Friday, August 6, 2010



Interim Independent Electoral Commission chairman Ahmed Isaack Hassan during a briefing on the Kenya referendum at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, August 4, 2010.  Photo/WILLIAM OERI

Interim Independent Electoral Commission chairman Ahmed Isaack Hassan during a briefing on the Kenya referendum at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, August 4, 2010. Photo/WILLIAM OERI

By NATION Reporter
Posted Thursday, August 5 2010 at 04:29


Less than 12 hours after the polls closed in Wednesday’s referendum in Kenya, provisional results showed supporters of a new constitution headed for a landslide win.

According to results from the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), the Yes side had 4,141,521 votes (67 per cent) against the No camp's 2,054,946 (33 per cent).

Less than 12 hours after the polls closed in Wednesday’s referendum in Kenya, provisional results showed supporters of a new constitution headed for a landslide win.

With a lead of more than two million votes, and quite a few Yes strongholds still to report, it seemed not even a miracle could turn the tides in favour of the No camp. Indeed as dawn approached, it looked likely that the Yes vote could even climb to at least 70 per cent.

The law requires that for the proposed constitution to pass, more than 50 per cent of the voters who turn out must support it.

The Yes campaign, led by President Kibaki, 79, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 65, had a disorganised start, although opinion polls consistently showed them leading.

The No group, led by several churches, a few dissident ministers, most notably Higher Education minister William Ruto, and former president Daniel arap Moi, 86, looked in good early form.

More impassioned, and exploiting the emotional issues of abortion, which it claimed (inaccurately) was being legalised by the proposed constitution through an ambiguous clause, and the fact the (Islamic family) kadhi courts had been retained, the No side was on message straight from when the whistle blew.

However, the document was loaded with too many attractive clauses to lose. Its bill of rights is easily the most ambitious in Africa. It dramatically reduces the power of the president, expands parliamentary oversight over the executive, and provides for dual citizenship.

For a country where almost every middle class family has at least one child living or working abroad, mostly in the west, this clause was a difficult one to defeat.

For Mr Kibaki, the victory allows him to refurbish his reformist credentials and leave behind a worthy legacy when he retires in 2012. The President had been tarnished by the December 2007 election, which he was widely seen to have won fraudulently. The dispute over the results led to the worst political violence Kenya had witnessed since its independence in 1964.

1,133 people were killed in the violence and 650,000 displaced. Kenya stepped back from the brink only after a negotiated settlement led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan resulted in a 50-50 power-sharing between Kibaki and his main rival, Raila Odinga, who is now prime minister in the coalition government that was formed.

For Mr Odinga, the success of the Yes, which he led for several weeks alone before Kibaki joined the fray, bolsters his presidential hopes in 2012.

Indeed the votes from his home region of Nyanza and Western were dizzyingly high, weighing it at 92 and 80 per cent respectively.

Big names, big money, and state machinery served the Yes side well, but they were also gifted by Moi’s high profile role on the No side. Mr Moi was hugely unpopular, and Kenyans tend to treat him like the mad uncle who is locked away in the attic. They will let him be, as long as he doesn’t intervene too much in politics.

At the height of the campaigns, he got in a verbal spat with an unusually animated Kibaki. If that did anything, it seems to have convinced nearly all the undecided voters to fall on the Yes side. Commentators noted that every time Mr Moi opened his mouth to criticise the proposed constitution, he recruited 1,000 votes for the Yes.

For Kenya as a country, a Yes vote is also some form of national redemption. In December 2002, Kenya became the first country in the wider Eastern Africa where an opposition ousted a long-ruling party through a democratic vote.

But the euphoria soon dissipated as the opposition coalition descended into bickering and the same kind of corruption that had discredited the Moi regime. The post-election violence that followed the December 2007 poll, enveloped Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, in a cloud of despair and self-doubt.

With this referendum, the interim election commission organised easily the most efficient and open vote in Africa. And, after being caught asleep on the job last time, this time the security services left nothing to chance.

