Kenya: All Change

After twenty four years in power, Kenya’s ‘Professor of Politics’ seems to have delivered the wrong lecture. Struggling to keep up with younger generations wired to the world, he has managed to unite the opposition. But will it be allowed to win?

The World Today Published 1 December 2002 Updated 23 October 2020 3 minute READ

John Githongo

Executive Director of Transparency International - Kenya

Kenya goes into its most important election since independence on December 27. The polls will be significant because President Daniel Arap Moi, head of state since August 1978, is constitutionally barred from contesting. This transition, necessitated by a constitutional provision introduced in 1991 when President Moi and his ruling party, the Kenya African National Union (KANU), reluctantly agreed to demands for the reintroduction of political pluralism, is rare on the continent. Most African presidents have either died in office or been removed from power more vigorously.

Moi, who has long dubbed himself the ‘Professor of Politics’ and operated with a political ruthlessness and focus that meant the moniker was earned many times over, surprised the country earlier this year by anointing forty-two-year-old Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, as his preferred successor.

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