Exposed in the rallies and being high premium targets for terror groups like al-Shabaab, what would become of the country if Mr Kenyatta or Mr Odinga were to come under a life-threatening attack. The security apparatus had to work extra hard to ensure the period ended without a hitch.

TRICKY BALANCE

Numerous are the occasions Mr Kenyatta had to cut short his rallies at the intervention of the security detail to ensure he did not risk flying in darkness.

It was always a tricky balance between his safety and wooing voters. 

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga are not the only ones who were affected. Regardless of poll outcome, a majority of politicians are planning to retreat on long vacations in order to recuperate.

RUNNING MATES

The “indefatigable” DP has equally not been spared the weariness just like Nasa presidential running mate Kalonzo Musyoka in what observers say was a severe campaign in the recent times.

After the presidential candidates who have had to traverse the entire country in search of votes, governor’s race generated passionate interest with incumbents having to contend with heavy onslaught from those who were angling to wrest the lucrative seat from them.

Mr Kabatesi Kibisu, an aide to Nasa chief agent Musalia Mudavadi, said, “I have hardly seen my family for the last two months. I leave early, arrive late or I am out for days. There hasn’t been a time you think of anything else. The mind always juggling possibilities, challenges to overcome. Our superiors keep a tight schedule and you have to think on your toes.”

KERICHO GOVERNOR

Kericho governor Paul Chepkwony, who was defending his seat on a Jubilee ticket, admitted that the campaign took a toll on almost everyone running for office.

Admitting that ordinarily he sleeps for about five hours a day, one of the officers guarding the political elite told the Sunday Nation that he had lost count of the occasions he had to go without sleep.

“When the boss flies back to Nairobi, say from Kwale, we followed him by road. And because the next rally was in another extreme border like Busia, we had to drive all the way to get there before him the next day,” he narrated.

PASSING OUT

There were about three cases of candidates passing out but all hushed up as news of such would have given opponents a lethal campaign weapon.

It was more gruelling for the presidential staff who must move with the President but are not allowed to know his itinerary well in advance.

“Sometimes the extra clothes you carry get depleted because you end up staying longer in the field than anticipated. In other instances, you have to find the nearest shop and buy a new set,” another one narrated.

The drivers, the pilots, sometimes cooks endured all this. It was, however, booming business for some like owners of choppers which were the trendiest means of transport.

For the spouses and children of the candidates, the end of the campaigns and voting is good news; it signals reunion.

Having exhausted their cash reserves, many were forced to slow down their activities as others resorted to reaching out to friends for support.

Responding to startling pictures of how much the presidency had aged him in 2015, a year to his retirement, US President Barack Obama told reporters, “When I came into office, I had no grey hair and now I have a lot of it.”

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