Kenya’s former President Daniel Arap Moi is pleading with Kenyans not to hold incumbent President Mwai Kibaki accountable for wrongs committed under his administration ahead of the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections. This comes after critics of President Kibaki blamed him for not doing enough to fight corruption in public institutions as he had promised. Kibaki has also come under intense criticism for using state resources for his campaign, which political observers say puts his opponents at a big disadvantage.
Meanwhile, a recent poll shows President Kibaki has narrowed the gap between him and opposition leader Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
Moi reportedly said President Kibaki had assigned responsibilities to people in his government, and that those people should take the blame for the wrongdoings. The former President, who was campaigning for Kibaki’s re-election in Eldama Ravine town, urged government appointees to take responsibility.
Joseph Maggoot is a Kenyan political analyst. From the capital, Nairobi he tells reporter Peter Clottey that the former president’s plea is for his personal gain.
“One can quickly observe that the two gentlemen (President Kibaki and former President Moi) have had a long history since independence. Both have been in the party of KANU (Kenya African National Union). President Kibaki has been Moi’s vice president 11 years, and so the gregariousness of the two gentlemen could not really come as a surprise. I think President Moi is essentially a prisoner of Kibaki so to speak. I think his push for Kibaki’s agenda is basically to protect his own personally interest; economic interest as well as political interest. And particularly the political career of his son Gideon Moi, which I think he sees a lot of his son’s political interest later through the Kibaki bandwagon,” Maggoot noted.
He said some Kenyans are not too pleased with President Kibaki’s inaction to fight corruption.
“The President launched his manifesto yesterday and there was two or three things that were really missing from his manifesto. One is the very important issue of the constitutional review. He did not promise or has not made any decision to the effect that his administration is going to try to actually institute a new constitution. And I think this is causing a lot of worry of people in the country. Two, he did not also get to mention the need to stamp out corruption and that clearly is indicative of the fact that he is not interested or very keen in rooting corruption in the country. This again is a minus for him,” he pointed out.
Maggoot criticized what he described as too much power in the presidency, which he said could be severely abused.
“In this country, the institution of the presidency wields a lot of power and that is why the new constitution provides for divested and ceded power from the institution of the presidency, and so the presidents have been able to in the past abuse that institution. At the moment President Kibaki has essentially abused that office, particularly with regards to the use of state resources and state machinery,” Maggoot said.