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Thursday, February 14, 2008

He's back, I tell you!

Not happy with being consigned to the periphery in the production of his own making, and in an attempt to relive the good old days when he mesmerised the press and Kenyans at large with his pithy sayings and witty humour, Samwel Kivuitu is back in the headlines.

Kenya's disgraced electoral chief/coward-in-chief has categorically compared bandit president and commander-in-thief Kibaki to his notoriously corrupt predecessor Moi, and acknowledged (for the umpteenth time) that the December election may have been rigged. The remarks came as negotiators sequestered themselves at a luxury game lodge to discuss political changes aimed at ending weeks of bloodshed over the disputed presidential vote. More than 1,000 Kenyans have died and 600,000 have fled their homes.

The people's president Raila Odinga accuses bandit president Mwai Kibaki of stealing the Dec. 27 election, and domestic and international observers have said there was rigging. Odinga and Kibaki have been under pressure to share power; a solution Kibaki is increasingly under pressure to accommodate, complete with the devolution that is the stuff of his nightmares. So why did he steal the election in the first place?

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Kivuitu said it is possible the vote was tampered with. He has previously maintained that even though he declared Kibaki the winner, he was unsure who really won the election. "There are many ways of rigging," Kivuitu said in an interview with NTV. "There are allegations. We don't know if they are true." He said that he had been too sick to oversee many parts of the process personally. He added that he had been struck by the speed with which the president and his entourage were ready for the swearing in, less than an hour after he had announced the results. "It reminded me of the days of Moi," he said.

When Kibaki was first elected in 2002, he was welcomed as the antithesis of President Daniel arap Moi, accused of corruption and of plundering the state treasury for his and his cronies' benefit. Kibaki's anti-corruption reputation soon faded. He is now accused of ignoring graft in his administration, and shielding criminals from past years.

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