In recent past,all election period has been marred with tension of the outcome.The anxiety,pain,anger or even happiness has been the order of the day.Campaigns hit home stretch and we usually ask ourselves,What next?Political parties at that time have aligned themselves a swell as communities.The world is watching and all cameras focus on hot spots in Kenya.We are peaceful country,yes! we are.We dwell in “Eeh Mungu nguvu yetu”.A country that its inhabitants are patriotic.We sing the national anthem and deeply think through each and every stanza.We love our country Kenya.The tourism hub and economic power house of East Africa.We have produced brilliant talents and we continue to do so amidst the challenges.We are democratic in nature and abide by the constitution.
Lets get back to where we started from,Elections!Its a democratic space each citizen exercises on specific days every five years.This year was on the eighth day of August 2017.Political tension was high and everyone was grabbing the last available seats on our buses to go and vote.Probably the highly turned out election in history.The mood was “Tano tena” “Cannan tano fresh”.Those were liners used by the two level rivals in the just concluded contest with petition in courts.However,uncertainty crippled in of how communities would react to the outcome. Ofcource “KOT” Kenyans on twitter was a blaze.The hate,pride,love,joy name it, was depicted in the posts.
Tension was building and people feared for their lives.However, key political and religious leaders came out to calm the situation.We were not ready to have Dr.Kofi Anan and african eminent leaders mediation exercise.One of his tweets “My role in mediating was amongst the most intensive and enduring of all my interventions,”.Ofcourse we were not going the 2007 election aftermath way when the country almost came to its kneels.These was not going to happen,with the security heightened and messages of hope flaring every where.The imagination of what happened in 2007/2008 post election violence send chills our spines.”However democratic we are violence was never part of the solution to stale mate” said Odhiambo from Nyalenda Kisumu county.
Modern Coast is one company that used this opportunity to deliver once more.The number of fleet was increased to upcountry towns.This is due to rural to urban migration.The masses had to go back home where they registered to vote.Who else would provide that TRAVEL IN STYLE ?We had to swing in and operation was geared toward upcountry in a big way.Towns like Busia had up to ten schedules a day.This is also the time that our economy package came to play,the country bus shuttling.These is a package of three by two sitting arrangement an economy for upcountry travellers who could not manage abit higher rates on premium services.However, our normal schedules continued and even additional charts were introduced.In a single day we saw up to 3000 people travel.
Elections exercise came and passed.There were tensions so high through out the country and many operators had to close shop for fear of violence.Yes some roads were barricaded by protestors as results started trickling in and stale mate ensued.Well some areas in Nyanza were un accessible.Modern Coast was part of team that was for the opinion,whatever the outcome we need to live,work and interract.Life needs to move on.Our Buses were full and they had to move.The means was the puzzle.
The operations team had to go back to the drawing board.However, this was not a hard task but a technical one.There were meetings for preparedness for election period and it was a matter of execution.First all our crew had to be allocated buses that go to areas where they registered to vote.Those not on schedule were allowed time off to go exercise their democratic right.Due to our online systems,buses had been booked in advance and we had to reschedule travel times to day time or reroute a few that were passing areas with road blocks.
The communication was up to task as we had to send sms to passengers incase of changes.Safety was key during this period.Our emergency line 0709897999 was the busiest.Travellers were uncertain.This is also the period we experienced the highest number of rescheduled travel dates and refunds.Our tracking and surveillance team both at the headquarters and ground offered a starling job.In some areas we had to liaise with the Kenya Red Cross Society Election preparedness team for information.We well know how this society is always there.The Kenya Police was also helpful with a series of armed escorts of our buses so that everything runs smooth from rowdy people pelting stones at vehicles.
Some of our cross-border charts had to abandon their journey at kenyan borders and serve kenyan registered buses with passengers to further destination.All was falling in place seamlessly.This was also the time that due to results,customers emotions ran high and needed that professionalism to handle them.Our crew and staff were trained before for this eventuality.Service industry is delicate as a piece of thin glass.Back up satellite phones were purchased for ease of communication incase networks were jammed.The whole team was at work and with utmost care and vigilance.
We managed it well and we live to say:
Oh God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity
Peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our borders.
Let one and all arise
With hearts both strong and true
Service be our earnest endeavour
And our homeland of Kenya
Heritage of splendour
Firm may we stand to defend
Let all with one accord
In common bond united
Build this our nation together
And the glory of Kenya
The fruit of our labour
Fill every heart with thanksgiving.