Nairobi is turning to a ghost town, literally. Residents are heading to their ancestral rural areas, the streets are now quieter, grocery stores are now almost empty and foreigners have left for their own countries in the wake of general and presidential elections on August 8 to avoid any potential violence.

Washington has issued travel warnings for its citizens who are in Kenya or planning to make a trip this week. Other countries too have cautioned their people to remain alert during the voting period.

The presidential election comes after about a decade. The 2007 vote had disputed results and it pitched Kenya into chaos. More than 1,000 people were then killed and about 600,000 others were displaced. The country was plunged into uncertainty. The 2013 election was peaceful.

Observers this time reveal people have less confidence in the country’s electoral commission and also the judiciary. The race this time is tight too and incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta may win a second term, if believed to one survey.

However, a different survey show opposition leader Raila Odinga may possibly win the election and become the next president of Kenya.

The campaigning has been volatile and couple of time fatal too. On July 31 senior electoral official in charge of managing the IT systems of the voting technology was found dead with one arm cut off. Home of deputy president was also attacked. WhatsApp and Facebook have become the best platforms to spread fake news and propaganda stories.

Kenya has 19.6 million registered voters. The country adopted a new constitution in 2010. President Kenyatta is promising to create 1.3 million jobs and from next year to roll out free secondary school education.

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Nairobi is turning to a ghost town, literally. Residents are heading to their ancestral rural areas, the streets are now quieter, grocery stores are now almost empty and foreigners have left for their own countries in the wake of general and presidential elections on August 8 to avoid any...