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EDITIONS
 Friday, 3 January, 2003, 16:43 GMT
Kenyan election: How much of a change will it make?
Kenya's new leader Mwai Kibaki has been sworn in as president in front of hundreds of thousands gathered in central Nairobi for his inauguration.

He told the huge crowds that his administration will not engage in a witch-hunt against the party that ruled the country since its independence in 1963.

However with outgoing leader Daniel arap Moi in attendance, Mr Kibaki - the first head of state to come from the ranks of the opposition - was quick to point to years of "misrule and ineptitude" by his predecessor.

Mr Kibaki promised sweeping reforms and pledged to put an end to corruption.

The victory of Kenya's former opposition means the country has a new governing party for the first time since gaining independence.

What difference will the election result make to Kenya and other African countries?

Thank you for your e-mails. This debate is now closed. A selection of your comments is published below.


The good that has happened to Kenya will no doubt be experienced in countries like Cameroon, Gabon, Congo Brazaville, Togo, Zimbabwe and the likes, if free and fair elections are held in these countries. May the good intentions of Mr Kibaki come to fruition.
Pascal, France

The mood is great and the people's confidence is greatly elevated.

Anthony Kogi, Nairobi, Kenya
We have a combined new year's and new people's government. The mood is great and the people's confidence is greatly elevated. We need to take advantage of the renewed confidence and do our bit, each of us. Let us go and make a perfect job of whatever we do! We need to pray, however, for the new government because the expectations are also as high as the elevated mood.
Anthony Kogi, Nairobi, Kenya

The election results in Kenya signify the strength of unity that other nations should learn from. It shows the maturity level of democracy in Africa and the rest of the world should emulate the admirable Kenyans. To president Kibaki I wish him well in putting Kenya back on truck. God bless Kenya
Boaz Gavala Ibarasa, USA

Change is good, but what do Kenyans expect out of the change of power? I see the same face, changed from KANU to opposition party. What I see is a person with the same ideas; the only difference is that he has been identified as a leader from opposition. I am sceptical if Mwai Kibaki has anything new to offer to the Kenyans. With his age over 70 years, I can not think of what to expect from this old man.
Neema Sitta, Tanzania

The new government should implement term limits for civil servants and the Presidency

Peter Kisia Kezengwa, Kenya
The new government should review the constitution to implement term limits for civil servants and the Presidency. The new constitution should have checks and balances so that each government body -including the executive - is answerable to the other bodies.
Nelson, USA

We should not rush things. If given time, Kibaki can deliver. As we all know, nothing comes easily.
Peter Kisia Kezengwa, Kenya

As a former KANU member and vice president, Kibaki had his reasons for leaving KANU. As the next president of Kenya, I hope he will provide what Kenyans have so far been deprived of.
Gugo Obang, U.S.A

I am waiting to see where Kibaki will be taking Kenya, so that I can return and start a business in Kenya. I am a Kenyan, and Kenya is one the best countries I have ever seen.
Anicet Havugimana, Canada

It is true that Moi promised to introduce universal primary education when first elected, and he failed miserably in that regard. Mr. Kibaki is making similar promises. But the difference is that he is operating within a democratic framework -unlike Moi who was never accountable to anything but to his bank account. Mr Kibaki will succeed to the extent that Kenyans want him to succeed. And the question is: What are we prepared to give to make sure the likes of Moi never show their ugly heads again in the political affairs of Kenya?
Moinina, Canada

Change will not be implemented by the government, but by the people themselves

David Okech, Kenyan studying in the U.S.
Change will not be implemented by the government, but by the people themselves. I was gratified yesterday when I read how passengers forced a policeman to give back a bribe he had taken from a driver. I want the people to know that they themselves have implemented change, and that they themselves must maintain the change.
David Okech, Kenyan studying in the U.S.

It is imperative that we Kenyans keep the new government on its toes. They must not renege on the promises they made to the electorate. It is worth noting that fighting corruption is high on their agenda, this is a very positive move. Only when corruption is eliminated shall we Kenyans experience any tangible economic growth. The new government should also explore alternative sources of funding other than the International Mother and Father (IMF) since aid might not be forthcoming in the immediate future. Serve us well president Kibaki.
Joshua Mwangi, USA

That Moi's government has finally been displaced is unbelievable. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that one day Kenyans would see Moi hand over power to the opposition peacefully as we have seen. President Kibaki, congratulations; we trust that you will deliver!
Sela Musundi, Kenya

Even though the new president is a former KANU member, we as Africans believe that the change in governance brought about by this election will improve the lives of Kenyans at large.
Lewis Ndlovhu, Zimbabwe

Tanzanians should learn from their brotherly neighbours

Simon Peter Kabwebwe, Tanzania
I commend Kenyans for their long time awaited change, their dreams have come true. Now it's our turn to change old fashioned way of governance under Chama cha Mapinduzi. Tanzanians should learn from their brotherly neighbours.
Simon Peter Kabwebwe, Tanzania

It seems that the era of illiberal democracy and corruption has come to an end in Kenya. I urge President-elect Kibaki to help his neighbour - Somalia - to emerge from the era of "darkness and warlord terror" - as Kenya can only be fully proud if its neighbours are doing well.
Mohamud Mire, Massachusetts, USA

I applaud all Kenyans for their conduct during the elections. However more than anything else we should all be asking ourselves what we can do to help our President rebuild our nation, not what our President will do for us.
Kabiru, Kenya

In my view, Kenya needed a change from the despotic Moi to something new and fresh - not Kibaki.
Kibaki does not represent anything new or fresh

