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Kenyan General Elections 2022: A game of pledges, promises and service to self-interest

28 June 2023

Amos Tirra, Hannah Collins, Jaqueline McGlade, Henrietta Moore and Arno Scharl

The relatively new democratic system in Kenya is complex and often negotiable, further complicated by the shifting landscape and impact of social media. This working paper explores the history of democracy in Kenya and presents the instrumentalisation of ethnic

identities by key political figures using Social Cleavage Theory. A web-based analysis of social and news media, and qualitative data collected from focus group discussions with key community leaders are presented to interrogate the drivers of the 2022 election outcome. From the findings we offer recommendations on how the electoral system in Kenya can be further safeguarded to ensure that democracy in Kenya works for the prosperity of the citizens, not just of the politicians.

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