Statement by Kofi Annan on Elections in Kenya

I applaud the people of Kenya for their commitment to democracy, which they demonstrated so enthusiastically during the recent elections, notably by turning out in such high numbers.

I congratulate President Kenyatta on his re-election and his victory speech in which he reached out to his rival and called on all Kenyans to reconcile and embrace peace. I urge him to pursue these efforts to bring together all elements of Kenyan society to move the country forward.

I commend the leader of the Opposition, Raila Odinga for the peaceful electoral campaign that he led. He has been a courageous defender of democracy. So I urge him now to pursue his concerns over the electoral outcome through the due process of law and to put the interest of the nation first, as he has patriotically done on past occasions.

I join Kenyans in mourning those who have already died over this election, and sincerely hope there will be no more. Peace, stability and prosperity depend on the political leaders of Kenya. They should be careful with their rhetoric and actions in this tense atmosphere and I urge them to act responsibly.

The people of Kenya have once again shown their commitment and desire for a peaceful future. I call on all of Kenya’s leaders to ensure that their hopes are not disappointed.

Open Letter To Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga

Baba, no matter the outcome of the presidential elections, your place in the History of our country is cast in stone. No other leader, bar President Daniel Arap Moi has mentored leaders across the country. From Mombasa to Turkana to Garissa to Busia to Kajiado, and even in Meru, you picked nondescripts and gave them national profile.

Personally, I wanted you to be President and I voted for you. Many conveniently forget that without you, Kenya wouldn’t have been a multi party democracy. Moi, was there before Yoweri Museveni and Robert Mugabe. Hadn’t you made possible for Kenya to be multi-party, Moi will still be President now. Your father also made sure that Jomo Kenyatta became our first Prime Minister then President.

With time, our electoral process is getting better each election year, courtesy of your standing up for a credible process. Kenya is a beacon of democracy, thanks to you.

Not being our President doesn’t diminish your contribution. Many have become great without occupying a political office. Mahatma Gandhi demurred political office. Nelson Mandela reluctantly served one term. Dalai Lamai has never occupied a political office.

At 72, you have so much time to take the presidency of providing mentorship and moral leadership for the next generation of leadership. Continue playing your role to see to it that the Letter and Spirit of the Constitution are implemented. Make sure that no region, no tribe, no individual is left behind. Make sure that no one will be discriminated because of tribe or creed.

You have been abused, ridiculed and delegitimized. You have been caricatured. Even fake websites were set up to create false stories about you. You have been made the bogeyman in every General Elections.

For one moment moment, I have never wavered in my belief that you are a true patriot and selfless leader. In fullness of time, this country will give you the honor you richly deserve. Your name is etched in the stars and in our hearts. We are because of your contribution.

I urge you that if IEBC declares Uhuru Kenyatta as re-elected, take the high road and place a call to him. Take the high road and accept the results even if flawed. Am not in any way saying we should encourage electoral fraud. But at times in life, we make decisions for a bigger good. Lord Jesus, said that unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed, but if it dies it produces many seeds. In subordinating our individual dreams, we open opportunities for many others.

Let your Presidential dreams be the kernel of wheat that falls to the ground. Be the mustard seed. You will always be the people’s President.

Yours Sincerely,