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Monday, February 4, 2008

Kibaki has always stolen votes

How could people have misread a man who has been in government since independence, regarded as the gentleman of Kenyan politics?

A brilliant student at the London School of Economics, Kibaki entered Kenya's first post-independence government in 1963. Six years later he stood in Nairobi's Bahati constituency against Jael Mbogo, the popular head of Kenya's biggest women's association. He won by a wafer-thin margin in remarkably similar circumstances to December's election; behind in the early tallying, the verdict was delayed for days and a crack squad of police officers swarmed around the vote-counting centre when the result was announced.

'I was so far ahead in early vote counting that even the BBC even reported that a young woman had felled a government minister,' Mbogo, now a civil society activist in Nairobi, told The Observer. 'Kibaki stalled the result, and then robbed me of victory. Because he looks so holy, people are still asking if he really was capable of stealing this election. What I say is "Of course, he has done it before".'

'I honestly believe he is the man driving the whole operation; the ineptly rigged election and the aftermath,' said David Ndii, a Nairobi-based analyst. 'Kibaki very much knows what is happening, and must be held responsible.'