Security forces were deployed in large numbers in the volatile Rift Valley, where most of the last post-election and displacements took place.

Comments 75 comments so far

  1. Submitted by ahadiyetu
    Posted August 06, 2010 09:44 AM

    It is so demeaning for the media to show Rift valley a volatile. It is not! Chaos happened everywhere in Kenya yet the media always potray the Rift as volatile. When you go to Kisumu you see burnt buildings in the central business District yet they seem to close their eyes on this. It is time that the media stop being biased. The referendum was about changing the way of managing affairs in Kenya. YES won and NO won. Even Kriggler and Waki told us that the media played part in the post election violence.

  2. Submitted by odhiamboondoro
    Posted August 06, 2010 08:56 AM

    Yes we can bury the past but it will be suicidal not to learn object lessons from that past. A nation that forgets its history commits itself to a wierd dance.

  3. Submitted by rofi
    Posted August 06, 2010 07:56 AM

    Please let us not forget the splendid job that COTU and bro Atwoli did. Their contribution was significant. Cheers Atwoli

  4. Submitted by mungai63
    Posted August 05, 2010 07:46 PM

    Kenya won,nobody lost but when will the implemention start.There is no clause in the document giving powers to your president to exempt anybody from paying tax.And for that MPs including your CEO must start paying tax otherwise he should dissolve parliament.

  5. Submitted by beejaychester
    Posted August 05, 2010 07:09 PM

    @werssylwer and pnjau you anti-reformist need to shut up once and for all. If you don't want reforms go live in a hole in Timbuktu. Don't exemplify your ignorance with your bigoted statements here in Kenya. If it's too hot in the kitchen please find somewhere else.

  6. Submitted by pnjau
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:32 PM

    Wake up guys and stop pointing fingers at individuals. YES and NO teams are Kenyans. The new constitution has it's own weaknesses if not addressed will spoil everything. West is watching us closely to make a mess and laugh at us. we are quick to pick western ideals without evaluating.

  7. Submitted by werssylwer
    Posted August 05, 2010 04:54 PM

    Reading comments here i am left believing that we havent matured at all. Why insult people for speaking their mind and exercising their rights? The YES have carried the day, so what? Must we abusive others for it?

  8. Submitted by Sam1jere
    Posted August 05, 2010 04:31 PM

    For me the chief loser remains the church, which unfortunately misled the flock with alarmist tactics more associated with politicians! A shame really. Kenyans were tired or eternal perambulation over a new Constitution. Kudos to Kenyans overall.

  9. Submitted by done
    Posted August 05, 2010 04:30 PM

    It doesn't make sense to rubbish those who disagreed with clauses in the proposed constitution. They views are just as important as your own;respect them, otherwise this constitution will be nothing but a piece of paper.

  10. Submitted by charlesnyambane
    Posted August 05, 2010 04:30 PM

    Bravo!! There is a political maturity trend that has been hinted by the REDS conceeding defeat. Whether you won or were won we are one. Let us pull together and build Kenya.

  11. Submitted by fmusyoka1
    Posted August 05, 2010 04:21 PM

    The Kenya constitution will govern both reds and greens.Let's forge forward together as a nation.GREENS+REDS=UNITED KENYA! For the best future of our generations,all issues should be approached diligently and with sobriety.No chest thumbing or arrogance!The constitution is for all Kenyans Period!WIN-WIN FOR ALL. MUSYOKA-USA

  12. Submitted by kulalij
    Posted August 05, 2010 03:30 PM

    legislation should be enacted in future to bar predecessors from antagonizing the current head of state.

  13. Submitted by linkman
    Posted August 05, 2010 03:07 PM

    Let the greens and the reds join hands in toasting for green revolution.this was like frendly game so there is no need of ill filling,to me it was more like carnival

  14. Submitted by Thabari
    Posted August 05, 2010 02:49 PM

    Good analysis for a new Kenya, keep it that way. You probably sense the new freedom of expression guaranteed. Now we must move quickly to get rid of the provincial administration so the executive will never again restrict our freedoms so much. Viva Kenya!

