News / Africa

Former Kenyan PM Accuses Government of Fomenting Unrest

Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Oringa (file photo)
Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Oringa (file photo)
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— Former Kenya prime minister Raila Odinga is accusing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government of planning chaos in the country, before the ICC trials of the president and his deputy William Ruto in September and November.  The Kenyan officials are accused of helping organize post-election violence that killed more than 1,100 people five years ago.

In an interview with local media late Sunday, Raila Odinga accused the new Kenyan government of creating a political crisis in the country.

The former prime minister said the government wanted to show Kenya was not governable as its president and his deputy prepared for trials at the Hague in the coming months.

“I know some people are trying to create a situation in the country before the end of August, so that they can begin to arrest some people and say the country is ungovernable, this is basically preparation for the ICC,” he said.

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy alliance, to which Odinga belongs, said the government was looking for excuses to arrest its leaders.

Kenya's top security officials continue to question an Odinga aide, Eliud Owalo, about an allegation he is planning an Egypt-style revolution called the March Fourth Movement (M4M), a charge he denies.

But activist Okiya Omtatah said the group linked to Odinga’s aide was his.  He said the group’s only concern was designing an electoral system that would eventually get the Kenyan electorate to vote on platforms by policy, not along tribal lines.

“Under [the] presidential system you find that, unless there is a system to ensure the voice of the grass roots across the country is considered in the election, then one or two groupings, who have got [a] majority or so, can just gang up and take over the presidency and capture the state,” said Omtatah.

Political observers said Kenyan politics has been based on tribal groupings that polarized the country, and the March 4 election was no different.

Omtatah said Owalo was not involved in M4M activities, and if the government has a problem with his movement they should go to court, rather than threatening people.

“They can raise their issue in a platform, in a forum where it can be addressed.  If they [have] an issue there is a rule of law in Kenya, if they think its subversive let them go to court and I will take them on,” he said.

On Sunday, President Uhuru Kenyatta acknowledged uniting Kenyans divided along tribal lines remains an obstacle for his government.  He said uniting his fellow countrymen will be his greatest achievement.

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Comments
     
by: Mark from: Ireland
July 22, 2013 5:27 PM
This is the most significant announcement in Kenyan politics for several years. It had been predicted that the rulers of Kenya would start a regional war with Uganda or Sudan to achieve exactly those ends which RO refers to, but a civil war would do just as well.

In Response

by: James from: New York
July 22, 2013 8:26 PM
Kenyan have learned how to ignore this man. His brand of sensationalism has been recycled for so long it is now toxic. In case it is not obvious, Kenyans know and have known since 2008 that the real master-mind behind the PEV violence is non other that Raila Odinga himself. Those expecting a civil war have along time to wait. Get some soup and blankets.

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