The public side of the tribal rhetoric from politicians in Kenya right now is already at a level beyond what it was in the 2007 presidential campaign. [April 16 update–following warnings of arrest and other punitive consequences from the ICC the rhetoric of the suspects has been toned down at present and a movement to “blackout” coverage of the Ocampo 6 defendants had taken off.]
Uhuru Kenyatta has presented himself at the ICC in the Hague as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, by authority of “the duly elected” President. He bases his defense for his alleged involvement with the support and orchestration of ethnic revenge attacks in the Rift Valley on Prime Minister Odinga’s call for “mass action” in the face of the ECK’s announcement of Kibaki as the election winner rather than commencing an action in the Kenyan courts. Basically the whole situation is to be blamed on Odinga personally for not accepting his loss in the elections.
Uhuru has been designated a Kikuyu elder and announced by the old guard as Kibaki’s successor as leader of the ethnic Kikuyu, as well Kibaki’s successor in politics. And now he is in alliance with William Ruto, his dockmate at the Hague accused on being an instigator of ethnic Kalenjin militia against Kikuyu in the Rift Valley. All should be forgiven except Raila.
And the spokesman for PNU, partner in the alleged Government of National Unity, has published an editorial expressing his personal view that the Prime Minister is essentially the devil incarnate.
More politics as usual, perhaps, in Kenya–but politics as usual may mean that people get killed. It is obviously time to be concerned about the 2012 election.
A key question is whether large numbers of rank-and-file Kikuyu are willing to answer Uhuru’s war cry. Another is whether Kikuyu business leaders outside of elective politics will aid in eventually resisting the ICC.
Most Kikuyu did in fact vote for Kibaki’s re-election in 2007. It was a close election. I think they deserve to know the truth about what happened at the ECK in that election in making their decision about how to respond to Uhuru’s rhetoric now.
This is from an Inter Press Service story this weekend on Martha Karua’s 2012 presidential candidacy:
[Martha] Karua helped form the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) that won the 2003 general election, and ended nearly four decades of rule by KANU. When she entered parliament, there were six female MPs. Now there are 22 out a total of 222.
Karua strongly supported the current president, Mwai Kibaki, during his days as the Democratic Party (DP) leader and during the violent conflict that followed the disputed 2007elections which gave birth to the current coalition government with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) led by Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
“I supported the president at that time because that is what the electoral commission said,” she says. She was appointed Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs in January 2008.
But she resigned her ministerial position in frustration in mid-2009.
“I realised all they wanted was Moi to be out so that those who assume office continued with the same vices that were rampant during Moi’s era. Impunity and corruption are still the order of the day. So I quit because I did not want to be part of a government that does not listen to the cries of the governed,” Karua says.
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