  15. Submitted by rubicon_001
    Posted August 05, 2010 02:38 PM

    Now that we have it (new constitution) shall we now deal with those parties (political) that killed their way to power?

  16. Submitted by catojohns
    Posted August 05, 2010 02:29 PM

    Kenya is a true democracy, who doesn't agree to that? all entitled to his or her decision but to the common good of this great country. The greens have said we need a change and the Reds have said yeah but there are things we need to amend after the change, because it is all ours as Kenyans.

  17. Submitted by mulosh
    Posted August 05, 2010 01:43 PM

    Its great the consitution has passed. Nonetheless, the work of implementing it will be dirty and outright difficult for whoever will do. The constitution is full of what and who, but not how. And thats when we will again get polarised and petty. So I am an optimist, but also a realist.

  18. Submitted by beautycaren84
    Posted August 05, 2010 12:47 PM

    i dont understandno one is a demonwe are all kenyans,use another word gentleman as i thought you were

  19. Submitted by obuwahfred
    Posted August 05, 2010 12:25 PM

    The people of Kenya have spoken clearly with a loud voice, which the whole has seen. Our MPs are going back to parliament to work on the implemetation processes, and they should keep in mind that this is the same document they approved in parliament that the Kenyan people have possitively responded to. They are now expected to work swiftly and allow the people of kenya to move on. It's time to get to Canaan.

  20. Submitted by mossk
    Posted August 05, 2010 12:20 PM

    Thank you for giving me my citizenship back.Now i wll be proud to come home as a KENYAN and not as a FOREIGNER.

  21. Submitted by LibertySays
    Posted August 05, 2010 12:05 PM

    its_me @11.28 a.m., I also voted No for the same reasons you allude to, but don't pour cold water on the result! It's a rout, Yes wameshinda; the country has spoken in very clear and concise terms. Let's just pick up from where we are and get on with the next step of the reform process, roho safi. Odhiodongo@11.38 a.m., I debated you some times on this forum: I am more than happy to concede your side and argument carried the day!

  22. Submitted by Isaya Baraza
    Posted August 05, 2010 11:41 AM

    I envy Ruto for a popularity contest with the mighty.But is he doing good to his community or bad? What will he be remembered for generations to come? We Kenyans have to rise above tribal cacoons and stay focus.

  23. Submitted by odhiodongo
    Posted August 05, 2010 11:38 AM

    It is a great day. A big step towards consolidating the foundation of our nationhood. It is also the beginning of real work so that the dreams of Kenyans might be realized as the implementation process begins! Hongera Kenya!

  24. Submitted by Wakarari
    Posted August 05, 2010 11:34 AM

    Now that we have a new constitution the next immediate referendum should be on our attitude and consciousness. We Kenyans should change and put in hygiene in the next general elections by electing clean and moraly upright people. If we don't change and let ourselves be blinded by election euphoria and continue to elect corrupt politicians then it will be like putting clean socks on soiled and dirty feet.

  25. Submitted by arasaalbert
    Posted August 05, 2010 11:34 AM

    finally! wish to see mature politics. political alignment is now looming.

  26. Submitted by its_me
    Posted August 05, 2010 11:28 AM

    Wise! Kibaki,raila, kilonzo?. Wait until they are on each other again, won't be long. And the new constitution will take kenya nowhere. For any change Kenya needs complete change of leadership and that unfortunetely might never happen. Same euphoria of 2002.

  27. Submitted by mohamedh
    Posted August 05, 2010 11:12 AM

    Ruto relied on one riftvalley community and xpected to WIN.A joke!!he better stop opposing for the sake of the word.kemnyans chose the wise kibaki,raila and kilonzo wise camp than Ruto and small church groups led by bishop wanjiry who failed to win her own constituency.