Evans Munymemesha, USA
At 71, Kibaki is not energetic enough to contend with the demands of the economy that Kenya urgently needs to have resolved; and as a former vice president under Moi for 10 years and as health minister in the Moi regime, Kibaki does not represent anything new or fresh. Kibaki has promised to fight 'institutional corruption' in his government. There is really nothing new about that promise for as long as Mr Kibaki does not elaborate on how he is going to go about eradicating corruption in his country.
Evans Munymemesha, USA

It is great victory for the Kenyans, but I am worried about how the security forces and Moi's cronies are going to live with this change of power. You should remember that Moi designed his security forces the same way Mobutu did in the Congo.
Eloi kKyakyim, Congolese living in the US

Congratulations NARC Summit, for your maturity in putting aside your personal ambitions. A word for President Kibaki, I was very young in 1978 when Moi took over. The euphoria of change I saw at that time is the same. People will love you if you deliver and I believe you shall deliver. Good luck.
Christine Okello, Australia

Moi must not be given the retirement package let him chew what he stole from the government.
Robert, Kenya

I also want to thank all Kenyans who made their choice to elect him their President. I pray God to give him wisdom to set a good example contrary to Moi's 24 years rule.
John MnJuu, US - California.

This is the gift of the year and an answer to our prayers from God. We are out no longer under the rule of corruption, nepotism and unfair distribution of our resources. It's time let the people speak and decide what they want.
Newton, Kenya

A sigh of relief for Kenyans at last! I believe the new government will cater to the needs of its people. President Kibaki is too mature and too experienced to fail. I trust him and I believe he will deliver the best leadership Kenyans have never known
Yarseah Degbeh, USA

I wish the new government and the people of Kenya well. Cameroonians had the same hope when an educated man was handed power by a dictator. Their hopes were dashed after barely two years as when the educated Mr. Biya started looting the treasury, private banks and companies. There is however a difference: Mr. Biya was secretly chosen by his masters and Mr. Kibaki has been duly elected by his people. His countrymen have given him a chance to go down into the history of his country. I hope he is remembered for the right reasons. God bless Africa
Nwayiga MoVoma, USA

Kibaki has integrity and is a sound economist

Willis Akhwale, Kenyan in Japan
Some people have expressed reservations about NARC's election victory by citing the Zambia case and Chiluba. Please hold your horses. This time the opposition victory will deliver. Those who are sceptical about the presence of former KANU members in NARC do not take into account that it is was the team work within NARC that ensured free and fair elections. In parliament they ensured that the electoral commission was non-partisan; they went on to pass bills that to ensure that vote cheating did not take place. Kibaki has integrity and is a sound economist - thanks to him the Kenyan economy performed well in the 70s and 80s.
Willis Akhwale, Kenyan in Japan

Kibaki will make a difference and every Kenyan will now enjoy government services and colleges which were not available to those who have been voting for the opposition.
Andrew Kibe Mburu, Kenya

I am hoping that the rest of Africa will see Kenya's successful democratic election as an example. African countries will understand that violence does not build the country, it destroys it. Peaceful and fair elections will help African development and prevent wars. Congratulations to all Kenyans.
Toby Yak, Fargo, ND, USA

That we should forget the past and refocus on reconstruction and healing is not in dispute. However it would be sad if impoverished Kenyans are asked to bear this colossal burden and forget about the 2 billion dollars of our wealth which was stolen and stashed in private bank accounts abroad during the Moi's regime.
John Makau, United Arab Emirates

We welcome the new era

Annette Musembi, USA
This is a definite sigh of relief for Kenyans. The prayers of the church and other religions have seen the country through a very dark time. We welcome the new era and pray for the new president and his government as they catapult us to better and brighter days and restore the glory of Kenya to her people.
Annette Musembi, USA

Kenyans have at last managed to use their right to vote to usher in the much coveted change for their country. The fact that there is a new ruling party calling the shots is in itself a relief for the people.
B.K. Nzioka, USA

Without a doubt, the change of leadership at the top will set a different tone and direction for the Kenyan people. Having a very seasoned, experienced and well educated leader will eliminate a lot of guess work on how to reinstate sound economic growth and trade policies that will revive our economy in order to create employment for the masses.
Gatheru Ndorongo, Kenya

Congratulations to the people of Kenya. Ghana my beloved country went through a similar positive change barely two years ago. Now it behoves on all Kenyans to work harder than before to fight corruption and all will be well. God bless Africa
David Boarteng Sarpong (Juabeneba), Ghanaian in Germany

Congratulations to Kenyans for the successful change of leadership. If we can follow throughout the whole continent with free elections and peaceful change, the dream of African Union will cease to be just another pipe dream.
Tshireletso Motlogelwa, Botswana

I had intentions of going to the UK but now I see no need

Godfrey Nyabera Makindu, Kenya
All those who milked the sacred cow must be brought to light and not only forced to return the loot but punished for their greed. All Kenyans out there should come home to rebuild our nation. I had intentions of going to the UK but now I see no need. I will stay here to help rebuild the nation for the future of our children. God bless Kibaki, God bless Kenya.
Godfrey Nyabera Makindu, Kenya

Although this is the beginning of a new era for Kenya, I think the new government must be treated with caution - as most members of the NARC are old members of KANU; the people of Kenya should wait and see before thinking that the expected messiah has arrived.
Ikemefula, Nigeria/ Austria

I believe that the change is genuine and the new government will deliver. It has all it takes - think tanks and people who are committed to change in all facets of life in our society. The president-elect is no pushover and all I can ask is for is that all Kenyans living abroad to pull together and start businesses back home.
Alex Amolloh, USA

I hope the new politics will bring change in Kenya, but Kenyans should forget development and progress because they choose leaders who were corrupt before. The wrath of poverty shall prevail until the clean generation steps in.
Ruto, Phil, New York, USA

