Monday, December 31, 2007

Is Kenya Regressing to the Moi Era?

It seems last week's Kenya's elections have gone the way of Ethiopia's botched 2005 elections. The Economist has this to say about the election:
THE electoral commission of Kenya declared a winner in the country's bitterly fought presidential election on Sunday December 30th: the sitting president, Mwai Kibaki, was returned to power. The voting three days earlier had been impressively orderly and peaceful, raising hopes of a brighter future for Kenyan democracy. But the tallying process was a much darker story, with heavy suspicion of vote rigging and subsequent fears that serious violence could strike the country.

No one disputes that the opposition Orange Democratic Movement swept aside government parties in the parliamentary vote. Most of the ministers in the cabinet of Mr Kibaki lost their seats to Oranges, including the vice-president, foreign minister, and defence minister, and a number of previously unassailable and wealthy MPs.

And yet the same disgruntled voters apparently gave 76-year-old Mr Kibaki strong support in the presidential vote. The final tally, according to the electoral commission, handed Mr Kibaki 4.58m voters to 4.35m for the firebrand opposition candidate, Raila Odinga. Mr Odinga's supporters had earlier stated that he had won, suggesting a lead of some 500,000 votes. He claimed that the electoral commission was “being forced to declare wrong results” and called on its leaders to resign rather than plunge the country into chaos. The consequence of failing to recognise a “fair result”, he threatened, could be civil war.

Polls had indicated that the presidential election was going to be close. It was the manner in which Mr Kibaki crept up on Mr Odinga's solid lead that raised suspicions. Why, for instance, were votes from the president's loyal Kikuyu highlands of central Kenya held back to the end of the counting? Why had so many returning officers there gone missing, along with their results? Mr Kibaki, himself a Kikuyu, was expected to have overwhelming support from his kinsmen, but 98% looked excessive.
Sound familiar?


Pea said...

I haven't read your post, but just to answer the question in your title. Regressing? We regressed and went back, further than even the colonial era. This is a sad moment for our country.

Ephrem Madebo said...

I had a chance to see the politically brilliant family of the Odingas. Back in 1991, when the famous FORD party was fighting President Moi, I saw both the late Oginga Odinga, Raila Odinga (His son) and Martin Shikuku making attractive campaign speeches. The bloodshed in Nairobi, Kisumu (Raila’s home town) and other cities does not amaze me because Kenyans have already tasted the peaceful transfer of power. I’m sure they don’t want a turn in the wrong direction. We should stand with the people of our southern border in this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Carbon copy of what happened to
Kinijit in 2005. The rascals do
not want to go, they want to stay
and loot more and more.

Unlike the frifari lekames in Ethiopia the ECK Chair at least
was brave enough to come clean. This has wide implications for the rest of Africa.