General elections and violence in Kenya: Special reference to Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia Counties
Kosgey, Noah Kiprugut
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In developed countries, elections are relatively orderly and peaceful. However, the same cannot be said of developing countries especially in Africa where election violence have been rampant. The purpose of this study was to examine causes of violence, its impact and mitigation measures in Kenya’s election hot spots in 2007. The objectives of the study were to: establish the causes of election violence determine the factors to peaceful elections, impacts of election violence and establish mechanisms put in place to mitigate election violence. The study is based on structural-functional theory, where it plays a crucial role in creation of conflicts and violence. The study area was burnt forest and Kachibora in Uasin Gishu and Trans-Nzoia counties respectively, Kenya. The study used survey design with mixed method approach, which comprised concurrent triangulation approach. The study targeted local leaders, administrators and victims of post election violence who were adversely affected. Simple and purposive sampling techniques were employed in selecting the respondents for the study. The sample of the study was 19 victims and 19 local leaders and administrators. Structured questionnaires, interview guides, observation checklist were used to collect primary data. Data collected was cleaned, coded into Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) version 20 and analysis conducted. Descriptive statistics generated included frequencies and percentages. Qualitative data was transcribed, thematically, classified and arranged before being reported in narrations and quotations. The findings were presented in form of tables, and charts. The study findings indicated that bungled presidential results tally (80.0%) and political incitement (73.5%) largely contributed to election violence. In addition, the study impacted loss of lives (30.5%) and destruction of property (30.5%). The study results revealed that establishment of TJRC (20.0%), reform of electoral body (19.4%) and security reforms (16.9%) were the most favorable mechanisms of curbing general election violence. The study recommended that to address the underlying causes of electoral violence, decentralization of power and economic development programmes, executive office including a separation from the security forces strengthen the role of parliament and implement broad-based socio-political programmes need be fast tracked.