Kenya has demonstrated maturity in democratic politics. Celebration time is over and we have to move onto business. NARC should maintain the Summit, operate with subcommittees for Kenyans to realise the change. A matrix managerial system should be put in place, encourage team work and full participation of stakeholders. We need jobs and export resources. GVA
Gilbert Vidolo Ambani, Kenya

Kenyans whilst being congratulated should also learn from Zambia. In 1991 one Fredrick Chiluba leading the MMD came into power making similar promises to Kibaki and carrying the same burden of recycled politicians. Where are we today in Zambia?
Allen Mate, Zambia

A big change in the electoral politics not only of Kenya but of the East African region as a whole

Ismail Jussa, Zanzibar
The comprehensive victory of NARC signifies a big change in the electoral politics not only of Kenya but of the East African region as a whole. It has proved that no 'power' can supersede the real power which is the people's power. Having witnessed the dramatic overturning of the popular choice in the neighbouring Zanzibar's elections of both 1995 and 2000, the people of Kenya swore to it that they will never allow such a thing to happen again in East Africa. They protected and guarded their choice. This is a bitter lesson which we have learnt in East Africa. After KANU, the CCM in Zanzibar and Tanzania should also start to count its days!
Ismail Jussa, Zanzibar

Moi began on a similar note as Kibaki - free basic education; later things changed. Should we expect miracles from Kibaki? Only time will tell. With the likes of able leaders like Raila and co, we expect no deviation from the course Kenyans expect you to lead. Good luck and God bless.
Christopher Kims, Kenya

People everywhere always have high hopes when they get a new leader. However, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". I really hope Mr Kibaki won't let his people down.
Garth, Zimbabwe

I was happy to hear about the sweeping changes Kibaki is about to implement. I wish he could also help thousands of graduates who are jobless in Kenya.
Bernard Nyangesi, USA

Congratulation to your new President Kibaki - I am sure that all will work out well for Kenya!
Mary L. Steele, USA

"Everything is possible without Moi".
Tirus, USA

I am very proud of every Kenyan for the successful transition of power that has taken place peacefully in your country. Forget all the little things that critics can say about your country and your people; when it comes to the big picture I give you an A plus. Keep up the good work. Give yourself a hand and pray for us (i.e. we the Somalis).
Yusuf M Ali, USA

Bravo Mr Kibaki. To break free from the grip of corruption, poverty and tribalism is not an easy task. Clear vision is needed before any mission is launched. This may be an example to other Africans nations yearning for democracy.
GURECH, Sudanese in Canada

Three issues: One I believe that although Moi failed as an economic leader, he did make a difference as a peace loving leader and I think Kenyans should congratulate him for holding the country together. Secondly, I believe that the new government must hold accountable some leaders like former minister Biwott who was the key man in the fall of Kenya. Lastly, I believe all Kenyans abroad must heed the call of the new president and return to Kenya to help rebuild the country.
Martin Simiyu, Chicago, USA

I hope to start a business in Kenya and help create jobs for fellow Kenyans

Wakiyo, USA
Most of us abroad did not vote but we are very proud of the result. I hope that we will all take part in rebuilding OUR Nation. I in particular hope to start a business in Kenya and help create jobs for fellow Kenyans.
Wakiyo, USA

NARC - a win, the recovery of the Goldenberg monies will fund the promised free education. The harnessing of Lake Victoria will solve some of our water problems and probably recover the resources locked in the Turkwell Gorge Project - addressing our fuel and energy poverty. The Mombassa free port probably extending to the North Eastern province will create jobs. Community Focused Tourism will direct the resources to the needy. Top of all, not a single member of the KANU-Turncoats should have any power or form part of the new government. Last point, why not introduce the Euro as the trading currency - mint the coins only. Good Luck!
Peter Kuria, Kenyan/World Citizen

Congratulations to Mr. Kibaki. However, just as Moi alone was not responsible for the decay of the country, Kibaki alone is not responsible for building it. Us Kenyans have to do our bit.
Ash, Kenyan living in the UK

Remember that it is all a matter of incremental encroachment - setting achievable goals and working towards them. The current euphoric mood is due to a regime change and we pray that it is accompanied by a similar change in our work ethic.
Richard Karagania, Australia

It is vital that the new Narc government pushes for a united African continent. Imagine the wealth that could be shared by all Africans and their countries if we all came together and had a single currency. No borders. Just free commerce and industry. People will now be flocking to Africa. Remember it is unity which won Narc the elections. And it is also unity which will win Africans prosperity.
Robert Njonjo, Los Angeles, USA

Their attitude towards democracy makes me proud to be an African, since some people from Europe and America think that Africans are not familiar with democracy. As Africans we are left with a few undemocratic "leaders" who also need to be unseated. 2003 is a good start for Mother Africa and Africa.
Matereka Jeremiah ka Xaba, South Africa

Kenyans should not sit back and leave it to Kibaki's government to do all the work

Simon Mbayia, Kenya
Kenyans should not sit back and leave it to Kibaki's government to do all the work. We should instead redouble our efforts in all sectors of the economy to make Kenya what it out to be - a prosperous nation, a model for Africa and the rest of the developing World.
Simon Mbayia, Kenya

The new administration should confront corruption with "extreme prejudice", and move fast to show the world that "we have eradicated institutionalised corruption" and are once again using national resources for national growth. This will allow the administration to attract investment, reject additional loan (debt) and attract development grants.
Gilbert Ogwa, Kenya

Fellow patriots back home, you have made of us who are away and can't vote really proud by voting out the KANU regime and doing so peacefully...hold your heads up high and may the NARC government take note of the trust you have given to them and get down to real nation building.
Owade, USA

I celebrate Kibaki's victory under a tightly held breath. It is unquestionable that he can execute his plan to deliver Kenya from its deplorable state, with good support. However, his cabinet comprises officials whose veins flow with corruption, and whose interests are misaligned with the long-term goals set for Kenya. Once the dust settles, I hope Mr. Kibaki can find the strength to diplomatically "contain" the power granted to those KANU cum NARC officials, such as Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka. Their influence will only serve to slow down the restoration process.
Mwende Mwinzi-Edozie, USA

Can Moi really congratulate himself for this smooth handover after the damage has been done? Should the despiteful regimes of Joseph Kabila, Robert Mugabe commit more crimes before abdication? Surely Mr Kibaki has a lot of difficult times ahead. We have to wait and see if the army interfere, and if he is able to fulfil his promises to his people.
Komba Paul, DR Congo

The task is daunting, resources scarce, but the will is strong

Julius J. Okello, Kenya
We must not bask in the glory of opposition victory. Rather, let's put our hands and heads to work. The task is daunting, resources scarce, but (thank God) the will is strong. Mr President we hope that you keep your promises.
Julius J. Okello, Kenya

Most members of Narc are former KANU and with them in power there is now no way Moi will be investigated for corruption and the atrocities he carried out while in power. Kibaki will never launch an investigation into Moi's legacy because it will drag up a lot of dirt on him and members of Narc from when they were in bed with the enemy. After 24 years under Moi, we suddenly have a well run non-violent election with him promising to respect the results of the poll. Moi has won because he has successfully overcome the possibility of prosecution; I would say it's a beautifully contrived and executed strategy - so much for democracy.
Madzi, Zimbabwe

I wish that Narc didn't get a two-thirds majority in parliament. We need constructive heated debates in parliament and also a system with checks and balances. Rodgers Akombe USA
Rodgers Akombe, USA

Congratulations to Kibaki and his team. Now for the real work starts. It is going to take patient perseverance and tireless effort for at least 5 years to get back to where we were 20 years ago.
Tony, Kenya/USA

Congratulations to all the Kenyans who stood up for what they want and believe in. My only hope is that it will change for the better so that all the young people who are outside Kenya can go back home and build it into a more prosperous country.
Mercy Muthoni, Kenyan in the US

We the people have to change before the leaders and the country can change

Ketan, Kenyan in UK
The euphoria is similar to that at independence - a euphoria of hope, but not of practical solutions. The new President or Parliament really cannot deliver until there is a cultural change against corruption from the bottom-up, not bottom down - after all the leaders only reflect the people who voted for them. We the people have to change before the leaders and the country can change.
Ketan, Kenyan in UK

This serves as a lesson to all Africans; Mwai Kibaki and the coalition should stick to their promises and never at any one time undermine local knowledge.
Dickson Kristian Tukamusiima, Uganda.

I wish this had happened in Zimbabwe at this time. Although Kibaki and his colleagues came from KANU, I don' believe that they still don the old clothes when they were brave enough to refuse Moi's policies and form Narc. They did the right thing and hope Zimbabweans will learn from them NOW and not tomorrow.
Msibi waJoze, Zimbabwe

Congratulations to President Kibaki. A new government has been installed in Kenya without bloodshed! May all the Kenyans thank God who gave the patience to wait for this day, and for all decent people, including the clergy who risked their lives preaching and standing up against the darkness that was slowly engulfing our beautiful country. The sight of all those thousands in Uhuru Park who wanted to breathe the air of the new dawn was incredible. Arise, Kenya, and shine once again among the nations of those who love freedom.
Cathy Carty, UK

Kenya has shown the rest of Africa what bad governance is. Africans are waking up from their sleep and will continue to vote bad governments out of office.
, Liberian/Minnesota U.S.A

First and Foremost the elections prove that multiparty system works in Africa and Kenya is a mature state which can handle change in power without ethnic or party wars.
Dipak, USA

I desperately pray that Mwai Kibaki will fully grasp the power that has been thrust into his hands by a nation crying for hope. Kenya needs a hero prepared to sacrifice himself to break the chains that have held the country hostage to poverty and degradation - a man who understands his place in history and realises that perhaps his whole life has been for such a time as this.
Maureen Akoth, UK

I hope Kibaki's life will be effectively changed by (true) pluralism he once sought to impede. An opportunity he cannot resist!
Moses Kibara, Kenya

'Winds of change' - the people have spoken

Ngarukue Kandengaiza, Botswana
"Winds of change" - the people have spoken. Let all Africans support the new Kenyan government for the benefit of ALL.(AU)
Ngarukue Kandengaiza, Botswana

I would like to thank all Kenyans who exercised their democratic right of voting. The paramount issue is that our new president prioritizes education and health, and fights poverty.
Joe Ngando , Kenya

I wish Mwai Kibaki and Narc all the best - try to remember your promises to the voters and all the people of Kenya
Everest D. Kaombwe, Lincolnshire, UK

As an ex-pat I wish to see a change in attitude at grass roots level, and a more positive outlook towards the future. This country has so much potential; for the last 7 years I have seen only resentment of the government and civil service. Corruption must stop at all levels - otherwise there will be no change.
Horton, Kenya

I hope we will remain united and retain our resolve to vote out leaders who will not do what we elected them for come 2007. I hope the NARC government will open more space for freedom of expression via access to cheap and quality media services by liberalising the licensing of ISPs, radio, and telecommunication. Kenyans let us continue Praying because peace is not an easy thing to maintain.
Edward Okinda, Kenya.

