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He celebrated too early even before the actual announcement of the results without the slightest idea of what was cooking. To him victory had been secured. But the devil was in the detail.
By David Mwere
It is emerging that Prime Minister Odingaâ€™s statement in the 2007 election period might have caused him victory and a place at the coveted State House.
The details of these events, unknown to the Kenyan public, are contained in the Memoirs of the Untold Story of Kenyaâ€™s Darkest Moment in its election history, by a former Commissioner at the defunct ECK. The memoirs, in their final stages, are set to be launched by next month.
These developments occurred between December 27-30th, 2007 the critical period that almost sent the country to the dogs.
It is also emerged that the post election violence was not caused by the announcement of presidential election results. Rather, it was caused by the monumental rigging that occurred and the Raila statement that caused panic among the elite Kikuyu business class.
And this is how the violence was ignited. After the closure of polling centers on the evening of December 27th, 2007 counting of votes started at the polling centers.
By 6PM the results from various centers had started trickling in at the national tallying center(KICC).Around midnight, there was every indication that Raila Odinga who was the ODM presidential candidate was enjoying unassailable lead against the incumbent, President Mwai Kibaki of PNU.
This leads was vindicated the following day and the better part of the day until evening.Sensing the outcome, the PNU strategists had to devise ways to counter ODM fortunes.
"When results started trickling in, they knew Raila was winning. They had to negotiate a safe exit,â€ says the commissioner in his works. The third and the last was to yield and accept defeat. It was agonizing but the mandarins had to find a way of swallowing their pride for their interests.
A decision was reached. The resolution was to extend an olive branch to Raila since it was clear that he had won the elections.
This was mooted to seek consensus. In the consensus building efforts with Raila, now the Prime Minster in the grand coalition government, a proposal was reached that (Raila) had to be approached with a message from the PNU side and the messenger was equally identified.
By this time, the memoirs reveal that President Kibaki was "busy" preparing to hand over the reins of power. The messenger, a senior official in one of the countryâ€™s security agency was sent to Raila with one message: how he would safeguard the interest of Kibakiâ€™s associates. He also disclosed to Raila that he had won and preparations for handing over were in the works.
In his response, Raila is reported to have said that he will safeguard their interests the same way he will do to other Kenyans. This statement was just enough to cause him the presidency. The response was delivered in black and white and it did not conciliate Kibakiâ€™s men.
Source:the sunday express,issue no. 1777
A former minister, now deceased in Kibakiâ€™s government is reported to have quipped:"This person (Raila) cannot protect our interest. We have to protect what we already have because this is not the guy to rely onâ€
What followed was an elaborate scheme to consolidate power by bringing it back to â€œits original place" The earlier option, overturning the was revisited and ut had to be sublimely backed by the gap on the media.
At this point, by time rigging started on the evening of December 28th, 2007.Calls by the ODM to announce the results on December 29th fell on deaf ears as the margin shrunk against Raila.
This raised eyebrows in the ODM.But the Orange Party was yet to see more. At one point former ECK Chairman Samuel Kivuitu complained in the public that his officers had switched off their phones and were â€œcookingâ€ results.
His fears were substantiated when doctored figures especially Juja, Nithi, Molo, Kiambu constituencies etc, went beyond the number of registered voters. The mathematics at KICC was in Kibakiâ€™s favour while Kivuituâ€™s day at the premise was marked by tight security from the elite GSU unit.
Fearing that ODM was mobilizing its supporters to State House, the PNU had to wind up the process of rigging in the wee hours of December 29,2007 as the lead titled towards Kibakiâ€™s favour just before the results were â€œformallyâ€ announced on December 30.2007.
At this point the pressure for Kivuitu to announce the results had shifted from ODM to PNU.The ODM protestations at KICC did not help matters nor did the parallel announcement by Musalia Mudavadi, Railaâ€™s running mate that his boss had won.
In these circumstances, Kivuitu was quickly bundled into Amos Kimunyaâ€™s car for State House under tight security. The ritual to announce President Kibaki the winner had been set and was to be brief without pomp and colour that accompanied the 2002 event when Kibaki was taking over from Daniel Arap Moi.
"The former Chairman publicly admitted to us that he never knew what he was doing during that day at State House. He has never gone back there. He says he was forced to announce the results.
"He has been seeking an appointment with the Prime Minister but is yet to secure one," a line in the memoirs says of Kivuitu who is currently indisposed. What followed was anarchy in some parts of the country where ODM enjoyed fanatical support. The damage had already been done.
The violence spread to other parts of the country on the accounts of retaliatory attacks. The culmination of the violence was deaths, displacements of persons and animals and loses of property.
To be continued in the next issue.
source:the sunday express,issue no. 1777
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