Kenya. After coming to power in 2002 on the promise to
put an end to corruption, President Mwai Kibaki and his
government have long been criticized for perhaps even more
widespread corruption than under its predecessor Daniel arap
Moi. During this election year 2007, Kibaki therefore found
it necessary to show initiative and launched in February a
network of local offices to which citizens could turn to
report corruption cases. Similar projects had been started
in the past without significant results. Critics remarked
that the cases discovered very rarely led to punishment.
When Parliament passed a law in September that allowed
the State Commission against corruption to investigate cases
only after 2003, many concluded that no members would be
subject to embarrassing prosecution during the election
campaign. According to
CountryAAH, several of Kenya's most rewritten corruption scandals
exempted scrutiny and prosecution. However, the law could
not come into force because President Kibaki refused to sign
During parts of the year, a banned religious sect called
Mungiki spread terror in slums in the capital Nairobi. With
mafia-like methods, sect members demanded "protection money"
from private companies and bus companies and were accused of
murdering those who refused to pay. The police hunt for the
sect also demanded many deaths.
When the electoral movement began to gain momentum in the
autumn, the political landscape changed. President Kibaki
formed a new party, the Party of National Unity (PNU), which
attracted representatives of several other parties. The
leading opposition party Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)
split. Opposition leader Raila Odinga was in charge of the
The electoral movement became violent at times and
demanded dozens of lives, prompting the EU and the US to
protest and appeal for calm and reflection. The elections,
which applied to both the presidential post and the
parliament, were conducted on December 27 in relatively
quiet forms, and the vote count indicated that Odinga's ODM
would gain a major dominance in parliament. Odinga initially
led clearly over Kibaki as the results of the presidential
election flowed in, but after two days, Kibaki began to
catch up and go past Odinga.
When the Election Commission on December 30 declared
Kibaki victorious and he immediately resigned the office for
a new term, violence erupted in protest of what appeared to
have been cheating in the counting of votes. The EU election
observers also expressed strong doubts about the result.
During the last two days of the year, up to 200 people were
killed in violence spread across the country and with strong
ethnic undertones. President Kibaki belongs to the dominant
people group kikuyu, while Odinga belongs to the Luo people.