Trump Can Learn from Kenya the Cost of not Conceding
by Christine Kinori
Two weeks ago, the world waited with baited breath to see who America would choose as their next leader. As expected, the election was quite the political duel between Trump and Biden. In the end, Biden came out as the winner and is set to be the 46th President of America. Unfortunately, Trump is not ready to accept defeat and is still refusing to concede.
This reminds me of something most African leaders do when they lose in an election. They refuse to concede and become the bitter loser who drags all the people they can bring down with them. Back in 2017, many people took to the streets in Kenya to protests — citing election fraud and it got really bad. Many people lost their lives, fighting for their leader. It was a tense time which was marred with heavy violence in most of the opposition strongholds. Many people died during their encounter with Kenyan Defence Forces who were deployed to maintain peace in these opposition strongholds. Others died, simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I still remember when protesters in the slums decided to attack the police who retaliated by opening fire. More than 24 people died that day, including a six year old girl who was hit by a stray bullet that penetrated the iron-sheet walls of her home.
In the meantime, the opposition leader went on to set up a controversial “inauguration” ceremony calling himself the “people’s president.” It was a public relations stunt that ended in disappointment for many opposition supporters. It also lead to a media ban and for more than a week most media stations in the country that covered the gathering or tried to report on the “swearing in” were forced off air. All this happened simply to give the opposition leader enough clout to demand power-share with the current government. In the end, after weeks of one of the biggest political power struggles in the country, the two leaders had a closed meeting and posed for a handshake. The country was days away from a coup d'etat and many people lost their lives simply because they wanted their leader to be announced as the next president.
The current situation in America reminds me how quickly most leaders are quick to undermine a country’s democracy for their own gain. Trump is undermining America’s democracy and electoral system to try and create discord that benefits him. By refusing to concede the election citing election fraud, Trump is using his supporters to bring division among American citizens. It is even worse because his legal team has failed in various states to provide any evidence of these alleged election fraud cases.
Trump knows he has lost but refuses to accept reality no matter the cost. He is already making it hard for Biden to start his job. His claims are only bringing more friction between the Democrats and the Republicans. He knew from the beginning that it was Biden’s desire to bring a mutual understanding between the two parties. It will be even harder for Biden to achieve this feat with Trump’s supporters already taking to the streets to demand “justice.” He is also not allowing the White House staff to relay messages to President Elect Biden. This may cause some vulnerabilities in the future. Biden is also being blocked from getting the same intelligence briefings as the President, known as the President’s Daily Brief, and should the Trump administration continue to block a typical transition close to Inauguration Day on January 20, there are concerns Biden’s administration will be playing catch-up the day he takes office.
I hope America can learn from our mistakes and understand when two bulls fight, the grass suffers. If half the country buys into his claims of a stolen election, the real danger is the erosion of democracy in the US as we know it. It can get worse if this continues. This is disturbing, given that America is a super power and world leader. The repercussions in some ways will affect not only Americans but other countries as well. Trump’s actions jeopardize national security and public safety especially during a vulnerable time like this when the world is still dealing with a pandemic.There literally couldn’t be a worse time to divide a nation — especially when you have no evidence of the said injustice. Most countries in Africa are paying a heavy price because their political leaders refusal to put their differences aside for the good of the country. I pray America won’t have to pay the same price too.
About the Author:
Christine Siamanta Kinori grew up in a little village in Kenya known as Loitoktok near the border of Kenya and Tanzania. All she wanted to do when she grew up was to explore the world. Her curiosity led her to join Nairobi University to pursue a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She later got a job with an amazing travel magazine Nomad Africa which gave her the opportunity to explore Africa. She also writes for numerous travel websites about Africa and tries to create a new narrative in the media about our aesthetic continent.
Christine claims to have somewhat unhealthy addiction to TV and reading, as it is a fun way to keep herself occupied during the long journeys for her travel writing. She is also a believer of letting people be their beautiful selves. To her, love is love and it is the greatest gift we have as humans.