Kenya Elections


JF-Expert Member
Nov 14, 2006
'It's time for change - no one can stop us'

Tens of thousands of dancing and chanting opposition supporters swamped the Kenyan capital on Saturday in a show of support for presidential candidate and current pre-election opinion poll leader Raila Odinga. Having just overtaken incumbent President Mwai Kibaki in polls for the first time ahead of the December election, Odinga was to formally launch the campaign of his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in a Nairobi park.

Four surveys in recent days have given Raila, a charismatic former political prisoner, between 47 and 43 percent ratings, versus Kibaki's range of 42-34, in the race for stewardship of east Africa's largest economy. From early Saturday morning, thousands of ODM supporters poured into Nairobi on buses and foot, decked in orange, all weaving their way towards Uhuru (Freedom) Park. City-centre traffic was disrupted by youths dancing in the street.

"It's time for change, and no one can stop us. Kikuyus, go home to your farms!" shouted one excited youth George Kaseje, dancing in the street. Kibaki comes from Kenya's largest tribe, the Kikuyu, and many perceive the opposition party as an alliance against it from other ethnic groups, particularly the Luo and Luyha. An attempt to hold a similar opposition rally in Nairobi last week was stopped because of security fears. On Saturday, police kept a discreet watch on proceedings in case of the sort of violence that often plagues Kenyan rallies at election time. Kibaki, 75, was holding an alternative rally near Kenya's third town Nakuru, in the Rift Valley north of Nairobi. The president is hoping his record of healthy economic growth, provision of free primary education, and promises of continuity will win over voters.

But he gets lower marks from Kenyans for failing to stamp out corruption and tribalism, and not delivering on some promises like re-writing the constitution in 100 days. "Kibaki is too old and corrupt to run a country," said opposition supporter James Olumese, 39, at the rally. Odinga, who projects himself as a champion of the poor despite being a rich businessman, was an ally of Kibaki's, helping him win power, then serving him in cabinet until a falling out over a referendum in 2005.

While very different in personality and style, analysts say Odinga and Kibaki would, however, differ little in policy substance. Odinga, 62, has toned down his firebrand image this year to present himself as a business-friendly leader. "I don't think Raila would be much different," said Nairobi University politics lecturer Chweya Ludeki, noting that global norms would dictate against any radical swing in policy. "The structural constraints following on from globalisation and so on don't leave a president much leverage." Ludeki said Odinga's surge in polls - after Kibaki had held the lead in popularity since taking power in 2002 - was a genuine reflection of national sentiment, although fuelled by massive media coverage for ODM in recent months.

But all analysts warn that polls can fluctuat
e strongly in Kenya's often fast-shifting political scene. The opposition received a boost on Friday when Health Minister Charity Ngilu said she would be backing Odinga.

OK, our neighbour are just two months away from having a new president. Who will come up on top?
Dust and promises fly on Kenya's election trail.

Andrew Cawthorne Ongata Rongai said:

A convoy of shiny, 4x4 vehicles roars into the pot-holed main street of a small town, kicking up dust and scattering people in their way. As traffic grinds to a forced halt, corpulent politicians emerge from their cars to wave at crowds of mainly young men, some still fingering the small amounts of money and food they have been given to come to the rally.

A series of speeches offers the crowd a bright new future -- jobs, free secondary education, new roads -- if only they will vote for the men in front of them. The crowd roars slogans. But as the politicos speed off to the next town, locals grumble at the paucity of handouts. It's election time in Kenya, and the promises are flying as much as the dust.

With two months to go before parliamentary and presidential polls in East Africa's largest economy, the political class is out in force, campaigning furiously across the nation.

Money is flowing, and not all of it legitimately: an election official said this week many people were selling their voter registration cards, egged on by both major parties.

Posters are springing up across the nation.

In Nairobi, the large, beaming visage of opposition front-runner Raila Odinga took an early lead in public prominence. But a photo of President Mwai Kibaki, fiddling with his cuffs a trifle awkwardly, is making a strong comeback. Odinga's recent surge in polls, to overtake Kibaki in popularity for the first time, has given impetus and edge to the campaign. It could be one of the closest of late in Africa.

Feeling and looking like he is on a roll, Odinga and his entourage swept into Ngong town this week, the "captain" -- as aides call him -- waving beatifically from the open door of his orange-coloured "Pentagon 1" campaign bus. The colour comes from Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), while the Pentagon alludes not only to American-style power but the five-man leadership of the opposition party.

"I am saying 'Kibaki go away' because he has failed the test," Odinga told ululating supporters on a sports field at the bottom of the Ngong hills, made famous for many in the West as the backdrop to the Out Of Africa book and film. Yet Odinga was five years ago telling very similar crowds to vote for Kibaki and get rid of President Daniel arap Moi. Such is the hurly-burly of Kenya's non-ideological politics.

Ethnic loyalties

The pair fell out in 2005 -- Odinga campaigned against Kibaki in a referendum and was promptly sacked from his Cabinet.

So now Odinga, a 62-year-old veteran politician and businessman, repeats a daily mantra that Kibaki has failed Kenyans on corruption and tribalism. He is vowing to better Kibaki's decent economic record of average 4% annual growth, devolve power to provinces, and set up a "Truth, Reconciliation and Restitution Commission" offering amnesty to those who pay back ill-gotten money.

Kibaki (75) and also a veteran both of Kenyan politics and business, hopes economic growth, his popular introduction of free primary education, and fears that Odinga could be a left-leaning radical once in power, will win over voters.

"You can list all the good things you have seen," Kibaki told a recent rally in the Rift Valley town of Nakuru, where the crowd struggled to get to grips with chanting the initials of his new coalition Party of National Unity (PNU).

"I ask you for a second term. When I finish I'll go home and farm, and you'll be able to elect a young man of your choice."
Most Kenyans agree -- in private, if not always in public -- that it is ethnic loyalties, not cerebral considerations, that will exercise the minds of most voters on polling day.

Many in Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe, the largest in Kenya, have prospered under him and fear losing their economic prominence. Odinga comes from the Luo group in west Kenya, and is also picking up support from other tribes who feel excluded.

But in Ongata Rongai, a dishevelled trading town outside Nairobi, it is neither issues nor tribalism on the mind of driver Mwangi Njenga as he sees a political caravan go through.

"Look at all these people here. They have been fed four mandazis [Kenya's version of doughnuts] and they have stopped work to wait for someone who will not come," he says disdainfully of a crowd waiting for Odinga, who did not show up. "At least when Kibaki came, he gave the transporters' association 100 000 shillings ($1 500), so the day was not completely wasted."

Nearby, a boy cradles a torn poster of Odinga and asks his mother if he can swap it for a mandazi. - Reuters

Mkenya tell us what is happening there on the ground.

Alai I hope you are OK any news?
This is going to be an important lesson for all in EA; but especially so for us in Tanzania. I think Kenya is going to pull this off this time!

That is, if ODM pulls this through safely; and if the system allows it to stand. We are yet to witness the tricks that are inherent with the incumbency.

Hopefully,CCM and our vyama vya Ushindani will be watching this carefully as it unfolds before our eyes!

But the important lesson will be to the people of Tanzania. CCM si mama wala baba. Kama itaendelea kuwa chama cha matajiri, basi tuwaachie wenyewe, tutafute utaratibu mwingine.
Vyama vya Ushindani, bado hamjatuonyesha kuwa mnao uwezo wa kuleta mageuzi tunayoyahitaji. Fanyeni kweli sasa.
Kikuyus, go home to your farms!"

I am seriously worried about this tribalism disease. Where are the politicians leading Kenya to? Down through a blind alley or something else? Is someone being elected because he's a Mjaluo, Mkisii, Mmasai, Mkalenjin or Mkikuyu? Why?
Guys Kenya Ni Tofauti Na Tanzania ,,kule Ukabila Umetawala Sana Na Ndio Maana Wakiamua Kuungana Makabila Machache Umekwisha,,na Hiki Ndicho Kitakachomtokea Bwna Kibaki,,akusoma Dira Za Wakenya,,wakenya Awaangalii Sura Kama Watanzania,,babu Nyerere Aliwaeleza Hili,,ikulu Si Sehemu Ya ......leo Hii Mnawaita Mafisadi,,subirini Ufisadi Zaidi 2010,,mumjue Katokea Bagamoyo Au Mtwara,.....
Mwai Kibaki amevunja bunge rasmi jana tayari kwa uchaguzi mwezi December.
See my recent posts under the thread: Kenyan Politics to get a view of what is happening on the ground as you put it.
Kenyan Tanzania
Lakini ninachisikia kutoka kwa wakenya wengine ni kuwa, pamoja na kwamba Odinga na nafasi fulani ya kushinda lakini kuna hatari kuwa ataisambaratisha Kenya na sera ya yake ya umajimbo na kuwazuia wakikuyu kununua hisa kutoka kwenye viwanda vikubwa. Nasikia wajaluo wakiletewa hudama ya maji na Tuju wanakataa wanasema kama hajaleta Odinga hawawezi kutumia, hata kwenye katiba walisema kama katiba imesomwa na Odinga basi wajaluo wote wamesoma, sasa kama mwanasiasa anakuwa na base ya ukabila na sera za umakabila basi ni hatari.
Speaking of gender violence? Well well here we go..............Siyo huyu mama aliyekwenda kuwapiga waandishi wa habari asubuhi na mapema?
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