Kenya was, is, and will continue to be Africa's shining star. Kenyans have proved to the world on many occasions that it can retrieve itself from the brink of disaster against odds placed against it. Good luck Kenyans, we are proud of you and wish you well.
Olavo Ferreira, Canada

Let this be the opening act of a upward turn for all of Africa in the 21st century.
Alice, USA

The election victory is the first step towards a bright future. Lets not get carried away though! There is a major battle ahead but if the unity, decency, commitment and determination which characterised the behaviour of Kenyans during the electoral process is anything to go by, we don't have too much to worry about. God bless Kenya!!
Muthoni Muigai, UK

Kenya has set a precedent for other African Nations

Deepen, Kenya/UK
As History is created, Kenya has set a precedent for other African Nations: "Peaceful, Democratic and Transparent Elections". We have proven that we have always been and still are a peace loving nation. God Bless Kenya.
Deepen, Kenya/UK

That the Elections and now the inauguration of the new President have taken place without violence and political intimidation is a great relief for all Kenyans. We can dare hope that a new era for the peace loving, hardworking and development conscious Kenyan nation has begun.
Grace, Kenyan in Germany

This is a wake up call to our African leaders. We need change every two terms; the country is not yours forever - it belongs to the people.
Tamsir Badjan, USA

Kibaki has promised zero tolerance to corruption - a disease we all want buried and forgotten. I am certain President Kibaki will fulfil all that he has promised Kenya and the World. God bless Kenya.
John Maina, Kenya

I am 26 and it is true that most of the younger generation have only known of one president and regime. We were yearning for a change. We would have wanted a younger man at the helm but Kibaki is an intelligent politician who is respected by all. I have full confidence that Kenya will bounce back under his rule.
Patrick Gitau, Kenyan in London

Kibaki won because he was competing against the young and inexperienced Kenyatta. Had it been Moi, we will be talking the normal story. So in as much as we celebrate the victory, let us not forget that victories like Chiluba's against Kaunda are still not in sight. We are still a long way from real democracy - especially considering that the colourful coalition is formed from the ashes of the outgoing KANU. We ask whether it will be a new baby or new wine in old bottles.
Takawira Dururu, Zimbabwe

Many never imagined that we (African) can do it without foreign forces at bay to help stop the violence. Now it is time for our newly elected president and all political party representatives to deliver.
Oganda Bwatika Okerosi, Minnesota USA

Kenyans should also be aware that change is not going to be realised overnight. It will not take a month or a year to put right Moi's 24 year misrule.
Bernard Waithanji, England

Moi may have his faults but his peaceful exit is an example for other African leaders to follow

Julie Auma, Kenya
Mr Moi may have his faults but his peaceful exit is an example for other African leaders to follow. As for change in Kenya - let us wait and see - because we have elected the same hooligans who until early this year were in KANU. All the best to Mr Kibaki.
Julie Auma, Kenya

I used to say: "I wish my country Ethiopia is like the USA". Now I say I wish my country would become a democracy; I wish to hear and see my people rule themselves. Will the Ethiopian EPRDF learn from Kenya? Will it change itself from a war loving to peace loving party? I wish my country is like Kenya.
Wendimu Benti, USA

Kenyans should be congratulated for exercising a democratic election. Hopefully the neighbouring countries will learn - in particular Ethiopia.
African for Africa, Nairobi

Congratulations to the Kenyan people on having exercised their democratic rights and got rid of a corrupt government by peaceful and legitimate means. This is a great example to Africa and the rest of the world, demonstrating that democracy can and will work, given half a chance. Let's hope this is the pattern for the future.
Laurence, UK

I hope that this will be an incentive for millions of Kenyans abroad to go back home and start rebuilding our country. Kibaki can't do it alone, he needs us. I thank God for Kenya, and for NARC winning.
Rev. Boniface Mosoti Nyagaka, Kenyan (UK)

The best thing about this historic victory is that it shows the power of the electorate. Henceforth, all Kenyan governments will be held accountable for their actions. Bravo Kenyans for the political maturity and the precedent you have set for the other corrupt African governments. To NARC, I must say that if they fail to deliver as they have promised, they too will be shown the door in the next election.
Tunte, Canada

Kibaki should be aware that he is accompanied by some turncoats who merely want a seat in parliament

Odhiambo Ooko, New Zealand
The landslide victory of Kibaki and NARC is the beginning of the arduous task ahead of him and his team. Kibaki should be aware that he is accompanied by some turncoats who merely want a seat in parliament. It is the time to put words into action - he must show Kenyans that he is a man of substance.
Odhiambo Ooko, New Zealand

At last, Kenyans have got what they have wanted - Change! President Kibaki will be handed power on a wheel chair which is symbolic: that's where our country is - injured, but at the same time we have hope of healing and standing on our own feet.
Tabitha Mburu, Kenya

Congratulations to all Kenyans. President Moi deserves a commendation for what he has done now. Whatever fault he has done while in office is more than compensated for his good will this time. I think we Ethiopians can learn a lesson from Kenya.
Tassew M, Ethiopia

Pressure must be put on Kibaki to fulfil his promises and improve governance. Kenyans, keep your vigilance on the new government. Don't slumber like Zambians did when they removed Kenneth Kaunda in 1991 only for Chiluba to replace him. Learn from other African countries that have trodden a similar path to you.
Mthoniswa Banda, Lusaka, Zambia

Those criticizing Kenya's new government have not lived in Kenya long enough to know the difference between Kanu and Narc. Kanu was run by one man who thought that he can fool Kenyans forever while Narc is run by a group of elects called The Summit - which represents all tribes. This is what we call unity and it is good for the country.
Faustine, Kenya

