Kenyan leaders play the victim to win votes as polls loom
NAIROBI: As political campaigns for the repeat October 17 polls gather momentum in Kenya, the main presidential candidates are portraying themselves as victims of corrupt institutions in a bid to win voters.
President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party is painting himself as a victim of “corrupt” judges at the supreme court who annulled his win in the August 8 polls.
His main rival, National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate Raila Odinga, is portraying himself as a victim of a “corrupt” electoral system.
“The decision by the four supreme court judges to nullify my win was the most painful moment of my life. Four people cannot change what Kenyans have decided.
“I don’t and will not agree with them,” said Kenyatta after labelling the judges crooks and promising to “fix” the court if elected.
He expressed the sentiments at a meeting with leaders and supporters from the Abagusii tribe, from which the Chief Justice David Maraga hails, as he tried to win back the community’s support.
“I know I won the election. Just imagine a thief is caught with your cow and then the court rules that the police did not record the crime, so the cow cannot be yours,” Kenyatta said.
Meanwhile, Odinga reiterated that his party would not go to the polls with the current electoral commission officials, accusing them of robbing him of victory and bungling the polls.
“We will only go to an election when the playing field is level,” he said.
“We are not ready to engage in a farce.”
His Nasa coalition announced there would be no elections on October 17 unless those who stole their victory were sacked and punished.
“We wish to inform all Kenyans that there will be no polls if the concerns raised in our petition are not met,” said Odinga’s partner in Nasa, Moses Wetangula.
“We will not only boycott the elections, but we will also not allow (Uhuru’s party) Jubilee to go to (the) polls alone,” Wetangula said.