  28. Submitted by PETkamotho
    Posted August 05, 2010 11:09 AM

    have kibaki already signed it into law, i cant wait to see that. thanks my dear countrymen

  29. Submitted by iawe
    Posted August 05, 2010 11:06 AM

    @forech, I beg to differ. The winners are Kenyans at large and not just the two individuals. They're Kenyans too though.

  30. Submitted by si_cheki_ovyo_ovyo
    Posted August 05, 2010 10:46 AM

    thank you very much now read the headline-'kenya gets new constitution, buries its demons with vote'. Too bad the clergy were not part of the burial but instead wanted to keep the demons alive.

  31. Submitted by Muruwakamau
    Posted August 05, 2010 10:30 AM

    Brand New Kenya!! Avery big thank you to Kenya's 7 Provences!! You did us pround!!

  32. Submitted by pinglipangla
    Posted August 05, 2010 09:03 AM

    This is a powerful writer, its a master piece. Thank you very much

  33. Submitted by kichwasafi
    Posted August 05, 2010 08:49 AM

    I would really love to see a picture of Kibaki, Raila and Kalonzo on the one hand shaking hands with Ruto, Moi, Rev. Karanja and Cardinal Njue on the other ont he steps of Harambee House in the same way Kibaki and Rails shook hands upon signing the peace agreement. This would be a major step towards healing our beloved country.

  34. Submitted by Medicus2
    Posted August 05, 2010 08:16 AM

    It is not a win, it is a ROUT! With this kind of thumping, the people have spoken; loud and clear. Now deliver the goods and invite the aggrieved to reason together.

  35. Submitted by Jolly77
    Posted August 05, 2010 08:13 AM

    If the YES wins, I do hope so, Ruto and the other NO ministers should immediatelly resign afterwards.

  36. Submitted by YoungHeart
    Posted August 05, 2010 08:09 AM

    Innovative revolution at its best, exit the politician and enter the technocrat driven economy. Najivunia kuwa Mkenya

  37. Submitted by TONET
    Posted August 05, 2010 08:07 AM

    oh am just proud to be a kenyan,i wish i was home to dance and sing with the people who understands what this means,great job kenyans now the sky is the limit.God bless kenya

  38. Submitted by Osoregeorge
    Posted August 05, 2010 07:57 AM

    Ooooh YES WE CAN !

  39. Submitted by jokaseda
    Posted August 05, 2010 07:52 AM

    Kenyans abroard are happy about the new constitution and now it is time for President Kibaki and Raila to move quickly to consolidate the gains made and unite the nation to get the constitution operational faster. President Kibaki and Prime Minister should reshufle the cabinate immediately and give it a new look towards 2030 economic plan and to shake off deadwoods.

  40. Submitted by rofi
    Posted August 05, 2010 07:30 AM

    Referendum number 2; 'Do you want the new constitution to be implemented immediately instead of 2012?' I am sure the answer will be a thunderous YES. Why can't we do it? Why wait till 2012? Let us get rid of the current crop of hopeless MPs

  41. Submitted by InSidious
    Posted August 05, 2010 07:25 AM

    Amen! The Struggle came full circle!

  42. Submitted by nyaribari
    Posted August 05, 2010 07:23 AM

    The Kenyans have spoken, now let them be hard. having miserably failed thrice-the NARC ousted him out after 20 years of total mess, lost in the 2007 elections(even his sons could not be elected by his own people, and now the loss of his NO campain which has simply redused him to gasping by aid of tribal symphathy, Moi should now kow that he has no place in the national politics. He put himself on the wrong side of history. Lets Kenyans embrace each other in this new dawn. Thank you my fellow countrymen. Nyaribari-Canada.

  43. Submitted by buufis
    Posted August 05, 2010 07:21 AM

    MAY GOD BLESS my country KENYA. and am happy to see new dawn with peacefull referendum Elections ,Even 1000's miles away will not hide my joy . Thanks brothers to vote wisely and peacefully without incidents , i can see my kenya is matured and got a beatifull baby this date 05/08/2010. YES is ma answer (Sheikh Mo from MIDDLE EAST)

  44. Submitted by karoyo
    Posted August 05, 2010 07:17 AM

    it feels good to be a kenyan. We are moving in the right direction and am optimistic our will get to great heights!

