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

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs