On Monday, March 4th, Kenya held its first presidential election in five years, and the world was watching. Early Saturday morning – at about 3 a.m. – the IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) declared Uhuru Kenyatta the winner, which was surprising for some, since many expected a runoff. To be declared president, one candidate of the eight had to win more then fifty percent of the vote, making the chances of winning a majority unlikely. Uhuru’s opponents handled the news well, and peace prevailed. Student Lilian wrote, “The elections were done peacefully. There were no fights in any part of the country. The people experienced the violence of 2007 and learned from it. The votes were counted electronically which helped prevent fighting since they can’t cheat when counting them. This enabled us to avoid violence.”

Last week, in honor of the elections, Daraja’s debate team held a formal debate that included all students. The topic was: “A peaceful nation depends on good leaders and not necessarily the citizens.” Girls spent Monday afternoon passionately discussing this topic, and in the end, it was determined that the debate ended in a tie. There were insightful comments from both sides.

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Proposition:

Florence: “Leaders are role models and the people look up to them. A leader should prevent people from fighting.”

Teddy: “Leaders control a country. Kenya isn’t made only of one leader. . . There are over a hundred leaders in Kenya. If they come together and say they’re going to have peace, they’ll surely have peace.”

Carol argued that leaders control the distribution of resources. If leaders unfairly distribute resources, conflict will arise; if they distribute them well, there will be peace. She cited education as an example, saying that it is fairly allotted in Nairobi and people retain peace. However, in Marsabit (Northern Kenya) education is not fairly allotted, which causes people to strike and turn to violence.

Irene: “Here we are talking about good leaders, not bad leaders. If we have good leaders, we have good citizens.”

 

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Opposition:

Caro