News / Africa

Kenya PM Accuses Opposition of Vote-Rigging

Residents protest the results of the Orange Democratic Movement primary elections in Kisumu in western Kenya, January 20, 2013.Residents protest the results of the Orange Democratic Movement primary elections in Kisumu in western Kenya, January 20, 2013.
x
Residents protest the results of the Orange Democratic Movement primary elections in Kisumu in western Kenya, January 20, 2013.
Residents protest the results of the Orange Democratic Movement primary elections in Kisumu in western Kenya, January 20, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Gabe Joselow
— Kenyan prime minister and presidential candidate Raila Odinga has accused government officials of using their influence to support his rivals. The prime minister's campaign claimed there is a wider scheme to rig Kenya's presidential election on March 4.
 
Speaking to reporters at a Nairobi airport Thursday, Odinga said the head of civil service, Francis Kimemia, has been working behind the scenes to support his political rivals in the Jubilee Coalition.

“That the current head of public service has basically become an activist of a political party," said Odinga. "He is the one who is recruiting and funding the campaigns of the other side.”

Orange Democratic Party presidential candidate, Raila Odinga (R), displays his registration certificate, with running mate Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (L), in Nairobi, Kenya, Jan. 30. 2013.Orange Democratic Party presidential candidate, Raila Odinga (R), displays his registration certificate, with running mate Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (L), in Nairobi, Kenya, Jan. 30. 2013.
x
Orange Democratic Party presidential candidate, Raila Odinga (R), displays his registration certificate, with running mate Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (L), in Nairobi, Kenya, Jan. 30. 2013.
Orange Democratic Party presidential candidate, Raila Odinga (R), displays his registration certificate, with running mate Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (L), in Nairobi, Kenya, Jan. 30. 2013.
Odinga’s campaign team has accused Kimemia and other government officials of giving instructions to district officers to rally support for Jubilee, commit electoral fraud and to suppress voter turnout in Odinga strongholds.

The prime minister said if Kimemia wants to be involved in politics, he should quit his position.

Uhuru Kenyatta, the Jubilee coalition's presidential candidate, has denied all allegations of vote-rigging.

While it is not clear if the government officials in question have broken any laws, Kennedy Masimbe, the steering committee chairman for the Elections Observation Group in Kenya, told VOA that the officials have “not left doubt” about their political allegiance to Jubilee. He said it is possible they have been using their influence to support the coalition.

“If you have those advantages of incumbency and you are supposed to provide security and logistics around the elections, then there’s that danger that you can be biased in terms of favoring your candidate,” he said.

Masimbe said observers on the ground in Kenya have reported scattered cases of local administrators, from various political parties, trying to influence voters.

“Of course we have captured statements where district officers and district commissioners instruct people to vote in a certain direction,” he said.

He said the incidents are mild compared to the run-up to the disputed presidential election in 2007.

The Kenyan government spokesman's office said on Twitter that the inspector general will lead a joint investigation into the accusations that government officials have been involved in party politics.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Kenya’s Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said he had received death threats from a group claiming to be part of a criminal organization historically aligned with Kenyatta’s Kikuyu tribe.

The threats come in the wake of a court case challenging Kenyatta’s eligibility to run for president while he faces charges at the International Criminal Court.

ICC prosecutors accuse him of helping to organize the violence that followed Kenya's last election, in which more than 1,100 people were killed and 600,000 displaced.  His trial is due begin in April.

Kenyatta and Odinga are the two leading candidates in this year’s race, and are virtually tied for support according to opinion polls released earlier this week. If neither candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote on March 4, the election will go to a second round.

You May Like

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid