Friday, May 24, 2024

How Kisumu disappointed naysayers

Few days to the August 9, the US Embassy dropped a travel advisory to its citizens over risks of traveling to Kisumu.

The advisory pointed out possibility of violence, chaos and demonstrations ahead of the August 9, presidential election.

The embassy defended this move, saying issuing of such advisories is their constitutional right.

But then there was the media, the civil society organizations, the observers, and the interested parties who had allocated millions of money for Kisumu violence.

August 9

But come August 9, everything went haywire!

The lakeside city was calm, with residents peacefully taking to the polling stations.

Come August 14, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared the presidential results.

The commission declared Kenya Kwanza’s candidate, Deputy President William Ruto as the winner of the polls, against Azimio’s Raila Odinga.

Kisumu was expected to erupt, but there was nothing, save for pockets of demonstrations by a few people reacting to the results.

US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whiteman accompanied by Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o (right) and his deputy Mathews Owili during the ambassador’s visit to the county. (Photo: Kevine Omollo, LRB)

Boring elections

A number of international media had focused their camera lenses on Kondele, in Kisumu.

This is one of the areas which has reported violence during elections, earning the title ‘violence hotspot’.

But to the surprise of many, there was nothing to report about.

BBC reporter Larry Madowo even described the situation as ‘boring’ due to lack of chaotic scenes, despite the ‘unexpected’ results.

Kisumu actually disappointed the naysayers.

Azimio presidential candidate moved to the Supreme Court to petition Ruto’s win.

And for close to three weeks, one of the questions we had to respond to on a daily basis is ‘How is the situation in Kisumu’.

The calm and silence was misunderstood to be a boiling tension.

And ahead of the Supreme Court judgement on the presidential election petition, the US issues another travel advisory.

Kisumu remained in focus.

Supreme Court

And when the judgement was delivered on Monday, there was no smoke on the roads, there were no placards, there were no demos, and I guess it was boring to the naysayers.

Pockets of police officers on patrol had no reason to discharge teargas canisters.

The batons had nothing to hit, and media cameras roved and panned, with nothing to capture.

On Tuesday, everyone was back to work, despite the emotional pain from the judgement.

Indeed, this time round, Kisumu has disappointed the naysayers.

Kevine Omollo
Lake Region Bulletin is your one stop multi-media platform for news from Lake Region Counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Kericho and Bomet. Email:

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