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

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Kurdish service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs