Accessibility links

Breaking News

Former Kenyan President Rebuffs Odinga's Claim

In Kenya, former President Daniel Arap Moi has dismissed claims by Raila Odinga that he helped arrange Moi's first meeting with president Kibaki and therefore the former president should not attack the main opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM-KENYA). This follows heated exchanges between former president Moi and the current leaders of Kenya’s oldest party - KANU - over the party’s decision to join ODM-KENYA. Moi has always opposed the alliance saying KANU can stand on its own in the country’s next general elections.

Lee Njiru is the spokesman for former President Moi. He said the former president had always had a direct link with President Kibaki.

“Former President Moi became a member of parliament in 1955, and he has been a friend and an acquaintance of President Kibaki from 1960…Mr. Moi appointed President Kibaki as his vice president, they worked together. So I do not believe that Raila Odinga is in a position to arrange any meeting between President Kibaki and Mr. Moi,” Njiru noted.

He accused Raila Odinga of playing plain party politics by such rhetoric.

“Mr. Moi has got direct access to President Kibaki. So that is just mere theatrics, and mere empty politics,” he said.

Njiru dismissed as nonsense accusations the former president was meddling in the decision of KANU leaders to join the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM-Kenya).

“Uhuru, Ruto, and Amos Otieno have joined ODM and Moi is speaking for KANU and the others are speaking on behalf of ODM. So those are two different parties and I don’t see where the problem is…. They have associated themselves with ODM and Moi is member number two of KANU, and these people have declared it officially, so why are they complaining? He asked.

Njiru said former president Moi has a lot of influence in politics not only in Kenya but Africa as whole. As such, he said his influence can simply not be wished away by the KANU leadership.

“I can tell you in Africa, you do not have to hold any substantive office in order to be a leader. Former President Moi’s image, the mention of his name, his own status is itself an embodiment of leadership within the African context…so you cannot write off the name of former President Moi in Kenyan politics. So these younger people, may be acting out of euphoric excitement but within the masses of Kenya, Moi’s name and what he says counts for a lot of influence,” Njiru said.

Let us know what you think of this report and other stories on our website. Send your views to AFRICA@VOANEWS.COM, and include your phone number. Or, call us here in Washington, DC at (202) 205-9942. After you hear the VOA identification, press 30 to leave a message. We want to hear what you have to say!