  45. Submitted by rohojuu
    Posted August 05, 2010 07:13 AM

    Time to accelerate now. Stand up and unite for we have to move as one. Celebrations should involve all. My hopes of voting from the diaspora have increased. God Bless my Kenya

  46. Submitted by moseskamau
    Posted August 05, 2010 07:04 AM

    Big thank you to all Kenyans. You have made us proud. We campigned with you albeit from far lands. You did it this time. God bless Kenya.For Ruto and Moi, please leave us alone. We do not need you any longer. Moses Kamau, Minneapolis, USA

  47. Submitted by mackshooter
    Posted August 05, 2010 07:00 AM

    So far people are forgetting that we are just getting started. There is nothing to celebrate yet. COE was inception stage, referendum is a maternity stage. So we have a long way of rearing this baby. It will take us about 18 years to get let it go. My first challenge to the constitutional court will be to ban any religion from all public funded entities citing Chap 2 article 8. I could also challenge Khadhi court based on that article alone.

  48. Submitted by MwalimuGini
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:57 AM

    "For a country where almost every middle class family has at least one child living or working abroad." Well, This new constituition has never been for the mwananchi(majority) from the start. The begining of an elitist state. Woe unto us :-(

  49. Submitted by ombwengi
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:54 AM

    Thanks for those voted yes, and for those who voted no, accept defeat honarably and let's focus our energies towards Nation building.The DUO citizen will be a big boost to our economy.We can now invest in our country without fear.Thanks again our brothers and sisters. Let's live in peace for ever.We love you more than ever.

  50. Submitted by jennyo
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:53 AM

    Good Work Kenya!!..Now will those who voted NO stand aside and let the new Yes clean the country.?? You cannot clear judges without checking the lawyers!!! As for the mad uncle....WoW!! lets build some institutions jails and mental hospitals )to put the corrupt people in the country and make them work hard, building roads schools and working the fields so that no Kenyan will go without food while a few greedy corrupt ones sit on millions that they have stolen. It is about time Kenya did what Cameroon did to end corruption, start locking up the rot....

  51. Submitted by mossk
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:38 AM

    Thank you kenyans and God bless kenya.

  52. Submitted by Shompolesp
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:37 AM

    Najivunia kuwa mKenya! Now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for our motherland, and it's not a locomotive!! Dr Shompole, WA USA

  53. Submitted by jiwadove
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:32 AM

    What is the name of the "Nation reporter"?. This is a master piece. I am saving it on my desk top. Thank you Kenyans. I am proud of all of us. Flying kisses to all of you. Pole sana to my uncle locked up in the attic. No stopping a moving train.

  54. Submitted by Papalenne
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:25 AM

    God bless the beloved country and its people.

  55. Submitted by Newshawk
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:25 AM

    Looks like we are back to name calling: 'to shame the devil and his agents?'. Sorry. sorry sorry. The sooth sayer told Julius Caesar 'yeah , the Ides of March are come, but NOT yet gone'

  56. Submitted by HamboAfrikan
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:21 AM

    This is good/evil, think of it and enjoy this instant gratification while it last. Every time we vote in new faces in parliament we call it a new beginning, instead it turns to be the new beginning to the end. With a nation whose brains revolve around “corruption” and a “this is Kenya” mentality this paper changes are nothing but that. People in this country have been impoverished to the level they actually believe this is the way life should be. Make your own reality.

  57. Submitted by mukudi
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:19 AM

    A professionally and credibly handled job. Confirm all the IIEC leadership team and have them get us through the first free post-independence election. Good job Issack. Goes a long way to show that young people will trully salvage this nation. We look forward to a brighter future for all of us, our children and the future generations of Kenyans.

