President Uhuru Kenyatta last evening warned against disruption of the election today, saying security agencies have been deployed to deal with such actions.
The President urged Kenyans to show the world that they live in a mature democracy.
In a speech from State House, less than 12 hours to the opening of polling stations, the President said having the election go well would make Kenya a stronger democracy and put it in an exalted place in the world.
“Let nobody infringe on his brother’s or sister’s right. Security agencies have been deployed across the country to ensure the safety of Kenyans,” he said.
He stressed that much as every registered voter has a right to vote, they also enjoy a right not to participate in the polls, and that should not cause friction.
He emphasized that the security agencies have his support and praised their role in ensuring security for the election to happen despite the upheavals caused by the annulment of the August 8 election in which he had been declared the winner.
President Kenyatta spoke last on a day the Supreme Court lacked a quorum to handle a case for the postponement of the election, the electoral commission declared its readiness to handle the poll and his main opponent, Raila Odinga, announced the creation of a resistance movement but pointedly told his supporters to stay home.
However, the President did not say whether he was going to assent to a controversial bill on the management of the elections approved by Parliament on October 12 and presented to him the following day.
Today is the 13th day since the bill’s presentation.
If he assents to the bill, it comes into force after being published in the Kenya Gazette as an Act of Parliament.
This should happen within seven days of assent.
If he does not, and 14 days have elapsed, it is taken to have been assented to and comes into force on the 14th day after its publication in the Kenya Gazette.
This will be the case unless the bill has a specific date on which it will come into force.
The President noted that getting the election out of the way was good for the economy, which has slowed down.
The private sector has said Sh700 billion has been lost in the last four months because of the uncertainty.
“I can promise each and every Kenyan one thing: better days lie ahead for our country. For you, for me and for our families,” he said.
He described the decision of the Supreme Court on September 1 as “unsettling and distressing” but an opportunity for Kenya to prove to the world that we are a mature democracy.
“Many nations with many many more years of democracy are yet to match this,” he said.
He went on: “The judges made it clear that fresh presidential election must be held within 60 days and be supervised by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
“Even with all that has happened, we leaders from all political persuasions have to abide by that decision and the Constitution we passed overwhelmingly.”
He said the election is an opportunity to show the world that Kenya is a “free modern state preoccupied with unity, peace and shared progress and shared prosperity”.
Heavier deployments are expected in Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori.