Archive for January 2008

ODM’s response to ECK Explanations Advert


ANYOONE WOULD THINK, from the ads the ECK and PNU have been placing in the press, that the recent general election went off without a hitch. Do they think Kenyans are stupid and can so easily be taken for fools?

The ECK and PNU have been desperately trying to answer the ODM’s expose of how rigging was done, which appeared in advertisements in the newspapers on January 20.

Where is the story in the ECK advertisement of the way the commission ignored returning officers at KICC, who were frantically trying to say that the results being announced were not the ones they had recorded in their constituencies?

Where is the story about the presidential results being held back while parliamentary results were announced, so that the poll could be rigged when ECK finally knew how many votes should be added to Kibaki’s total in order for him to appear to defeat Raila?

Where is the story of the teargas thrown into KICC’s corridors, and the building plunged into darkness as the power was switched off, and the press, diplomats, foreign observers, candidates and agents evicted, so that the ECK Chairman could hurriedly announce a fraudulent presidential result in secret?

Where is the story of how the Chief Justice and other dignitaries just happened to be all dressed up and ready to swear Kibaki in at State House 20 minutes later?

The military had been practicing at Nyayo Stadium for days, preparing for a joyous national occasion. Why did the swearing-in have to be done in a rush, away from public eyes?

The ECK’s attempted explanation of how Juja’s presidential votes grew from 48,293 announced by the returning officer at the constituency level to the 100,390 announced at KICC IS PATHETIC. Why would a returning officer announce results, convey these to KICC, complete the necessary Form 17a and go to all the trouble of typing an official letter confirming the results – if he knew that more than jhalf the votes in his constituency had not been counted? EVEN THE ECK’S LIES ARE SUBSTANDARD.

As for the statement that ECK officials are trustworthy and would never have tampered with the election documents after the tallying – the ECK CHAIRMAN HIMSELF has said that this has been going on.

And when it comes to the ECK Chairman – we trusted this man. His friendly demeanour, like a kind father, and his silly jokes, made us feel he would always be on the side of truth, would always fight for what was right. We supported the renewal of his contract because we believed he would serve Kenyans with justice.

But he betrayed us, and because of the great trust we reposed in him, Samuel Kivuitu’s betrayal is the worst betrayal of all.

Because of his cowardice and his doublespeak, hundreds of Kenyans have died, hundreds of thousands are homeless, and democracy in this country has been set back more than 20 years.

Samuel Kivuitu and members of the Electoral Commission of Kenya continue to betray Kenyans. The ads they are placing in the newspapers, trying to say that white is black and black is white, are costing more than HALF-A-MILLION SHILLINGS A DAY.

That is OUR MONEY, money paid in taxes by the people of Kenya for the development of this nation, money that could be spent on helping the displaced, paying hospital bills for those injured and shot during protests, and assisting those with terrible burden of funerals to bear.

Instead, this public money is being spent on trying to persuade Kenyans that their very eyes lied to them, that what they actually saw happening at KICC and elsewhere never really took place.

PNU spent hundreds of millions of shillings on advertising before the election. This didn’t persuade people to vote for them. Why do they think ads will change people’s minds now?

If nothing else, Kalonzo Musyoka’s endorsement of this “government” should alert us that something is wrong. This is a man who campaigned on an “integrity” platform. Throughout his campaign, he sneered at Kibaki, said he could never join him, and swore he would never condone an election that was flawed. Later, he said he would never accept the vice-presidency while people were dying. Is no one dying in Kalonzo Musyoka’s eyes?

Kalonzo apparently figured out another route to the glittering prize he so desperately seeks. At that point, ‘integrity’ flew out of the window as self-interest rushed to the door. It’s what you call a ‘jua kali’ miracle – one made by yourself at home. After all, apart from a few token appearances elsewhere, Kalonzo really only campaigned on his home turf, didn’t he? Wasn’t that rather strange for a presidential candidate? Was this a plan they had cooked up long before the polling exercise?

The ECK Commisioners and their backers have no moral or intellectual authority to say anything at all in this country, and they should now all pack up and go home and STOP WASTING OUR MONEY.

The Orange Democratic Movement and RAILA ODINGA.

Committed to respecting the will of the people.

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ECK response to allegations contained in a newspaper advertisement published in the Sunday Nation and The Standard on January 19, 2008

The Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) has noted allegations made against it and its officers through newspaper advertisement published in the Sunday Nation and The Standard newspapers on January 19, 2008. The ECK welcomes this analysis and now seeks to correct the many factual inaccuracies and wrong impressions contained in the said advertisements to set the record straight in the public interest.

Allegation 1: The Chairman of the Eck is not sure whether Hon. Mwai Kibaki won the December 27 General Election

ECK Response:

This allegation has been widely circulated in the local and international media. The actual question posed to the Chairman of the ECK by the media was “do you believe the Hon. Mwai Kibaki FAIRLY won the election?” His response was: “I don’t know. That is until I see the original records which I can’t for now unless the court authorizes. What we have are record of results from field officers” (Daily Nation, January 3). The question on whether one has won FAIRLY is a matter of interpretation and not an issue within the competence of the ECK to determine. The media has deliberately distorted this question to remove the word FAIRLY to create the impression that the ECK is uncertain as to who won the elections.

The ECK determines the winner of the presidential election on the basis of the final vote tally. In this regard, Mwai Kibaki was pronounced the winner having garnered the highest number of votes – 4,584,721 votes against Hon Raila Odinga’s 4,352,993 votes.

Allegation 2: The Chairman of the ECK announced the results under duress from PNU and ODM-K

ECK Response:

It is public knowledge that PNU, ODM and ODM-K were all captured on television at various points pushing the ECK to expedite the process and announce final results citing anxiety in the country. On January 3, the Chairman of the ECK was asked: “Were you under duress when announcing the results? Did anyone from State House call you to say this is the winner?” The Chairman responded: “No, no, Kivuitu is beyond that”. (Daily Nation, January 3).

Allegation 3: That the Chairman of the ECK was aware that in several constituencies, the total votes cast exceeded the total number of registered voters.

ECK Response:

The law empowers the ECK to reject the results of any polling station whose votes exceed the number of registered voters. In the December 27 elections, Maragwa constituency was mentioned specifically as having reported more votes than the number of registered voters. However, these were in respect to Parliamentary not Presidential votes. Upon verification by ECK at KICC, it was established that the mistake arose from a double entry of votes from one polling station. This was corrected and the results announced. At the joint verification of constituency tallies on December 29th at KICC both ODM and PNU confirmed that the results from Maragwa constituency was in order.

Allegation 4: That the Chairman of the ECK was not in control of his officials in the field during the tallying period. In some areas where the results are alleged to have been rigged, the ECK officials had “disappeared” or “switched off their phones”.

ECK Response:

Returning and Presiding officers, Polling Clerks and other ECK officials, are bound by the rules and regulations of the ECK. At some point, it seemed that ECK could not trace some of its officers or reach them on phone. The explanation received by the ECK confirmed that no official deliberately switched off their phones. Some were out of network reach, others switched off as they concentrated on the counting and tallying, others were unable to charge their phones during the vote counting process having been in the field for prolonged periods, while others were unable to travel due to skirmishes.

Allegation 5: That election documents have been tampered with by ECK officials since the announcement of results.

ECK Response:

Tampering with election results is a criminal offence. Anyone alleging tampering is under a legal duty to record statements with the police to facilitate investigations with a view to instituting prosecution. The ECK ensures proper custody of all documents and would not condone any breach of law. ECK has faith in it’s officials and could not expect any of them to tamper with such documents. If there is anyone who can identify such a person who has tampered with the said documents, ECK would be ready to offer any assistance for their prosecution.

Allegation 6: The ECK allowed Returning Officers to submit their returns in absence of agents which is against the law.

ECK Response:

There are instances where some agents of political parties may not have been present to sign Forms 16A when results were announced at the polling station. The absence of an agent (and therefore his/her failure to sign) does not invalidate the results; hold back their announcement of their transmission to the tallying center at the constituency level. It is the responsibility of party agents to avail themselves to sign Form 16A. Absence of agents at polling stations applied to all political parties. It is their responsibility to be there not ours.

Allegation 7: That in 42 constituencies, presiding officers at polling stations refused to make forms 16A available for signature by agents. This was meant to enable fictitious results in favour of Kibaki to be completed at KICC.

ECK Response:

ECK received these complaints and sought explanation form our officers. We have sent to ODM copies of the statement of those officers for their evaluation.

Allegation 8: In some cases, ECK officers at KICC altered Forms 16A e.g. Juja Constituency

ECK Response

Form 16A is completed and signed at each polling station confirming the results. It is signed by the presiding officer and the agents of political parties present. The returning officer then prepares form 16 which is a summary of results contained in all the forms 16A from all polling stations in a constituency.

The case of Juja:

The total number of registered voters in Juja constituency is 163,657. There are 231 polling stations. There was no evidence for anybody to conclude that alterations to any documents were made by ECK officials at KICC. The Chairman noted alterations on form 16 with no explanation. He did seek explanation from ECK officials at KICC and the returning officer. Both groups confirmed the provisional results announced were the unaltered ones. He then ordered the files to be secured. Later on when the Chairman found the final tallied results included the altered results for Juaj, he directed the returning officer to write a statement explaining how the errors arose and what eventually were the final results.

The returning officer explained that as at 1.000 pm on December 28th, he had tallied votes from 111 polling stations. By then, President Kibaki had 48,293 votes as clearly indicated in the Sunday Nation advertisement. After results from the remaining 120 polling stations were tallied, Mwai Kibaki’s votes totaled 100,390. By that time the commission had no way of verifying this further since there were no other channels available. The voter-turnout in Juja was 73.3%. The total votes cast in the presidential poll was 119,964, while the total for the parliamentary elections was 114,808.

Allegation 9: Agents of ODM were forcefully thrown out of some polling stations

ECK Response:

The ECK has not received any written complaint from ODM regarding any of its agents being thrown out of any polling station(s). Any such complaint should be formally made to the ECK.

Allegation 10: The ECK failed to establish a national tallying mechanism as obliged by the law

ECK Response:

The law mandates the ECK to announce the results of the presidential poll upon receipt and verifications of forms 16 from the 210 constituencies. This is the legal requirement and procedure used in all past elections starting in 1992, 1997 and 2002. It is, therefore, misleading to say that the ECK failed to establish a national tallying mechanism as obliged by the law.

Allegation 11: 5 Eck commissioners have come forward to confirm rigging

ECK Response:

This is news to us! ECK Commissioners were present to confirm final results of the presidential poll as announced by the Chairman of the ECK on December 30. The ECK is not aware of any commissioner(s) who has confirmed this allegation of rigging.

Allegation 12: The ECK received “results” away from public scrutiny from candidates or their agents, and then announced these “results” which is against the law.

ECK Response:

Under the Kenya’s electoral law, results are announced at each polling station in the presence of party agents before transmission to the constituency tallying center, In fact ECK had offered to train the agents at its cost and very few came forward. So if some did not sign the forms it was either out of arrogance or ignorance for which ECK cannot be blamed. The law does not provide for the presence of agents when the ECK is receiving election returns from returning officers.

Allegation 13: ODM agents were barred by armed police and paramilitary officers from accessing the tallying room at KICC

ECK Response:

This is misleading. Ordinarily, the tallying room at KICC is limited to the ECK and not to party agents since the facility was to merely receive and verify results from returning officers. These results would already have been witnessed by party agents at the polling stations and constituency tallying center. If they had asked to access the facility, ECK could have considered it. As a matter of fact on December 29, the ECK allowed each of the three main political parties – ODM, ODM-K and PNU – to send their representatives in the tallying room to verify the presidential tally from all constituencies.

These representatives were: ODM (James Orengo, Dickson Ogolla), ODM-K (Mr Muteti) and PNU (Martha Karua, George Nyamwea). The following observers were also present: KEDOF (Hassan Shanman, Nassir Ahmed, Koki Muli); Association of Professional Societies in East Africa (Julius Melli, Ben Sihanya). It is therefore misleading to say that agents of political parties were not allowed into the KICC tally room.

Allegation 14: In 48 constituencies, results had no Forms 16A which made them unacceptable under the law as true and accurate results.

ECK Response:

For the record, Forms 16A are completed by presiding officers in the presence of party agents and observers at each polling station. The returning officers then prepare form 16 which is a summary of the results contained in all the forms 16A from all polling stations in a constituency.

The claim on the 48 constituencies was first made by the Hon William Ruto on December 30th when ODM addressed an international news press conference at KICC. Hon Ruto knew or ought to have known that his claim was misleading and misdirected. At the conclusion of the tallying exercise on December 30th, only results from 11 constituencies did not have Forms 16 received at KICC. The returning officers from all these 11 constituencies had already phoned in the results (as required), but by law, the ECK could not announce the final results until it had verified the returns from each of these constituencies. The chairman of ECK announced that a helicopter had been dispatched to collect these returns from the pending constituencies and these were received and verified before announcement of the final results.

Allegation 15: That the law gives the presiding officer a legal duty to ensure every voter marks the three ballot papers and places them in the proper ballot boxes.

ECK Response:

On the Election Day, there were three distinct elections – civic, parliamentary and presidential. While each voter is expected to fill in three ballot papers, it is not mandatory that one must vote in all the 3 elections – civic, parliamentary and presidential.

All along ECK has said it publicly that it is ready to go with all the parties concerned and look at all Forms 16s and verify what they state and tally them. But instead of ODM taking advantage of this offer it has preferred to aggravate the dispute by involving the public in the streets which has lead to injuries and deaths of innocent Kenyans, and also by making it an international agenda.

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Kenyan ethnic attacks 'planned' (BBC)

Displaced girl in Eldoret
Thousands of people have fled their homes, especially in the Rift Valley
Officials from Kenya's opposition party were behind attacks on members of the president's ethnic group and are planning more, Human Rights watch says.

"We have evidence that ODM politicians and local leaders actively fomented some post-election violence," said the lobby group's acting Africa director.

The opposition has denied previous charges of "ethnic cleansing".

President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga will meet later, United Nations officials say.

This would be the first time they have met face-to-face since last month's disputed election.

Former UN chief Kofi Annan will also take part in the talks, aimed at finding a solution to the crisis, which has left more than 650 people dead and driven 250,000 from their homes.

Opposition leaders are right to challenge Kenya's rigged presidential poll, but they can't use it as an excuse for targeting ethnic groups
Georgette Gagnon
Human Rights Watch
The BBC's Adam Mynott in Nairobi says the meeting at a neutral venue in the capital is a breakthrough, although details of the agenda have not been released.

AFP news agency reports that at least 12 people have died in the latest violence - some in the Rift Valley.

The opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) says it has not yet agreed to an official investigation into their claims of electoral fraud.

ODM spokesman Salim Lone dismissed suggestions from the Ugandan presidency that a deal had been reached that could end the crisis.

He said the idea had not been ruled out but it must come as part of former Mr Annan's mediation efforts.


Human Rights Watch says members of President Kibaki's Kikuyu community were targeted following the announcement of his victory.

Their researchers spoke to member of the rival Kalenjin group, who said they were mobilised by their leaders to attack and loot Kikuyu-owned shops and businesses.

Kikuyu youths stop a car at a checkpoints
Gangs have set up checkpoints, where rival groups are attacked

Local ODM officials and Kalenjin leaders "arranged frequent meetings following the election to organise, direct and facilitate the violence unleashed by gangs of local youth", HRW said.

One ODM official provided a lorry to ferry youths to attack Kikuyus, it said.

"If the leaders say stop, it will stop immediately," one Kalenjin elder said.

"Opposition leaders are right to challenge Kenya's rigged presidential poll, but they can't use it as an excuse for targeting ethnic groups," said Georgette Gagnon, the group's acting Africa director.

The statement said more attacks were being planned on the Eldoret areas of Langas and Munyaka, where many Kikuyu homes remain intact.

AFP news agency reports the death of at least 12 people overnight in several different incidents.

Eight people were killed overnight in the Rift Valley capital, Nakuru, the police told AFP.

It says two were killed in central Limuru, one man was hacked to death in a Nairobi slum and another Kenyan was killed in the western area of Molo.

Rival armed group have set up roadblocks and members of rival communities are pulled from their vehicles and attacked, especially in the volatile Rift Valley.

Rival mediation

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni left Kenya on Thursday and his spokesman said both sides had agreed to an official investigation to report back within three months.

"President Museveni has left this frame-work and the Kofi Annan team can work with this or ignore it, but he is a happy man that his mission has broken the ice," said Tamale Mirundi.

Raila Odinga (left) and Kofi Annan in Nairobi (23 January 2007)
Raila Odinga (left) wants all mediation to go through Kofi Annan

But the ODM spokesman said having multiple negotiation processes was "not efficient".

He pointed out that any suggestion there should be a re-tallying of votes announced by the Electoral Commission of Kenya was out of the question, as the ODM says there was widespread forging and altering of election results forms.

The ODM leader has previously refused to lodge a legal challenge to the polls and has demanded fresh polls.

On Wednesday night, a shot was fired at Mr Odinga's car in central Nairobi, his spokesman said.

He was not in the car at the time and no-one was hurt.

Earlier, Mr Odinga called off a mass protest planned for Thursday in Nairobi.

He said he was responding to a request by Mr Annan.

The former UN secretary-general is being accompanied by Graca Machel, the wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, and former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa.

Several earlier attempts to get Mr Odinga and President Kibaki to hold face-to-face talks have failed.

The Catholic Church has urged the two leaders to hold their first direct talks since the crisis began.

"We ask President Mwai Kibaki and Honourable Raila Odinga to open their minds and hearts and immediately enter into dialogue," said a faxed statement signed by Cardinal John Njue and 23 bishops.

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Signs in Kenya That Killings Were Planned (NY Times)

Evelyn Hockstein for The New York Times

Violence continued in Kenya, where on Sunday the police and residents tried to quell a fire set in the Mathare slum in Nairobi.

Published: January 21, 2008

KERINGET, Kenya — At first the violence seemed as spontaneous as it was shocking, with machete-wielding mobs hacking people to death and burning women and children alive in a country that was celebrated as one of Africa’s most stable.

The New York Times

Kenya’s tensions are especially evident in the Rift Valley.

But a closer look at what has unfolded in the past three weeks, since a deeply flawed election plunged Kenya into chaos, shows that some of the bloodletting that has left more than 650 people dead may have been premeditated and organized.

Leaflets calling for ethnic killings mysteriously appeared before the voting. Politicians with both the government and opposition parties gave speeches that stoked long-standing hatred among ethnic groups. And local tribal chiefs held meetings to plot attacks on rivals, according to some of them and their followers.

As soon as the election results were announced, handing a suspiciously thin margin of victory to Kenya’s president, Mwai Kibaki — whose policies of favoring his own ethnic group have marginalized about half the country — all the elements lined up for the violence to explode.

Thousands of young men swept the countryside, burning homes and attacking members of rival ethnic groups. The killings go on. On Friday, six bodies arrived at a morgue in the town of Narok, northwest of Nairobi, some with deep spear wounds. On a strip of white medical tape affixed to the victims’ foreheads was written their names, dates of death and the cause: “Post-elections violence.”

“It wasn’t like people just woke up and started fighting each other,” said Dan Juma, the acting deputy director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission. “It was organized.”

What is not clear is if there was a systematic plan to start a nationwide ethnic war, and whether high-level political leaders played a role beyond possibly inciting violence through hate speech.

Before the election, it was easy to forget that even Kenya, with its reputation as an African success story and land of tolerance, was split along ethnic lines that are ripe for political manipulation. The grievances, typically about land, economic opportunity and political power, are real and often justified, though usually held in check.

Nowhere are those tensions more evident than in the Rift Valley of western Kenya, which has some of the most fabled and productive land in Africa but recently has been turned into a scene out of “The Grapes of Wrath,” with tens of thousands of desperate people fleeing in battered pickups piled high with beds, chairs, blankets and children. Some trucks are so overloaded their bumpers hang just millimeters above the road.

The violence here is decidedly different from that which grinds on in Kenya’s slums, where police officers have opened fire on unarmed demonstrators and rival gangs prowl alleys with rocks in their hands.

In the Rift Valley, people do not keep their hatreds or activities secret. Those who have taken part in the killings say the attacks were community efforts, sanctioned by elders and guided by traditions that celebrate a warrior culture.

On a recent day, a dozen young men with faces smeared with mud stepped out of the forest near the small town of Keringet.

They were from the Kalenjin ethnic group and said they had killed 20 people this month. They were armed with bows, arrows, clubs and knives. Some wore animal skins with cellphones tucked in the folds.

Rono Kibet, one of the men, said elders in his community called a big meeting on Dec. 30. That was the night that Kenya’s election results were announced, giving Mr. Kibaki the victory over Raila Odinga, the top opposition leader, despite widespread evidence of vote rigging. More than 2,000 young men gathered, Mr. Kibet said, and the elders urged them to kill Kikuyus, Mr. Kibaki’s ethnic group, and burn down their houses. The Kalenjin had fought them before.

“The community raised the money for the gasoline,” Mr. Kibet said.

He explained how the elders blessed the young men, who then split into teams of 50 to hunt down Kikuyus with bows and arrows. He did not feel bad about shooting them, he said.

“We attack people, we burn their homes and then we take their animals,” Mr. Kibet said matter-of-factly.

A few villages away and a couple of hours later, Kikuyu farmers scanned the hilltops with a pair of old field glasses that never seemed quite in focus. They carried homemade guns built of wood, water pipes and umbrella springs, highly illegal but highly necessary, they said.

Some of the sentinels were among the most educated people in the area. One, Wilson Muiruri, a University of Nairobi student, was spending his Christmas holiday moonlighting as a warrior.

“I don’t hate Kalenjins at the university,” he said. “But out here, it’s different.”

In Nairobi, the capital, a senior Kenyan police official cracked open a thick binder, with the subject line “ETHNIC CLASHES,” that revealed evidence of what he called a pattern of highly orchestrated mayhem in the Rift Valley. According to the reports, a nine-foot ditch had been cut in an asphalt road by an earth mover, apparently to prevent authorities from being able to get to conflict zones to intervene; thousands of armed men had suddenly materialized in thinly populated villages; and a roadblock had been built with 10 tons of concrete.

Christophe Calais for The New York Times

Mud-smeared Kalenjin men, one with a cellphone tucked in his belt, wielding clubs, knives and other weapons near the small town of Keringet in the Rift Valley.

Evelyn Hockstein for The New York Times

A body at a morgue in Narok, northwest of Nairobi. A handwritten tag tells the cause of death: “Post-elections violence.”

“You don’t move 10 tons of concrete on your back,” said the police official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to share this information publicly. “This is a full military operation.”

Most clashes are in rural areas, which are difficult for the police to reach, and the government strategy so far has been to use military escorts to evacuate the people who want to leave.

But government officials may have been part of the problem.

About a month before the election, the police found a large weapons cache — 20 bows, 50 arrows, 30 clubs, 30 machetes and 30 swords — in a government car belonging to an assistant minister, a member of the president’s party. The assistant minister, who was not in the car at the time and has denied involvement, has yet to be charged. In any case, several residents in the Rift Valley and local aid workers said parliamentary candidates had been arming young men, though no arrests had been made.

Although the authorities have not produced any evidence directly linking top politicians to violence, human rights groups documented speeches by political leaders assailing certain ethnic groups in the run-up to the election. William Ruto, a charismatic opposition leader and Kalenjin chief, was quoted talking about Kikuyu domination.

Kikuyu politicians, meanwhile, made disparaging remarks about Luos and about how Mr. Odinga, a Luo, was not fit to rule because he is uncircumcised.

At the same time, fliers appeared in several towns in the Rift Valley telling Kikuyus to leave. “Warning! Warning! Warning!” read one flier. “Anyone who does not obey will die.”

In some cases, the literature seemed to be part of a campaign of dirty tricks to tarnish rivals. In November, a document surfaced in Nairobi, marked confidential and supposedly written by opposition leaders, that laid out a strategy to use “ethnic tensions/violence as a last resort.”

“It’s absolutely fake,” said Peter Wanyande, an opposition strategist whose name appears on the document with the wrong first name. “Our opponents are the ones using ethnic violence. It’s terrible.”

The government is blaming opposition supporters and their leaders for the Rift Valley bloodshed, especially the episode in which up to 50 women and children seeking sanctuary in a church were burned alive.

“This is ethnic cleansing,” said Alfred Mutua, a spokesman for the Kenyan government.

Several local chiefs of the Kalenjin and Masai communities said they held meetings before the election discussing how they would attack Kikuyus and push them off their land. Top opposition politicians have said they were not involved and that there were no plans for violence.

“The problem was created at the spur of the moment when the elections were stolen,” Mr. Ruto said.

The disappointing reality is that all this has happened before in Kenya: the same places, the same ethnic fault lines, even the same tactics, down to the mud-smeared faces. Both of the times that ethnic violence has swept across the Rift Valley, the early 1990s and now, local tensions have been ignited by politics.

The problem starts with land. In the 1960s and 1970s, Kikuyus from the central highlands of Kenya acquired large farms, some legally, some questionably through their connections to Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, a Kikuyu.

That planted a grudge with local groups like the Kalenjin and Masai. Kenya’s president in 1991, Daniel arap Moi, exploited the hard feelings for his own agenda. Mr. Moi, a Kalenjin, was facing re-election, and he used his network of police chiefs and tribal elders to attack Kikuyus and other ethnic groups affiliated with the nascent opposition movement. The clashes claimed more than 1,000 lives, and though they had subsided by the late 1990s, they never really stopped.

And this recent election cycle, once again, was primed for disaster.

For the first time since the 1960s, two heavyweights from rival ethnic groups squared off in a hotly contested race, giving it an inevitable ethnic tinge. The backdrop was growing resentment toward Kikuyus, partly because Mr. Kibaki had put Kikuyus in charge of the most powerful positions in Kenya.

Many Kalenjin in the Rift Valley felt their time for redress had come. Mr. Odinga was polling well and promised to implement a policy called majimbo, which means something like federalism but has been interpreted by many to imply the eviction of ethnic groups (namely the Kikuyus) from areas not native to them.

Ethnicity in Africa, said Ted Dagne, an Africa specialist for the Congressional Research Service, is an easy flash point because of the perception — and often the practice — that the ethnic group in power will help its own people first and marginalize others.

“You don’t see these issues in Kenya as obviously as you see them, say, in Somalia,” Mr. Dagne said, “but underneath, it’s there.”

So are cultural undercurrents.

Mr. Kibet, the Kalenjin fighter, explained how at 14 he was sent into the forest for a few months to be circumcised and learn the ways of his people. He was taught how to shoot a bow and crack a skull with a wooden club. He described a transformation that he and his friends routinely make, shedding their jeans and day jobs for war paint and clubs.

“The Kikuyu are our enemy because they are on our land,” he said. “It is not good to kill their women or children. But to kill one of their men, that is an achievement.”

Published: January 21, 2008

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Kibaki-Raila meeting a turning point?

It may have essentially provided for just a photo-opportunity, but the first direct encounter Thursday between President Kibaki and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, since the disputed elections, may well have been a giant step towards resolving the political standoff and halting the slide towards anarchy and national disintegration.

Just getting the two protagonists to shake hands in front of cameras and publicly commit themselves to the search for a peaceful solution, is a significant achievement by the mediator, former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

In their short addresses, both President Kibaki and Mr Odinga conceded that Kenya needed to resolve some very serious problems. Both also issued appeals for peace and calm while the talks that seek a solution proceed.