Kenya's revival does not depend on new leaders being put in place

Kuda Zimombe, Zimbabwe
Change will occur mostly at the top - a new president, cabinet and a new set of cronies. The people will continue suffering, but not because of the new crop of leaders. Kenya's revival - and indeed the revival of all Third World Countries - does not depend on new leaders being put in place. Kenya's recovery depends on all stakeholders in the international community being committed to the eradication of Third World poverty. Mwayi Kibaki will not create wealth. He has been vice - president before, and during his prime time he did not improve things for the better. I do not see how an aging individual will have the vigour to solve Kenya's problems and set an example to an equally aging crop of leaders in Africa.
Kuda Zimombe, Zimbabwe

It may take some time to sort out Kenya's problems but I have confidence in Kibaki. My only concern is that many members of NARC are former KANU members. I'm worried that they might return to their bad habits. I hope not. This is a new era for Kenya and I am looking forward to what our future has in store.
Kubai, Canada

Mr Kibaki has been one of the most diligent (and experienced) leaders in Kenya. Corruption is our number one enemy; we are possibly among the world leaders in this respect. His promise to fight corruption and demand accountability from all leaders will take us back to being the strongest African economy.
Simon Macharia, Kenyan in USA

From now on we must say "NEVER AGAIN" to the possibility of one man or one group of people cowing us down.
David F Amakobe, USA

I believe the new president will crush corruption and make the necessary changes in a country facing economy meltdown.
Malual Deng, Sudanese in Australia

I hope that Kenyans remain democratically proactive

Alice, Ugandan-Canadian, Ottawa
Watching the Kenyan elections online, one cannot help but thank Moi for stepping down honourably. The greatest challenge for the new government will be to decide on priorities for action - given the many pressing issues facing Kenyans. I hope that all Kenyans remain democratically proactive, and voice the demands of citizens instead of leaving it to the government to decide.
Alice, Ugandan-Canadian, Ottawa

As the saying goes in Yoruba Land goes: "The eyes see well in the night do not itch in the morning". The fact that Mwai Kibaki and Narc are the new team in power, convinces me that the desired change in Kenya has come to stay; Narc sure know where they are coming from.
Adeyeye David Adetunji, Nigeria

I wish Mwai Kibaki and Narc all the best and try to remember your promise to the voters and all the people of Kenya
Everest D. Kaombwe, Lincolnshire, UK

We are extremely happy to hear of such mature democracy in Kenya. We pray that the same happens to other East African states - especially Uganda.
Kiberu George, UK

The election results reflect the continuing struggle between powerful and less powerful members of KANU. Kenyans will witness an intensification of institutionalised corruption in government departments.
Richard Okee, United Kingdom

Well done Kenya! The whole continent of Africa is proud of what the people of Kenya have just done. My hope is that the new administration will honour its promises. The first task, amongst other important agendas, should be to strengthen the foundations of democracy so that no dictator can manipulate the constitution again. Kenya is a rich country and should be able to feed, educate and house its people providing the government is not corrupt. I am sure the whole Africa wishes you success in your efforts to improve the lives of Kenyan people. Good luck.
Geoffrey Nkwazi, Malawi (USA)

Thanks to God for the peaceful elections and the new government. I believe Kenyans have seen the havoc that corruption can wreak, and how dangerous it is for a government to lack vision. The change should be a call for all Kenyans to join hands and start rebuilding our country.
Patrick Kimani, Kenyan in UK

Of free and fair elections - to this end we have shown the world that we are a bastion of peace and democracy. Let us hope that in 2007 we will be able to say with confidence that the joy which accompanied victory of these elections was well founded. Congratulations NARC on this well deserved victory.
Maureen Awuor, USA

Maybe a new wind of change is blowing across the African continent

Charles Nelson, Zimbabwe/UK
Maybe a new wind of change is blowing across the African continent - one which will see any and all corrupt regimes with no consideration for their people deposed. Maybe Zimbabweans will be able to look north and be given a new will to change our situation.
Charles Nelson, Zimbabwe/UK

If NARC wants to be successful, then tribalism, personal ambition and individualism must be ELIMINATED.
Deogratias Peter Mushi, Kibosho Tanzania

I believe that the change to come after the Kenyan election will depend largely on the people who are voting to bring about the change. They themselves must be willing to change the corrupt and divisive attitude the past has instilled in them.
Karamo Kromah, Liberian refugee in Guinea

Karamo Kromah could not be more right. One person cannot build a nation. Every Kenyan must be fully committed to rebuilding their country. Seize this opportunity to honour your obligations to your homeland and your people. This includes ex-pat Kenyans living abroad. God bless the Kenyan people. Your courage and hope are truly inspiring.
Tara, USA

Winning an election is only the first step. The hard work comes while in office. From now on and for real change, we (Kenyan citizens) need to hold those in leadership accountable.
Muyu, Kenya

Kenyans should vote in peace, free from violence and rigging. I hope nobody will tamper with votes; give Kenyans a chance to vote a good leader, like Kibaki, because he deserve to win. We wish Nark big victory since they declared to change Kenya. Raph Mbondo.
Raph Mbondo, (Kenyan) Seoul/Korea

I am happy we are going to have a change, and Narc is headed for a win

Kahugu Ngugi, Kenyan in Berlin, Germany
I am happy we are going to have a change, and Narc is headed for a win. My only worry is that if they do win with landslide votes as opinions polls have shown, we might be back to a one party state. My appeal to Kenyans is give Kibaki the votes, but give him a strong opposition that will closely check his work. Otherwise we will have ourselves to blame. Remember the Zambians when they voted Chiluba.
Kahugu Ngugi, Kenyan in Berlin, Germany

Mr Moi is doing a good job as outgoing president. There seems to be some seriousness in what he is saying about handing power to whoever wins the elections. The idea of counting votes at the polling station is yet another plus for Mr Moi. The issue of mystery votes on the way to wherever ballot boxes are to be taken to may not arise now. However, I hope election officers at polling stations will have enough security to protect them and votes from unruly hooligans. If that system works for Kenya, other African countries might take a cue from it. Mr Moi might end up being the father of Kenyan democracy. I wish Kenyans clear skies and a warm day on their elections day.
Handa Siangonya, Zambian in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

