PUBLIC REACTION COULD BE “WORSE THAN LAST TIME”
Prime Minister and Cord presidential candidate Raila Odinga, has “given warning of dire consequences if he is deprived of victory in Monday’s elections” according to the internationally respected newspaper The Financial Times (FT). The public reaction could be “worse than last time”, said Mr Odinga.
“If I lose, of course it will be because of blackmail and intimidation,” Mr Odinga said in the interview at his home in Bondo western Kenya on Friday.
PLANS TO RIG ELECTION
“I know that they [my rivals] are putting plans in place to try to rig these elections, but I have warned them the consequences may be worse than last time round. The people will not stomach another rigging.”
“I think there’s a bit of blackmail going on, basically to try to reduce numbers, particularly among my supporters and this is something that is being orchestrated by my rivals”, said Mr Odinga.
Raila Odinga’s words “are sure to raise some alarm” the FT report stated, “given the danger that any protests against results could turn deadly, as they did last time” when more than 1,100 people were killed and 660,000 displaced in ethnic clashes, the worst in Kenya’s post-independence history.
KIBAKI AND KENYATTA – ONLY WORK WITH KIKUYUS
In the interview Mr Odinga also referred to ethnic bias towards the Kikuyu “in almost every institution of the state”.
“[Kibaki] is only comfortable working with the people from his tribe; Uhuru will not be different. These people don’t really want to unite the country,” the FT quoted Raila but added that “he would appoint Kenyans from all ethnic groups to government and would be willing to include Mr Kenyatta, too, in order to create “a win-win situation””.
PM’S OFFICE – ODINGA DID NOT SPEAK OF VIOLENCE
In a statement released to the media however (see below), the Prime Minister’s Communication Secretary Dennis Onyango said that Raila Odinga felt slandered by the FT interview and had not spoken of violence if he should lose the election.
The FT quoted ‘an analyst’ saying, “He’s positioning himself to reject the result”.
PM’S OFFICE RESPONDS TO FINANCIAL TIMES AND BBC INTERVIEWS: STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Prime Minister Raila Odinga is deeply intrigued and feels absolutely slandered by the story appearing in the Financial Time that implies he will not accept defeat in the Monday elections however free and fair.
Prime Minister Odinga conducted two interviews at short intervals on Friday, March 1, 2013 with the Financial Times and the British Broadcasting Corporation Radio and TV at his home in Bondo.
At none of these interviews did Mr Odinga speak of violence should he lose elections as reported by the Financial Times today.
In both interviews, PM referred to his sporting career as an athlete and footballer and repeated that as a sports person, he understands losing and winning as part of the game.
Asked what it would be the end of his political career if he loses the elections, the PM’s answer was:
“I strongly believe I am going to win this election, and in round one. However, in the likely event that I lose, I believe there will be a role for me in Kenya. I can write my memoirs, I have a family to take care of, and, most importantly, I have a party that I will continue to guide so we can deepen democracy in Kenya. I believe the democratization of Kenya has been my biggest contribution to the country and I want to push it to the end whether I am in or out of elective politics.”
On his plans should he win, the PM said:
“I will want to form an inclusive government, in which all, including my opponents, will have a role, so we can take this country forward.”
On claims that his supporters are being targeted with propaganda leaflets, the PM said:
“I am aware that my opponents are scaring my supporters so that they can migrate from where they registered in order to cut the spread of my vote. It is a form of rigging and Kenyans will not accept it. However, the people they are pushing out constitute a drop in the ocean of my support. I will still win this election despite this dirty campaign.”
Mr Odinga is shocked by the Financial Times story and considers it the work of a writer and organization with fixed idea of Kenya as the country goes to elections.
Office of the Prime Minister;
March 2, 2013.