KENYANS go to polls today to elect a new president. These elections are historic in many ways. They come after the country adopted a new constitution and in the backdrop of post election violence that saw more than 1,000 people killed in the previous vote.
All eyes are on Kenya. Peaceful transition is not only welcomed but would also prove to the world that the country's democracy has matured and as Africans we have come to grips with opposing positions.
It is encouraging that all candidates had been preaching peace until the eve of the elections. We can only pray that the Kenyan public will heed to the calls by their leaders not to do anything unbecoming that would breach the country's peace.
On the other hand, we also hope wisdom will prevail among the candidates and those who would be on the losing end will accept defeat gracefully. As members of the East African Community, Tanzania and her neighbours have vested interest in Kenya's stability.
Kenya is not only the regional economic hub, but we also share many things in common including a long border. If at all, God forbid, anything goes wrong after today's poll, not only our brothers and sisters in Kenya are going to suffer but the spillover effect will have dire consequences to Tanzania and other neighbouring countries as well.
After all is said and done, we remain confident that the elections will be peaceful and Kenyans will have their say by electing a president of their choice who would usher in a new era. There have been lessons to be drawn from the previous poll five years ago.
Kenyans should have learnt a lesson from events that led to the post election violence in that country. Truth be told, no one ever benefits from such incidents where lives have to be lost and property damaged. It is time that we break away from the jinx that democracy in Africa is a recipe for chaos.
Today is the day of days; Kenyans have to bury their differences and make an informed choice in the ballot box and show the world that we too can have varying opinions without having to put up a fight.
With that we wish our brothers and sisters in Kenya the best of outcomes after they go to polls today and pray our neighbourly relations will continue to prosper in peace and harmony for the betterment of EAC and the wider region.