There have been words on the streets that the government was allegedly planning to use covid-19 surging cases to postpone next year’s elections.
The Ministry of Health has assured the country that it is possible to hold the 2022 General Elections despite the Covid-19 numbers still surging in the country.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe in a document tabled before the Committee on Health answering a number MPs queries, pointed out that other countries have held elections amidst the pandemic and Kenya too can do it.
Mr Kagwe cited countries such as Burundi, Zambia, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America as some of the countries that have successfully conducted their elections despite pandemic,
“The Covid-19 pandemic arrived at a difficult time for democracy. Countries scheduled to hold elections were forced to decide whether to hold them as scheduled or postpone them,” Mr Kagwe said.
“Elections have been held in several other jurisdictions during the period of the pandemic without reports of a significant increase in transmission after the elections.”
The CS told MPs that personal prevention practices such as hand washing, wearing face masks, staying home when sick as well as environmental cleaning and disinfection are important actions election officials and voters can take to lower the risk of Covid-19 spread.
The political temperatures in the country have risen and politicians are publicly breaking the set MoH protocols.
Elections and covid-19
The 2022 election may spring yet more surprises, with experts saying that ethnic issues, which have traditionally played an important role in Kenyan politics, may no longer carry the weight they once did in a country with 44 tribes.
Ethnic affiliations will still matter at the ballot box, but they will not be “the main discussion” topic, said Kenyan political analyst Nerima Wako-Ojiwa.
“Young people do not necessarily identify with the tribal language used in the past,” she told AFP, pointing out that Kenya will add six million more potential voters in 2022 compared to 2017 as youngsters come of age.
The battle for the youth vote will play a big part in determining the winner of next year’s race, she said, along with shared concerns such as reviving the Covid-battered economy and improving healthcare.
Wealthy Kenyans and private aviation firms last year sold 72 planes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that reduced the millionaires’ net worth and hit demand for travel.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) data show the number of registered planes dropped to 735 from 807 in 2019, excluding those owned by the National Police Service and the Kenya Defence Forces.
The next Kenyan general election is scheduled to take place on 9 August 2022. Voters will elect the President, members of the National Assembly and Senate, county governors and members of the 47 county assemblies.
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