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Published 13th September 2002

Vol 43 No 18


Kenya

Over the rainbow

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The outgoing President Moi wants to pick his successor, despite the challenge from dissenters in the party's Rainbow Alliance

'There is no crisis in our country,' a stern-faced President Daniel arap Moi told a National Executive meeting of the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) on 9 September. Surrounding KANU's dreary headquarters building in central Nairobi were crowds of chanting supporters, some shouting allegiance to Moi's chosen successor, Uhuru Kenyatta, some backing the Rainbow Alliance, the KANU dissidents led by George Saitoti and Raila Odinga. As the party's chieftains argued inside, police chased the Rainbow dissenters away. The party that has dominated Kenyan politics for four decades is tearing itself apart. On 30 August the President sacked his scrupulously loyal Vice-President of ten years for undue ambition and accused a lifelong political ally of betrayal. Opposition politicians rubbed their hands and quietly met the Rainbow Alliance dissenters. If Odinga and Saitoti left the party, more than a third of its supporters could follow. Moi, his son Gideon, Nicholas Kipyator Biwott, Joshua Kulei and William Ruto - KANU's nomenklatura - are ready to take that risk. They seem convinced that Uhuru Kenyatta's presidential candidacy will bring them victory and political protection for the foreseeable future (AC Vol 43 No 15).


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