Letter: Pluralism and fair play in Kenyan elections

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The Independent Online
Sir: The readers of your leading article 'The deal that Kenya deserves' (4 January) would undoubtedly benefit from our perception of the recent Kenyan presidential and parliamentary elections. If the elections had been rigged, as you suggest, President Moi would have won more than 36 per cent of the votes cast, and most of his cabinet ministers would not have lost. Indeed, even the prominent elected opposition members of parliament would not have made it.

The elections were fought on a party basis, and it is deceptive to imply that it was between the opposition as one united party against President Moi, and the Kenya African National Union (Kanu). Your conclusion that the elections should be re-run with one opposition candidate beats any logic.

The majority of Kenyan voters in their own quiet and peaceful ways, decided, on 29 December 1992, to give President Moi and Kanu the leadership of the country. Your suggestion that they are misused voters is far from the truth.

I do not know who gives you the right to direct the Commonwealth Observer group, the International Republican Institute Observer group, the National Council of Churches or, indeed, any other group that observed the elections what to conclude. These are evidently the same dictatorial tendencies you accuse others of in your leading article.

In his inaugural speech, President Moi stated:

I call upon members of the opposition to take to heart, and seriously, too, that they have a job to do; a job to offer a useful contribution in parliament with the sole aim of building a better Kenya

This is an effort to accommodate the opposition, unless what you have in mind is the total absorption of the opposition parties in Kanu, which would take us back to a one-party system.

Yours faithfully,


Acting High Commissioner

Kenya High Commission

London, W1

5 January