Thursday, October 25, 2007

2007 presidential canditates at a glance

Raila Odinga
• Born in Nyanza Province on January 7, 1945

• The second son of Kenya’s first vice-president, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and his wife Mary

• Raila is the MP for Langata. He is married to Ida and they have four children

• Graduated from Otto von Guericke Technical University, Magdeburg, Germany, in 1970, with a MSc in Mechanical Engineering. He returned to Kenya to take care of the Odinga family after his father’s detention without trial in 1969

• Raila was an assistant lecturer at the University of Nairobi before joining the nascent Kenya Bureau of Standards. He established a family business, which manufactures liquid petroleum gas cylinders

• The increasing repression by the state led to Raila’s wider political participation against the evils in this land. Today, Raila works for the third liberation of Kenya — liberation from the corruption and ethnic favouritism that has bedevilled the nation’s social and economic progress for over 40 years

• He was elected MP for the cosmopolitan constituency of Langata, Nairobi, in 1992 and retained his seat in subsequent General Elections in 1997 and 2002

• He spent nine years in the opposition, first in Ford-Kenya and then in the National Democratic Party. In 2001, Raila was appointed minister for energy in the KANU government. Later, as member of the Liberal Democratic Party, he was part of the National Rainbow Coalition that won the 2002 elections and broke KANU’s hold on power since 1963

• He was appointed minister for Roads, Public Works and Housing, but was replaced in the cabinet at the end of 2005 after his opposition to constitutional reforms led to a referendum victory against the government

• As a cabinet minister, Raila effected extensive reforms in the ministries he worked for. His opposition to successive governments that have looted Kenya has led him into three periods of detention without trial

• He was detained for a total of eight years, six of them spent in solitary confinement. As the MP for a constituency that houses a large number of Nairobi’s urban poor, Raila has initiated several poverty-alleviation and education projects

Kalonzo Musyoka
• Born on December 24, 1953 in Tseikuru, Mwingi district to Mr. and Mrs. Musyoka Mairu

• In 1960, he joined Tseikuru Full Primay School

• Joined Kitui High School in 1968 for O Levels

• Joined Meru High School for A Levels after good performance in Form Four in 1972. In 1973, he sat for his examination and scored three principals and one subsidiary pass that earned him a place to follow his cherished dream of studying Law at the University of Nairobi

• He completed his Law degree in 1977 and joined the Kenya Law School to train as an advocate

• Subsequently, he joined Kaplan and Stratton and from 1978, Musyoka developed close ties with the Rotary Club of Nairobi. In later years, he was elected its chairman

• In 1985, he married his long time girlfriend, Pauline, and they have four children

Mwai Kibaki
• Born to Kibaki Githinji and Teresia Wanjiku on November 15, 1931 in Gatuyaini village, Central Province

• Completed Sub A and Sub B (equivalent of standard one and two) at Gatuyaini Village School. Went to Karima Mission School before joining Mathari School between 1944 and 1946

• Worked as a turn boy on buses operated by the defunct Othaya African Bus Union

• From 1947-1950, he went to Man’gu High School for O Levels. He was influenced by the veterans of the two world wars in his village and considered becoming a soldier. However, this did not materialise because the chief colonial secretary, Walter Coutts, barred the recruitment of Kikuyu, Embu and Meru into the army

• He went to Makerere University to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, History and Political Science. He was the chairman of the Kenya Students Association and the vice-chairman of Makerere Students Guild. He graduated in 1955 with a First Class Honours Degree in Economics and became the assistant sales manager of Shell Company of East Africa, Uganda

• The same year, he joined the London School of Economics for a B.Sc in Public Finance, graduating with a distinction

• From 1958-1960, he was an assistant lecturer in the Economics Department at Makerere. He was also involved in the founding of the KANU party and in 1960, he returned home to take up a job with KANU as an executive officer

• In 1962, he married Lucy Muthoni, the daughter of a church minister. They have four children and three grandchildren

• In 1963 he contested the Donholm Constituency in Nairobi, which he won

• From 1963 to 1965, he was the parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance and was appointed a minister in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry where he served until 1969. In the same year, Kibaki was re-elected the MP for Donholm Constituency. He was later moved to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning where he served from 1970 to 1978. In 1974, he moved his political base from Nairobi to Othaya and was re-elected to represent Othaya

• He was re-elected MP for the same constituency in 1979, 1983 and 1988. Kibaki was also the Othaya KANU chairman from 1974 to 1991 when he resigned from KANU to found the Democratic Party (DP)

• He was appointed vice-president in 1978 when Daniel Arap Moi took over power following the death of founding president, Jomo Kenyatta. He served in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning until 1983 when he moved to the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Heritage

• He served until 1988 when he was moved to the Ministry of Health. From 1978 to 1988, Kibaki was the leader of Government Business and chairman of the Sessional Committee

• From 1978 to 1988, he was the KANU vice-president. Kibaki founded DP on December 25, 1991 and vied for the presidency on its ticket in the 1992 elections. He came third after Moi and Kenneth Matiba. In 1997, he contested for the presidency and came second to Moi

• He became a member and the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee from 1997 to 2002. In January 1998, DP became the Official Opposition Party hence Kibaki became its leader. He also became a member of the House Business Committee from 1998 to 2002 and was sworn in as president on December 30, 2002 after winning in the preceding elections held on December 27, 2002. He is Kenya’s third president

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