Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Scores of Kenyans living in South Africa handed a petition to the Kenyan High Commission in Pretoria some time ago that was demanding that President Mwai Kibaki stand down. The petition noted “the fact that the chair of the electoral commission, four commissioners and European Union electoral observers have admitted that the tallying of votes was deeply flawed and that the electoral commission was pressured into announcing the results”. M&G reporters Warren Foster, Nosimilo Ndlovu, Zodidi Mhlana and Surika van Schalkwyk spoke to some of the petitioners to get views.....

Fred Otieno
(professor of engineering)
“It would not have happened if the elections were free and fair. The electoral commission is responsible for this -- it was a flawed election. Kibaki must step down or we must have a presidential re-run to resolve the problem.”

Tony Ketter (businessman)
“We voted for a change in Kenya and we did not want that chance to be robbed from us. The government has taken the power from our people. Kenya has been at peace for years -- we are a peaceful, loving people. We don’t trust Kibaki.”

Rose Ali
(development consultant)

“If we allow this, where does it end? We must say no to this situation or we are going to end up like Zimbabwe. I would like to see other African governments stand firm to what is happening in Kenya.

Dr Moses Ochieng

“From the info we have and having followed the tallying in the media, we saw that when the votes went to the electoral commission, there was suddenly a completely different figure. People have tasted democracy and now have a sense of holding their destiny in their own hands.”

Dr David Rabari

“Kenya wants to remain firm on democracy. They do not want a military form or a military coup. The rights of citizens have been tampered with.”

Mr Ruto
(telecoms engineer)

“People are dissatisfied and the main reason behind the fighting is anger. People in Kenya cannot move freely, there are police and soldiers dispatched by the government into the rural areas. The president should step down and allow democracy.”

Florence Otieno
“People are angry; they feel cheated. Kenya has voted peacefully before. People are well informed. Kibaki is there illegitimately and they are angry.”

Daphne Ketter

“This is how dictatorships are made. We must say no before we sit with another dictator like Idi Amin in Africa. Everyone is against the government; it [the conflict] has got nothing to do with ethnic differences in the country. It would not have happened if the elections were not rigged. Now the situation is vented on those most vulnerable.”

Chris Vusiyeka
(IT specialist)

“We are here to address our dissatisfaction with the situation at home. It is not just Kenya but democracy in Africa that is at threat. We are in solidarity, seeking justice and peace. Kenya has not been known for tribalism at all. The theft of votes is the source of our anger. There are many greedy leaders in Africa. Vote rigging is a crime against humanity. Perpetrators must be brought to justice because they have caused the deaths of many people.”

Ernest Karanja

“During election times we always have similar problems. I don’t think the votes have been rigged. We must let the court decide. The opposition party is just not accepting defeat. They always have to win. I believe that they should give him [Kibaki] a chance. There is no indication that the violence is ethnically based.

Fred Were
“There’s a feeling of anger among Kenyans. People feel that the outcome of the election was short of their expectations and that it was rigged. People feel that the lack of democracy has denied them the opportunity to put the leader they want in power. Tribalism is not an issue here -- the government is trying to cover up the real issue by bringing tribalism up. We are calling on our leaders to stop the violence and make a room for dialogue. The president has to step down.”

William Olo
“As Kenyans we want change. We recognise Raila Odinga as our president. We do not recognise Kibaki -- he’s a thief. He has stolen the election and that is the reason why there is violence in the country. The Kikuyu are greedy people. They believe in stealing and not going to school. They are mostly the crime promoters, with the majority of them in jail.”

Jacob Akech
“It’s a great battle between forces for democracy and forces against democracy. There is credible evidence that proves that the results were not legitimate. We need a new government that enjoys a measure of legitimacy so that the country can be re-united.”

Elijah Adera
“We feel democracy has been stolen. We have come very far and now we’re going back to where we were in the 1960s. It is painful. I’m telling you it is just two or three people sitting in an office who cooked these elections. We will continue demonstrations until the president is kicked out. There is state power and there is what we call people’s power, and people’s power will always win.”

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