Joh Kufor, Presdent of Ghana, flew out of Kenya after failing to persuade President Kibaki to engage in meaningful negotiations with opposition leaders. There is no doubt vote manipulation was common in the past election and no time was allowed between the final vote tallies and the hurried installation of Kibaki as president to ensure vote tallies were accurate. The Orange Democratic Movement has promised to organize countrywide demonstrations against Kibaki’s illegal government. Former UN head, Kofi Annan, also from Ghana is organizing a delegation of prominent African leaders to serve as a force for mediation.
Kibaki is digging in his heels because he knows the vote is a fraud. Over twenty of his own ministers lost their seats in parliament, but he continuals to insist his vote count was accurate. His only offer is some type of “dialogue” but for which purposes, he alone knows. It may well be necessary to impose sanctions and force Kibaki to accept mediatioin from fellow African leaders.
It would be wonderful if African leaders displayed as much interest in democracy in Zimbabwe where Mugabe makes Kibaki come across as a leader of democracy.
Violence rages through the streets of Kenya as infuriated people demonstrate against President Kibak’s blatant stealing of an election. The votes were against him, but the president simply made certain vote counts were doctored to ensure his victory. Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s supporters marched through the streets chanting “No Surrender Without Agwamboi”(Kiswahill word for warrior). Hundreds of police and members of the armed forces with guns drawn fired into crowds and latest estimates are that at least a hundred at dead and scores of others wounded. The million person slum of Kibera witnessed troops firing at its inhabitants and fires have now broken out as thousands try to get out of the inferno only to be blocked by military and police forces.
Raila Odinga’s Orange Democracy Movement took its name from the successful Ukrainian challenge to authoritarianism. His party now controls three times the number of seats in Parliament as does the president’s party. For some strange reason, people voted for the opposition party, but then voted for the president. EU observers reported numerous incidents of vote fraud. The people of Kenya hope the international community will comes to its assistance, but President Bush has already announced American support for the vote-stealing President Kibaki. Just another example of the reality of Bush comments regarding the need for democracy. In a Bush democracy, people vote for those whom Bush classifies as “good” and voting against his people is simply an indication that people don’t believe in democracy.
We wait for comments from Democratic party candidates about this blatant abuse of democracy in Africa.