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Vol 38 No 6

Published 14th March 1997


Kenya

Langata landmark

A rare victory for the opposition may present a serious challenge to KANU

Raila Odinga's defeat of the ruling Kenya African National Union's Fred Amayo in the Langata by-election on 11 March offers a rare glimmer of hope to the opposition. With Kikuyu supremos Kenneth Matiba and Mwai Kibaki lining up behind Raila Odinga, while the discredited leader of Ford Kenya, Michael Kijana Wamalwa, backed KANU's Amayo, there are signs of a wider realignment of politics. Odinga and Matiba have for some time been trying to force an alliance between their Kikuyu and Luo followers while Wamalwa, whose tenure as Ford-K leader is looking shaky, may be on his way to rejoin KANU. Even if political allegiances reconstitute along the lines of Kikuyu (Matiba and Kibaki) and Luo (Odinga) versus KANU (Kalenjin, Maasai, Coast) and Wamalwa (Luhya), the opposition parties will have to fight hard in this year's elections to maintain their presence in parliament, let alone increase it.

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