As Kenyans prepare for presidential elections this month, some are reportedly unhappy with incumbent President Mwai Kibaki’s association with former President Daniel Arap Moi who has been accused of various forms of corruption. A cross section of people expressed lack of confidence in Kibaki whom they say have so far not kept his promise to weed out corruption in the country. Some political analysts say Kibaki’s association with the former president could potentially undermine his re-election chances.
Meanwhile, the country’s former anti-corruption adviser John Githongo is also criticizing President Mwai Kibaki's record on fighting corruption and tribalism. Githongo said President Kibaki’s re-appointment of some of his cabinet ministers who have allegedly been involved in various forms of corruption is a slap in the face of any serious fight against graft.
Michael Tiampati is a Kenyan political analyst. From the capital Nairobi he tells reporter Peter Clottey that Kibaki’s alleged lackadaisical fight against corruption could give his main challenger political capital in this month’s presidential elections.
“There has been some kid of disquiet. I had the opportunity to visit some places in Naivasha where I had the opportunity to interact with some fishermen and others, and the sentiments I got was that they have gotten a raw deal from the president, that they overwhelmingly voted for in 2002 on the platform of fighting corruption. And following Githongo’s revelations they feel that they’ve been taking for a long, long ride… there are sentiments on the ground that to a certain level, the current regime has not been sincere to the electorate,” Tiampati pointed out.
He said although the incumbent president has been campaigning ON his record, which he said shows good economic indicators, it has not apparently been resonating well with the people.
“One of the most compelling things that are coming out at this moment, especially with regards to President Kibaki’s re-election is his campaign, which is hinged on his successes like education and other aspects of development. But the debate has not zeroed in on, first the issue of fundamental importance like corruption, nepotism, or cronyism or tribalism and other issues of concern to the common people,” he said.
Tiampati said a report of the president’s wife recently slapping a person at a public function has not gone down well with most people.
“Yes there has actually been some disquiet among people because they feel that the president and the people that are surrounding him including his wife have not really been up to standard. What is happening is that the president himself has come out as somebody who is not very keen on keeping promises. His wife has been on the rampage-assaulting journalists in media houses to the recent case where she is reported to have actually slapped a master of ceremonies,” Tiampati noted.
He said some Kenyans are not too happy with the president’s association with former President Moi, who has been accused of various forms of corruption.
“One of the other issues that has been emerging is that the president may have been elected on the platform of change, but he is now working in cahoot with the former president who was the reason why the current president was voted for. So the people are having problem really getting to tell the difference between the former president that is President Moi, and the current president, President Kibaki,” he said.