misrepresentation of the majority of writched kenyans faring so terribly under the weight of poverty without any possibility of a dignified way out like the ugandans under Museveni and the rwandans under Kegame are managing.Kenyatta or Odinka at the helm,it’s the impression of two faces of the same coin that doesn’t inspspire any hope for better things ahead.
    We are aware of our problems since the day of the death of our great visionary chairman Garang. It’s like the legend of pheonex which crushes to the earth to break into pieces and to gather up the same pieces and then rises up again to live for the earth to come to peace and prosperity after having gone through hell.
    If the likes of Mr Kur write about prospects of peace in your country,they are well wishers.Forgive us if u couldn’t bear it.But nontheless be assured about us considering many formulas that will permit us to clean up our home.U May appreciate the beauty of a peaceful south sudan one day in your life time our great friend.

  4. Eli Wani says:

    Afterall things are not all well in Kenya, at last for the first time in her history Kenyan judiciary has opened the can of worms. Corruptions have been brought out in the open for the whole world to see, I am proud of this bipartisan panel of judges for their courage to do the right thing. This is truly a victory not only for the Opposition NASA but for the people of Kenya and Africa at large. The makings of the trio gangs of master minders i.e Museveni, Kagame and Kenyatta is to grabbed election victory by any means possible regardless of peoples’ choice. Now let us see with keen interest what the outcome of the rerun in 60 days, Africa, and the world is watching. Bravo Supreme Court Judges you have done the right thing.

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