While to a large extent many Africans come out to vote, in most cases, electoral periods have turned out to be the most significant threats to the stability of a country. This article interrogates the extent to which democratic practice in Kenya is meeting people’s expectation and whether it contributes to the economic wellbeing and peace stability of the country. The research applied a cross-sectional research design and interviewed 102 respondents from 6 counties: Nairobi (capital city), Kisumu (western region), Uasin Gichu (Rift Valley region), Mombasa (coastal region), Turkana (northern region) and Kwale (coastal region). The study shows that most respondents appreciate the fact that the country has made good democratic progress over the years, particularly after the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution that institutes more freedoms and socio-political accountability. The majority of the respondents equally held the opinion that democratic processes have not been able to adequately improve the quality of their life. The study indicates that economic prosperity is closely linked to peace sustainability, and subsequent appreciation for democracy. However, there was a general appreciation for the economic progress that has been made so far. This finding is significant, particularly because respondents held high regard and expectation for the devolved system of governance instituted by the 2010 Constitution, which allowed for the formation of 47 counties that directly receive funds from the central government for regional development. There has been positive progress in the enhancement of economic wellbeing of the citizen through improved road networks, education and health services as well as diverse economic opportunities such as employment, businesses and agricultural projects at the county level. Besides, the fact that citizens were now able to choose their own county governors, senators and members of county assemblies (MCAs) meant that they had an upper leverage in deciding the destiny of their counties. The 2010 constitution equally demands citizen participation in all aspects of governance and development in the country. This has taken democratic progress to a different level. Hence, addressing corruption, economic integration and citizen prosperity, ethnicization of politics and transparency in electoral processes is key to the success of democracy in Kenya.
Opongo, Elias O.
"Democracy, Citizen Participation and Peace Economics in Kenya: Interrogating the Social Change Processes,"
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