After a campaign season marked by a shift in ethnic alliances and two key issues: the cost of living crisis and high unemployment, Kenyans will cast their votes on Tuesday.
Raila Odinga, a former prime minister, and William Ruto, a deputy president, are the two front-runners in the fiercely contested presidential race. Odinga is ahead in the polls.
Odinga has run for president four times before in similarly close contests. But this time, he has an unexpected ally at his side: President Uhuru Kenyatta, a longtime foe in politics.
A public handshake between the two in 2018 signaled the end of their long-standing political animosity. The nation and the two leaders’ supporters were taken aback by the handshake between the two leaders, who are descended from families with a long history in Kenya. The ethnic communities of Odinga and Kenyatta, the Luo and Kikuyu, have long been on opposing political sides. With Kenyatta’s support expected to attract a portion of the Kikuyu vote, their alliance is seen as the card that could make Odinga five times lucky in Kenya’s ethnically charged political landscape. However, observers doubt that the alliance will be able to close the long-standing ethnic gap.
A significant portion of Kikuyus rebelled against the alliance, claims political analyst Gabriel Muthuma.
“The results of the election will be the only way to determine whether it was successful or not.”
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Nomusa Dube-Ncube, the recently named KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) premier-elect, has pledged to address the difficulties and problems the province is currently facing.
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) declared Dube-Ncube to be the new premier on Monday morning.
She is the province’s first woman to hold the position of premier.
After Sihle Zikalala’s resignation last week, she was deployed.
She made the statement shortly after the ANC’s provincial leadership announced her selection for the position: “I do accept the deployment by the ANC and also wish to thank the trust that the ANC is giving to me to be able to lead a collective in government.”
Dube, who has held executive committee positions in a number of province-wide portfolios, will now take on the position of premier.
She stated that addressing the difficulties KZN residents faced was one of her top priorities.
“I am definitely going to be working with the ANC leadership, as well as all my colleagues in government, to make sure that we address the crippling issues that we are still dealing with in our province, those of socioeconomic challenges and issues with unemployment.”
On Wednesday, Dube is anticipated to take the oath of office at the provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg.