Kenyan lead­ers play ‘vic­tim’ in bid to win more vot­ers

Pretoria News - - WORLD -

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 Au­gust 8 polls.

His main ri­val, the Na­tional Su­per Al­liance (Nasa) pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Raila Odinga, is por­tray­ing him­self as a vic­tim of a “cor­rupt” elec­toral sys­tem per­pet­u­ated by the poll’s body of­fi­cials.

“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 on Wed­nes­day af­ter ini­tially la­belling the judges crooks and promis­ing to “fix” the apex 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.

“It was very painful for me to ac­cept the de­ci­sion. I’m a hu­man be­ing and I was an­gry at Maraga and the Supreme Court, not the Aba­gusii com­mu­nity as Odinga would want you to be­lieve,” said Keny­atta.

He de­fended his out­bursts against the Supreme Court, ask­ing his au­di­ence if it was wrong for him to come out and de­fend him­self if he had been robbed. “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,” he said.

Mean­while, Odinga re­it­er­ated that Nasa 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,” said Odinga on Wed­nes­day.

“The last time the com­mis­sion was par­ti­san and the ev­i­dence we pro­duced in court was enor­mous. 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 are 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 Ju­bilee to go to polls alone,” We­tan­gula said.

PIC­TURE: EPA

The leader of The Na­tional Su­per Al­liance op­po­si­tion coali­tion, Raila Odinga, pre­pares to de­liver a speech in a Nairobi slum, which is one of his strongholds.

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