News / Africa

    Kenyan Somalis May Lean Toward Odinga in Vote

    Kenyan Prime Minister and presidential candidate Raila Odinga attends the second presidential debate at Brookhouse School in Nairobi, Feb. 25, 2013.
    Kenyan Prime Minister and presidential candidate Raila Odinga attends the second presidential debate at Brookhouse School in Nairobi, Feb. 25, 2013.
    In Kenya, political coalitions usually are formed on the basis of tribal alliance and who can get the most votes from their base. With next week's presidential vote looking to be a close contest, though, minority tribes have a bigger role to play.

    The latest public-opinion poll shows Prime Minister Raila Odinga running neck-and-neck with Uhuru Kenyatta in the presidential race. Political observers estimate the tribes of the two men and their running mates account for about 10 million of Kenya's 14 million registered voters.

    Political analyst Adam Oloo, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi, said Odinga's CORD coalition and Kenyatta's Jubilee coalition are tribal-based, but minority tribes are likely to go with the one that has a national image.

    “Going into 2013 election, you will find that Jubilee has been painted as what you can call dominated by two tribes, basically Kikuyu and Kalenjin, and therefore CORD is trying to say that 'We are the national face,' and therefore under that circumstance you find that nearly 10 smaller parties joined it,” said Oloo.

    Key Somali region

    The latest survey suggests out of three counties in the predominantly Somali region in the north, two will vote for CORD.  

    Oloo notes minority tribes feel their vote will not bring much change if they vote for a candidate who has a support of more than one big tribe.

    “What they look at is who will care about our board, and they look at it if there is electing around two big tribes, for example the way Jubilee has two big tribes, then they feel that their vote will not count there... but when they look at CORD which is trying to pick a few here, a few there and trying to appeal to the conscience across the breath of the country, then they feel that their interests might be well addressed under CORD than Jubilee,” said Oloo.

    Kenyatta and his running mate, parliament member William Ruto, both are charged with crimes committed during inter-tribal fighting that erupted following the last disputed election in 2007.

    Impact of charges

    The opinion poll shows that 35 percent of voters believe Kenyatta will not be able to govern the country well because of pending cases of the International Criminal Court. Diplomats have warned of possible political and financial consequences if the two ICC suspects are elected next week.

    Adan Mohamed is a businessman in Eastleigh, a predominantly ethnic-Somali part of Nairobi. He said he will not vote for a leader he knows will have consequences on his business.

    “As a businessman I would not like to be involved in anything that I know is going to bring problem to my business, like politics. I would not like to elect someone, for example the two ICC suspects, if the country faces sanction that is going to affect me and my business. I would not want to elect such a person,” said Mohamed.

    After months of crisscrossing the country, the presidential campaigns are scheduled to end March 2, two days before the election.

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Kingori from: Kenya
    February 26, 2013 1:54 AM
    These are the views of Oloo, a luo like his presidential candidate. It would have been wise to seek views of the other party. We are going to vote for jubilee because we know he is innocent and not corrupt. We can not vote for somebody who has nothing tangible to show for many years he has been a leader in Kenya other than saying he was jailed, A leader who once attempted a coup. A leader who has represented the biggest slum in African but for decades did nothing for them. We are going to vote for Uhuru come what may. We pray this time round the CORD leader will accept defeat to avoid chaos.
    In Response

    by: Dale Roark from: USA
    February 26, 2013 4:12 PM
    I am not sure who will be the best but I am sure that Ralia will be do what he can to install Shiria law in Kenya. When I arrived in Keny ain 1994 the per capita income was $1300/year when I left in 2006 it was $370.

    by: Mohamed from: Nairobi
    February 26, 2013 1:47 AM
    This article is baseless, I am Somali community in Kenya, in this critical condition its shamefull that VOA to report that Somali are voting one side, please review your article

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.