by David Musyoka and Chris Mgidu
NAIROBI, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's president-elect Uhuru Kenya should adopt a cooperative approach with global developed countries and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to enable the country to enjoy the dividends of the country's only peaceful election since introduction of multiparty system in 1992, experts said.
Kenyatta, the son of the founding president Jomo Kenyatta, defeated Raila Odinga, the son of Kenya's first vice president, in the fifth elections under the multiparty system to score slightly more than the 50 percent plus one vote of all votes cast as required by the constitution.
In his first address after the election, Kenyatta, charged by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, assured his commitment to the ICC process, and wanted the international community to accept his presidency.
"We recognize and accept our international obligations and will cooperate with international institutions," he said, expecting the international community to respect the sovereign will of the people of Kenya.
The ICC is preparing to commit four key politicians to a full trial to emphasize the need to put an end to ethnicised politics. Two of the four individuals who have been accused by the world court for masterminding the 2007 post elections are criss-crossing the country in search of votes as they seek presidency.
The ICC prosecutor has always said the four accused will have a fair trial and an equal opportunity to refute the allegations, adding that their guilt or innocence will be established by the Judges at the conclusion of these trials.
The 2007/08 post-election violence, in which more than 1,200 people were killed and up to 650,000 were displaced, was blamed on the fierce competition for a share of the national wealth between the various tribal groups. Most of it had to do with the distribution of land and access to state power.
Western powers had cautioned Kenyans against consequences of their choices in the general elections, in which millions of Kenyans cast their votes to make their voice.
Land rights activist Odenda Lumumba, also coordinator for non- profit group Kenya Land Alliance National Coordinator, told Xinhua that sanctions by the international community, especially United States and Britain, may not come immediately as those nations are still weighing in how to take care of their interest in Kenya.
British company Tullow Oil is leading in oil exploration activities in Kenya with its discovery of commercially viable oil deposits in Turkana, the northwest region of Kenya's northern frontier region.
United States has a naval and air base in Lamu, along the Kenyan coast while Britain has a military training base in Kenya that holds up to 10,000 troops at any time in Nanyuki near the equator, the only such base in a developing country.
"I think United States and European Union will play along with Uhuru's administration as long as their interests are taken care of," said Lumumba.
"It is not clear yet what actions Britain and the United States may take. But what is important is that Uhuru should avoid confrontation with the western countries so as to avoid sanctions and build a better image of the country," said Dr. Hassan Nadwa, a law lecturer at Thika Islamic College and Zanzibar University.
Nandwa said the next big assignment for Kenyatta is to create national cohesion to restore the national fabric that has been eroded during the electioneering period. "Kenyatta's speeches must reflect national cohesion," he said.
Lumumba said that while Kenyans have made a verdict that should be respected, Kenyatta faces the challenge of ensuring that all Kenyans have equity in access to national resources, and that natural resource exploration has direct benefit to local people.
"The new president has to fulfill Kenyans' expectations on ending poverty. He must ensure equity in access to land," said Lumumba.
He said the new president must be seen to support the National Land Commission by giving it enough money to finance its operations. He must also facilitate establishment of policies that improve the utilization of land.
"More importantly, the 51-year-old Kenyatta should appoint the right people in the cabinet and avoid the often repeated problem of appointing cronies. The cabinet must compose of people with international appeal and without past corruption baggage," Lumumba said.
"It must be lean and smart. He should also work with the civil society to help the government implement some of the policies as promised in his manifesto," said Lumumba.
Kenyatta is expected to face the challenge of delivering his promises based on manifesto, including establishing an economic system that has equity and delivery on attractive welfare goodies to the public.
Professor Joseph Keiyah, senior researcher at the Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis, said that in terms of economic management, Kenyatta is likely to emulate Kibaki, investing more on infrastructure development and keeping tap on the macroeconomic policy.
"Uhuru is also likely to make more efforts than outgoing President Mwai Kibaki in job creation," Keiyah told Xinhua by telephone.
"Uhuru is essentially a student of Kibaki," he added. Uhuru is also expected to continue deepening relations with China, as Kibaki did and look for alternative sources of funds.