Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Census results complicate Kenyan premier's career

Kenya has published results of its much-delayed national census conducted last year, with details of the nation's ethnic clusters, promising to make it difficult to win presidential elections - at least 2012 poll.

(Photo caption: L-R: Musyoka, Kibaki, Odinga and Mudavadi)

A new constitution enacted on 27 August will not help ease things for the nation's politicians, known for manipulating numbers of ethnic communities and using patronage to win election.

The results published today show that the population of Kenya has hit 38.6 million, but that is largely a number. The devil is in the detail.

The wealthiest ethnic group, the Kikuyu have remained ahead of the pack, in as much as serious illegal cheap brews have been decimating their population.

The numbers: 1) Kikuyu 6,622,576 2) Luhya 5,338,666 3) Kalenjin 4,967,328 4) Luo 4,044,440 5) Kamba 3,893,157 6) Kenyan Somali (nullified awaiting recount) 2,385,572 7) Kisii 2,205,669 8) Mijikenda 1,960,574 9) Meru 1,658,108.

Lets put it in perspective for you: President Mwai Kibaki is a Kikuyu. He will not be running for president again. Prime Minister Raila Odinga is a Luo. He has been the front-runner to win 2012 presidency.

Musalia Mudavadi, a Luhya is Odinga's deputy, and less flamboyant of current top Kenyan leaders. Minister William Ruto is a Kalenjin. Uhuru Kenyatta, the finance minister is a Kikuyu, expected to be Kibaki's heir. Kalonzo Musyoka, the vice-president, is a Kamba, but his political career has been dimming.

The new constitution says presidential candidate must name a running candidate. Also it says ministers will not be MPs. For years, politicians have promised cabinet positions to win votes - no more - under new law.

Odinga had been hoping that he were to have a smooth sailing in 2012 polls, especially after he and Kibaki led the nation in securing a win for the recently adopted new charter.

But the census results now have complicated things for the man some people are convinced that he will never become president of the east African nation.

1. If he abandons Mudavadi for Uhuru Kenyatta, he may be guaranteed some Kikuyu numbers, but he losers more assured Luhya vote. Also, the other candidates will speak of things like dynasty etc. (Kenyatta is son of first president and Odinga is son of Kenya's first vice-president)

2. If he goes with Mudavadi, then they may not get numbers beyond western Kenya where they both come from.
3. It is difficult to say if Ruto will agree to work with him, again.
Additionally, under new constitution: Chapter 12, Section 164 Sub-section 4 says:
(a) The candidate  for state president should receive more than half of all the votes cast in the election and
(b) At least 25 per cent of the votes cast in majority of regions shall be declared elected as state president. (If no candidate is elected, a fresh election shall be held within 30 days where the two top candidates with most votes in previous election take part)

NB/ Kikuyus do not vote for anyone except one of their own.

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