  58. Submitted by wkithi
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:15 AM

    God bless you Kenyans my people my family, you have done well for yourselves and your children.Fresh is better than leftovers.Kibaki and Raila have redeemed themselves and proved that they are true leaders.Now to the all the good people of Kenya,let us unite and remove next ALL the current Mps in parliament and go with fresh!

  59. Submitted by mwanoo1
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:13 AM

    wow!!! This story needs a byline! The person(s) who wrote it need credit! Well done guys...

  60. Submitted by gachora
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:11 AM

    one of my happiest days in life and proud to be Kenyan! No need for name calling. Time for real work. As we celebrate

  61. Submitted by forech
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:07 AM

    Quest for New Constitution Route: 1982; attempted coupe. Then Raila detained for 8 years without trial, then FORD (the only chance for change but Tribalism blocked everytything), then NDP, then MERGER (KANU/NDP), then Narc, then Kibaki n the old guards...then 2007/08 stolen vote, then today...Raila ameturonyosha mioyo...then new constitution for Kenya. History has been made...Period. The winners r Kibaki n Raila. Nobody will change that...whether it's Ruto, Jirongo or Mo1. Who remembers 1992 500/= was called Jirongo n the inflation that has caused Kenya todate?!

  62. Submitted by kameremwariri
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:02 AM

    i cant help it but am crying to see what the people of kenya have done.great job my brothers and sisters.i wish i was there to cast my big YESSSSSS.bernard mwariri worcester U.S.A

  63. Submitted by Magathuka
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:01 AM

    "...the mad uncle who is locked away in the attic.." Priceless. The tough job now begins. And especially to unite Kenya behind the new Constitution for prosperity. Excited to be a Kenyan.

  64. Submitted by dreamofabetterkenya
    Posted August 05, 2010 06:00 AM

    A very nicely done article, good job ati mad uncle locked away in the attic, this is master piece that I'll remember for a long time. Congratulations kenyans move on from here and heal your land. God bless Kenya

  65. Submitted by Kingfool
    Posted August 05, 2010 05:44 AM

    Mabrouk Kenya - the dawn of a new era!! This, ladies and gentlemen, is just the beginning! Am so proud.

  66. Submitted by remawa
    Posted August 05, 2010 05:34 AM

    Hongera Wakenya! Jipigie makofi!

  67. Submitted by beejaychester
    Posted August 05, 2010 05:33 AM

    Excuse me NMG. Where is Mr. Mutahi Ngunyi and the other evil geniuses ? Wako wapi ?

  68. Submitted by muigaip
    Posted August 05, 2010 05:32 AM

    Very well done. Let us begin the process if implementation and make the needed amendments. We all agreed that we needed to pass it and then review the key contentious issues.

  69. Submitted by omwambi
    Posted August 05, 2010 05:30 AM

    The Kenyans have spoken loud and clear.Let us all respect the outcome and forge forward with the spirit of unity and sense of purpose.We have got lots of work to do.We must put the devil and his agents to shame.Let us look to maximise the opportunities this new constitution might provide.Let us have a positive attitude and goodwill.This country of ours can be great if we want to make it so.This is a beginning of a new start which has got a promise.

  70. Submitted by leslie10
    Posted August 05, 2010 05:19 AM

    Kenya my Motherland!!! Finally we can move forward. It is not a 'yes' win or a 'no' loss.

  71. Submitted by jnalyanya
    Posted August 05, 2010 05:15 AM

    Did everybody go to bed? Oh am still here till karibu kumekucha

  72. Submitted by kiriakukk
    Posted August 05, 2010 05:09 AM

    Kenyans have spoken. Loud and clear! It is a new dawn for the Republic. God bless Kenya and may JUSTICE remain our shield and defender.

  73. Submitted by amy
    Posted August 05, 2010 05:05 AM

    lol @ "..the mad uncle in the attic.." hehe!

  74. Submitted by SJ502
    Posted August 05, 2010 05:01 AM


  75. Submitted by jnalyanya
    Posted August 05, 2010 05:00 AM

    Good summary article writer