I believe the new party will win the election if it is being handled in a good way, and President Moi should give the new party an opportunity to rule the country, and see if there will be a change.
Simon Omot, USA

Kenya has hit rock bottom on many key issues that affect people's lives. I see this as the turning point, a chance to inject enthusiasm into the people. May Kenyans seize this rare chance to determine their destiny.
Clement Lang'at, Kenya

Change is welcome but I am a bit apprehensive over the transition. I hope that a true democratic spirit prevails over Moi during this time. In my opinion NARC is getting the majority seats including the presidency, therefore its upon Moi and KANU to make sure that we continue as a stable peaceful nation. Secondly the oncoming government should address corruption, infrastructure, health and education issues immediately.
Connie Maundu, USA

I do not see what the big excitement is about. The leadership of NARC are exactly the same sort of people as the leadership of KANU; not just figuratively but literally as well. In the 1990s, when they move from Kaunda to Chiluba, the Zambians learned a lesson that we Nigerians have known for a while. Change of government is meaningless when the government and the opposition are the same money-seeking, power-seeking crew.
Ike Naijaman, Nigeria

The greater benefit in opposition victory is founded on the necessity of avoiding revenge

Maliki, Hashimu Yahaya, Congolese in Canada, Toronto
A new political leadership in Kenya is a must. Both for establishing a tradition of peaceful transfer of power and giving new ideas and impulse the country needs. The greater benefit in opposition victory is founded on the necessity of avoiding revenge. Otherwise, there is risk of rebellion as in DR Congo and Ivory Coast. I hope Kenya election will inspire neighbouring countries.
Maliki, Hashimu Yahaya, Congolese(DRC) in Canada, Toronto

I'm glad it is time to recultivate the land of Kenya. We pray for no similar clouds to form the long time black rains that devastated our beloved country. I hope to see a new change and we all pray for peaceful and fair elections. GO IN PEACE TORO!
BEATRICE, USA

At least a change is as good as a rest but God let the change not be with the handpicked Uhuru. God help Kenya to get a change. We wish Kibaki is going to win with a majority. God help Africa, help Kenya. AMINA.
Robert Okuna, Tanzania

More than fifty percent of Kenyans live below the food poverty line. This number is growing annually. This is the legacy a Government led by Danial Arap Moi for over twenty years. The vast majority of Kenyans are not just voting for a change, or a chance for prosperity, they are voting for a chance to survive.
Rohan Patel, Kenya

I have liked the run up to Kenya's presidential election because less has been heard concerning violence, intimidation and loss of blood as in the 2001 Uganda's presidential election. Uganda should learn from the Kenya's maturity in politics so as to bring some democracy in East Africa. I support any candidate as long as the election is free and fair.
BUSINGE BADRU, UGANDA

My main jubilation is that one of the most corrupt men in Africa is leaving power. As a professional Kenyan working abroad I am now packing my bags ready to go back and build the country again. The joy I have of the unfolding change is beyond description. This is one of those rare dreams that come true. Whoever wins will be for the better for all Kenyans.
BLAISE ODHIAMBO, USA

Democracy, peaceful change of a government, free and fair elections, non-violence in politics are good lessons for us in the Kenyan elections.
John Wani Simon, Sudan

I wish stones were people; Moi would have turned them to be his voters. But no way - Kenyans are already tired of corrupt leaders who are only after their bellies. God help Kenya out this terrible mess of corruption. My hat is off for the third President Mwai Kibaki. Kenyans this is a time to pray and to act. Goodbye Kanu forever and ever.
ROBERT OKUNA, Kenya

I hope our new president will be conscientious, pragmatic and Neapolitan when governing Kenya

Maggie Nato Lusweti, Maryland, USA
Let freedom ring. I'm looking forward to a "free & fair election." A new day for Kenya and Kenyans both at home and abroad. Our people have suffered far too long. From colonialism to neo-colonialism. Whoever becomes president should unite the country and hopefully make some strides in eliminating corruption, tribalism, complacency and breath in an air of hope. I hope our new president will be conscientious, pragmatic and Neapolitan when governing Kenya. The Moi era was full of surreptitious and pernicious leaders. All they did was loot. Hopefully, and thank God almighty, "A NEW DAY HAS COME."
Maggie Nato Lusweti, Maryland, USA

I'm tired of African dictators congratulating one another for `winning' the elections. I wish Mwai Kibaki to win the polls to break the cycle the Mugabes, the Mois etc.
Morgan Moseki, Botswana

One fact that has emerged in the run up to the elections is that NARC, which was perceived to be a loose conglomerate of sorts, has displayed a strong sense of team work. Deserving a mention for their hard work are Raila, Saitoti and Kalonzo, who have maintained the team focused in the absence of their captain following the road accident. Kenya's revival is assured given these types of team players - God Bless Kenya.
Mutai, Texas, USA

O God of all creation, Bless this our land and Nation, Justice be our shield and defender, May will dwell in unity, Peace and liberty, Plenty be found within our bonders! This is my prayer for the new era of our country. God bless Kenya!
ORAH MWAURA, Los Angeles

Take a hard look at your options and do not let some smart campaigning influence your vote

Epie, USA
I do not foresee a change. The main opposition alliance is composed of recycled politicians from KANU. If Kenyans truly want a change, they would vote for someone who has not had a position of power in the past. After all, in African politics, policy is made by the big man and cronies, and last time I checked that has included the Odingas, the Kibakis, the Mois and the Kenyattas. So what kind of change are we really talking about here? I am not Kenyan, but I say don't be deceived by old players in new jerseys. Take a hard look at your options and do not let some smart campaigning influence your vote. Make a heartfelt choice. One you can live with for the next five years. Good luck and happy New Year.
Epie, USA