Yet, we must not delude ourselves that anything stupendous has been achieved. What we witnessed, at best, was just the first tentative step in a long journey. Even the brief speeches delivered indicated that there is still a deep gulf to be breached.

President Kibaki started with the reminder that he was duly elected president, the bone of contention, and littered his speech with references to “my government.” His speech also focused on security and the right of every Kenyan to live in peace anywhere in the country.

Mr Odinga’s speech, by contrast, focused not merely on peace but the need for justice, with emphasis on resolving the post-election dispute.

Maybe that was just both men staking out their ground before the real hard bargaining starts. It could be a long, hard, slog, as acknowledged by Mr Annan when he intimated that the talks could go on for weeks and months.

It would be unrealistic to expect a quick fix to a complex problem that goes way beyond who between President Kibaki and Mr Odinga won the right to State House.

Establishing the truth about the elections outcome, a probably impossible task given that documents may have been altered or destroyed, is just a small element in a process that may also involve investigations into the post-election violence.

Ultimately, the assignment is about the search for a new constitutional and social order that provides adequate rights and protections for all groups; addresses historical grievances and ensures equity and fairness in allocation and distribution of public resources. (editorial - 25 Jan 08)

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The case for Nithi (Meru North)

Nithi (Meru North)










Votes – ECK Figures


Votes- ODM Figures


Votes – ECK Figures





Turnout – ECK Figures


Turnout – ODM Figures


Turnout – ECK Figures





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The case for Juja (Thika)

Juja (Thika)










Votes – ECK Figures


Votes- ODM Figures


Votes – ECK Figures





Turnout – ECK Figures


Turnout – ODM Figures


Turnout – ECK Figures





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The case for Molo (Nakuru)

Molo (Nakuru)










Votes – ECK Figures


Votes- ODM Figures


Votes – ECK Figures





Turnout – ECK Figures


Turnout – ODM Figures


Turnout – ECK Figures





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Who will be the next mayor of Nairobi?

City businessman Karanja Kabage was being suggested as a possible PNU candidate for Nairobi's mayor's seat.

Kabage, who failed to win the Molo parliamentary seat was hoping to be nominated as councillor to run against an ODM candidate. ODM leaders suggested business-woman nomination of Esther Passaris who would then run for the Mayor's seat.

Kabage said he would consider to run for city mayor if nominated. "But I have not been nominated as councillor so thinking of being mayor is unimaginable at this time," he said.

The possibility of a nominated taking over the mantle of the city has received opposition from elected councillors, majority of whom are from the ODM party.

They would rather choose a mayoral candidate from those elected. The ODM councillors have expressed a preference for Baba Dogo councillor Geoffrey Majiwa to run for mayor.

The jockeying for position is taking place even though the Electoral Commission of Kenya is yet to announce and gazette the names of the people elected during the last month's General Election.

Three weeks down the line, city residents are still in the dark as to who their civic leaders are. It is also unclear whether the civic election would be repeated in Kamukunji constituency where the ECK nullified the results due to disruption of the tallying exercise by agents of the more than 20 parliamentary candidates who vied for the seat.

Yesterday, ECK officials said they were still harmonising the list of elected councillors. Commissioner Jack Tumwa declined to explain what was causing the delay.

Provisional results indicated that the seats were shared largely among the two leading political parties - ODM (36) while PNU and its affiliate shared the remaining 22. The city has 58 civic wards with 20 seats preserved for nominated members.

ODM will have 12 nomination slots while PNU shall have eight.

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Statement by The Kenya Tourism Industry

Kenya Economy at the Risk of Dying

§ Kenya’s tourism stakeholders have worked tirelessly over the last seven years to rebuild the industry after the slump of 1997, earning the country Kshs 65.4 billion in 2007

§ Tourism is now Kenya’s leading source of foreign exchange, directly employing 250,000 people while supporting an estimated 3 million people indirectly

§ Tourism has a huge impact in all aspects of national economy, especially agriculture, transport and communication, aviation, oil companies, breweries, manufacturers, technology firms. Insurance companies. Advertising agencies, construction firms, artisans, handicraft makers, community projects, the small business and informal sector amongst many others

§ Tourism generates approximately Kshs 20 billion in tax revenue for the government each year

§ A big percentage of tourist bookings for the first half of the 2008 have been lost. Those for the rest of the year hang in the balance awaiting the outcome of political developments. An average of Kshs 5.5 billion in revenue is expected to be lost every month.

§ The view that the current economic crisis can be readily and quickly overcome is erroneous. Tourism recovery is a long and expensive process that needs a supportive and proactive leadership willing to achieve this.

Why should the above concern Kenyans?

There may be a temptation to view the above issues as a “tourism industry problem” but the truth of the matter is that all Kenyans irrespective of their political affiliation who will suffer because:-

§ Hotel and lodges are recording low occupancies and some are almost empty. There are also, very few visitors to the National Parks and Reserves. As a result, 120,000 people face imminent unemployment and their families will be plunged into poverty regardless of how they voted.

§ There will be a ripple effect hitting suppliers in agriculture, industry and other supporting sectors. These sectors will suffer loss of businesses and jobs. Airlines are also recording losses as tourists fail to come to Kenya.

§ The tourist informal sector supports an estimated 250,000 jobs in several areas such as handicrafts, transport, supplies, etc. a vast majority of these workers (especially at the Coast) stand to suffer immediately regardless of how they voted.

§ Several Government projects are supported (directly or indirectly) by revenues derived from tourism. The viability of such projects may well be affected

§ Several Local Authorities (e.g. Narok, Trans Mara, Isiolo and Samburu) are almost entirely dependent on tourism. The livelihood and incomes of persons resident in these areas are at risk.

Kenya’s reputation as a leading tourist destination is being damaged in the global market place with our competitors taking away our prospective clients.

Do our leaders care?


To Kenyans

Our Honourable Members of Parliament have shown us the way. Despite their difference, when they met in parliament, they did not engage in demonstrations and violence. They observed the rules of the House and in so doing have now secured their salaries and by extension, their livelihoods. Why do you want to destroy yours?

Shun violence and hooliganism … Give dialogue a chance … You can make a difference.

To Politicians

§ There are more Kenyans trying to get to work and earn their living than there are those trying to demonstrate on the streets. Let us separate the political problems currently being experienced from the right of all Kenyans (of whatever political persuasion) to earn a decent living.

§ Every day that the political impasse continues is another deathblow to the economy. While negotiations continue to falter and the disagreements spill over into our street with calls for demonstrations, millions of innocent Kenyans are losing their livelihoods. Their hopes and dreams for the future are being shattered regardless of how they voted.

We specifically appeal to H.E. the president, Hon Mwai Kibaki and Hon Raila Odinga to demonstrate their statesmanship and save this great country from economic disaster. Show Kenyans that you care about our country and act now by meeting and effecting a political settlement to this political crisis.

Tourism must be given priority to rebuild our economy and our leaders need to address this issue immediately.

Tourism Creates Wealth … Tourism Creates Employment … Tourism Alleviates Poverty!

Please restore peace and maintain peace!!!

Kenya Tourism Federation

23rd January 2008

Tel: 601343, Fax: 604730, Tourist Helpline: 254-020-604767, Cell: 0722 745645/0733 617499, Email:

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Statement by the Government of Uganda on the Current Situation in Kenya



The Government of Uganda wishes to address itself to the political situation in Kenya. The current situation in Kenya not only affects Kenyans but also their brothers and sisters in Uganda, and indeed, the region.

Since the current situation emerged, H.E. Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda has talked to both President Mwai Kibaki and Hon. Raila Odinga in an effort to reach a peaceful resolution of the situation, in the spirit of good neighbourliness and based on the historical bonds between the two peoples. H.E. President Museveni has also been in constant consultation with other leaders in the region on the situation.

It is in the interest of Uganda that a peaceful solution is found to the situation in Kenya. Uganda cannot, therefore, engage in any activity that would go against that spirit, as has been stated in some Dailies in Kenya.

The Government and people of Uganda wish, therefore, to assure our brothers and sisters in Kenya that there is no truth whatsoever in the allegations that the Government of Uganda deployed or intends to deploy its troops in Kenya or even engage in activities that would endanger the lives of our brothers and sisters in Kenya. On the contrary, Uganda is hosting a number of Kenyan refugees and is doing everything to ensure their safety and welfare, during this time of need.

Our bilateral relations with Kenya have always been excellent and the two countries have cooperated closely at bilateral and regional levels at EAC, IGAD, COMESA, GLR and together with other partners, we have been able to attain many positive achievements in the socio-economic and political spheres. These relations are premised in our two peoples’ natural and cultural similarities as well as social economic inter-dependence.

Uganda takes cognizance of the turbulent situation with the political divide, and that as a brotherly neighbouring country, Uganda wishes to appeal to all the belligerents to desist from any situation which may incite and interfere with the free movement of Ugandans and movement of goods from Kenya.

Uganda will continue to stand by our brothers and sisters in Kenya in the quest for a peaceful and lasting solution of the situation which Uganda is confident that the political warring parties in Kenya have the capacity to sort our their differences peacefully.

21 January 2008

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Of the Republic of Uganda


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