Voting kicked off smoothly in Kampala, as Kenyans in Uganda joined others to vote for their next president.
At the Kenyan High Commission in Kololo, voters started turning up as early as 6 am and by 9am, many had finished casting their vote.
Uganda is home to 15000 Kenyans but only 1200 are registered voters.
Speaking to Chimpreports, Ombeva Malande, a Kenyan voter said he was happy that he could vote for his favorite candidate, despite being out of Kenya.
“I pray the exercise back in Kenya moves smoothly without violence like it was 10 years ago,” Ombeva Malande said.
Asked on why he thinks of violence, he said the tight race between the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga implies that the margin might not be big enough to be accepted by the either loser.
“Kenyatta is making his final term if he wins, and his closest competitor Odinga has competed more than twice and this will his be his last chance because he will be above the maximum 75 years next time. This is bringing up tension because each of them wants to win and lead the country for the last time,” he said.
“We pray the process is smooth and the loser accepts in good faith.”
Another voter Esther Wanjugu however, is confident signs so far indicate the 2017 polls will come out smoothly. She expects people to come out united after today’s election.
“The country has been divided by this election but we pray that at the end, there will be unity. We hope this will bring us together to build the nation to; raise vision 2030 and not fighting each other,”Wanjugu noted.
The Kenyan High Commissioner to Uganda, Geoffrey L. Okanga assured people that the polls will go on smoothly without any form of violence.
“The last successful 2013 election is enough to allay the fears of violence. There is no need to fear,” he said.
“There are mechanisms put in place like the court system for those who are not contented with the results. It’s good to speculate but it won’t reach there.”
Asked to explain whether scenarios like the recent one where Chris Msando, the head of IT at Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was killed do not point to violence, Okanga dispelled this.
“It was an isolated case of death and that doesn’t point to violence.”
According to William Kahindi, deputy returning officer at the Kenyan High Commission, there are 2 polling stations, each having 592 voters.
He revealed that counting will kick off as soon as voting ends and the winner will be announced before the official results are signed by the candidates’ agents and sent to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in Kenya.
Kenya’s presidential race is between the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta standing on Jubilee ticket and joint opposition National Super Alliance’s (NASA) Raila Odinga.