We from all over the world need drastic changes in Kenya that means new government for the suffering Kenyan people, no rigging in Kenya we pray so I hope the old dogs don't use there old tactics to come back
Malko, Sweden

Well, according to what has been happening in the Kenyan political grounds for the past couple of months, I seriously believe that Kanu and Moi are but spent forces, the majority of Kenyans don't want to hear about them and whoever comes into that line of politics and this sets out the opposition and the Narc as the serious contenders, and I strongly believe that Narc is out to win this historic and challenging election in the Kenyan political records. And with the current combinations of the leading figures in the Narc I think we expect to have a well managed and run Kenyan government.
ABDULLAHI MAXAMED , UNITED STATES

Whether Moi and his cronies relinquish power or cling to it, like most African despots by rigging votes in favour of KANU, is a matter to be seen. Kenyans need a fresh face and the foremost priority for the new leader is to rid the rampant corruption that has become an incessant cancer within government institutions. Moi's regime has left a legacy of greed, corruption and dilapidated infrastructures in what was a beautiful Kenya. Hopefully, Kenyans are hoping to see light at the end of tunnel if the incoming leadership can attract foreign investments which will revive the economy, as well as establish peace and security which took a severe downturn under Moi's tenure.
RIGGI, Kenyan exile in CANADA

I would like the election to go peacefully, we don't want the country to be in violence and we want the new leader to act fairly and without corruption.'
Jacob Deng, USA

The eyes of lake Victoria are open to see to it that Narc wins this election and brings Kenya on the world global market, that will rescue the hidden misery in rural and cities of Kenya.
KYSON MTEPA, BELGIUM

There is no doubt about the winner ie the opposition leader will win the race but the problem is; is Moi really able to hand over the power? And even if the coming President wins the race and comes into office I do not think that he will restructure all the state authorities, especially the corruption which is widely spread over the nation. Anyway, let god bless that country.
Wondwossen Kassa, USA

It is time for a clean up and an almost certain win by the united opposition

Raymond Obiero, US
Kenyans are finally able to get rid of the Status quo. Kanu has brought about the social and economic plight that plagues the country. It is time for a clean up and an almost certain win by the united opposition (Narc) would give the country a much needed breath of fresh air.
Raymond Obiero, US

Kenya is a country with lots of resources that unfortunately have been misappropriated by the KANU government. If the opposition forms the next government and sticks to their agenda of revamping the economy and zero tolerance on corruption, then Kenya will be an economic success story out of Africa.
Wanjala Wachana, Seattle, WA. U.S.A

Democracy is about options. KANU has had 39 years, Moi 24. KANU and Moi have failed Kenyans miserably - the only thing that they have succeeded in doing is driving a wedge between tribes and institutionalizing corruption. I'm looking forward to the inauguration of our president in waiting Emilio Mwai Kibaki. A change is as good as rest.
Okomo, Atlanta, GA

There is no other choice for a country ravaged by endemic poverty caused by Mr Moi's Governing party KANU. A new Government, completely different in Leadership is what Kenyans are yearning for this time and God is on the side of the opposition party NARC. Kenya is beautiful and so are its people, hence the desire for a beautiful change of guard.
Mukabi Wa Giathi, Atlanta , USA

It's my prayer that whoever will be the president will be God's choice for us. We should support the winner because as a country we need a lot of healing, especially the economic state.
Joyce Rop, Kenya

I hope the Narc members will be form more than seventy percent of the next parliament with Mwai Kibaki as the third Kenyan president. I would like to see a constitution in place by the end of next year.
Matthew Mulumba, USA

Kibaki should win.... Kanu has really destroyed that beautiful country once with a promising economy and nice towns.
John Evans, Botswana

If Narc wins, as the opinion polls show, Kenyans should expected a power struggle within the new government, and if Kanu wins then it is the continuation of yesterday. So I mean to say no difference for the common man.
Hajir, Sweden

Thanks Lord, at last Kenyans can breath and have a renewed hope of better Governance. We pray to God that the next Kenyan leader will understand that 30 million people bank on him for a better tomorrow. Kenyans need a turn around kind of situation in all sectors, God bless Kenya.
Josphat Mwangi, USA

This election is based on two clear concepts: Regime Change and the destruction of the era (and mechanisms) of Personalized Rule (which will only be met through the writing of a new constitution). If Kibaki wins, many are confident these drastic and very needed changes will happen. The consequences of any delay in meeting these political changes (through a KANU victory) can only end in catastrophe.
Shermit Lamba, Canada

I expect that President Moi and his agents will allow the fear of God and the love of Kenya to dictate their attitude to the poles. Kenya nation should never be allowed to witness violence because they want to claim exclusive right to govern it. Their best has not been good enough, granted they have tied.
Jide Yusuf, Nigeria

It looks like Narc will win the elections and Mr Kibaki will be the third president of Kenya. I wish him all the best. Kenya is in a total mess, so if the new government wants to succeed then it, and the rest of Kenyans must tackle bribery and corruption first, as this has been one of the main reasons for the country's downfall.
Kalapi Jani, Australia

Whatever the result of the election, I hope that President Moi will retire completely from politics and not interfere any more in the running of the country. His legacy is one of corruption and mismanagement, with only lip-service paid to democracy and respecting the rights of the opposition.
David Hay Jones, USA

Kenyans choose a new president

Key stories

Inauguration day

Moi steps down

Background

INTERACTIVE GUIDE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

14 Oct 02 | Africa
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