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.
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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid