News / Africa

Kenyan Presidential Candidates Hammered on Corruption at Debate

Kenyan Presidential Candidates Make Final Pushi
February 26, 2013 12:48 PM
With just under a week to go before Kenya’s presidential election, candidates are making their final efforts to court voters. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow reports on the state of the race to decide Kenya’s political future.
Gabe Joselow
Kenya’s presidential candidates argued over the economy, corruption and foreign policy at the second and final presidential debate Monday in Nairobi.  The candidates came out aggressively with just a week to go before the vote.

Eight presidential candidates made their case to the Kenyan people before the March 4 vote and took swipes at each other in the process.

The moderators stayed mostly out of the way while the candidates attacked each other on corruption and land.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga rejected allegations that he protected members of the health ministry suspected of involvement in the questionable distribution of money from a National Hospital Insurance Fund.

“There has still been no concrete evidence provided to show there has been any kind of wrongdoing in the ministry financially," said Odinga. "There’s just been wild allegations and claims.”

Amani coalition candidate Musalia Mudavadi was attacked for his alleged role in a shady land deal involving a Nairobi cemetery.  Paul Muite, founder of the Safina party, was hammered over the Goldenberg scandal which defrauded the government out of billions of dollars in the early 1990s.

Outsider candidate Mohammed Dida, who has earned the most laughs from debate audiences for his bizarre analogies, delivered the line of the night.

“Thank you for your sincerity, pertaining [to] your questions on integrity and leadership," said Dida. "But did you expect a thief to tell you ‘I’ve stolen’?”

Jubilee candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, one of the richest men in Kenya and the son of the country's first president, was hit hard on the question of land reform.

The moderator, Joe Ageyo, asked Kenyatta how he would tackle the land issue as someone who, as Ageyo put it, owns “half of Kenya.”

“First and foremost, this issue of land is a very emotive issue in Kenya, and unfortunately the manner in which it has been handled has not been very professional or a manner that is really seeking to find solutions," said Kenyatta.

Kenyatta said his party is putting its faith in the newly created Land Commission, an independent body established by the new constitution to resolve land disputes.

Kenyatta initially had declined to participate in the debate after facing tough questioning about his indictment at the International Criminal Court for crimes committed during the violence that followed the last election in 2007.

Deputy Prime Minister Kenyatta and Prime Minister Odinga are the frontrunners in this year's presidential race and are virtually tied for support, according to recent opinion polls.

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs