Multi-Party Politics in Kenya: The Kenyatta & Moi States & the Triumph of the System in the 1992 Election

By David W. Throup; Charles Hornsby | Go to book overview
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KANU leaders had recovered their self-confidence, begun to disassociate themselves from the party's most autocratic and unpopular District bosses, and were utilizing state finances to fund the party's campaign, awarding salary increases and higher commodity prices to key groups of voters to bolster electoral support for President Moi and KANU's Parliamentary candidates. The challenge from FORD, the main opposition party, was receding as it became mired in ethnic conflict between the Luo and the Kikuyu over its Presidential candidate. Skilful manipulation of the electoral rules and voter registration increased KANU's advantage, while YK '92 was already emerging as a useful tool, not only carrying the battle into opposition strongholds but even more importantly enabling the central party apparatus to intervene directly in branch and sub-branch (i.e. District and constituency) affairs to redress grievances and select the most popular local candidates in order to maximise the KANU vote. The President's advisers in State House, the Office of the President and party headquarters in the middle months of 1992 proved themselves to be astute political tacticians. KANU chiefs had a much more realistic grasp of the party's strengths and weaknesses than officials of either FORD or the DP, and demonstrated that they were well equipped to take the opposition on and to defeat them on the new multi-party political 'playing field'- especially as it could be tilted in the ruling party's favour. In terms of sheer competence, KANU by mid-1992 deserved to win the forthcoming election and the opposition to lose.
1. Weekly Review, 18 October 1991, p. 11. See also Weekly Review, 4 October 1991, p. 10. For Oloo-Aringo's remarks see Weekly Review, 15 November 1991 , p. 17, and 29 November 1991, pp. 10-11.
2. Weekly Review, 29 November 1991, p. 12.
3. Weekly Review, 6 December 1991, p. 5.
4. Weekly Review, 29 November 1991, p. 1 and pp. 3-6.
5. The meeting was attended by Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the USA, the African Development Bank, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the IMF and the United Nations Development Programme. Belgium, Saudi Arabia and the OECD attended as observers. Representatives of the donors, the World Bank and the IMF made it clear that further support for Kenya, which would be reviewed in six months, would be conditional upon decisive action to redress macro-economic imbalances, to improve the financial discipline of public enterprises, to begin a serious attempt to reduce the size of' the civil service, and 'to provide an environment that is consistently supportive of private investment and initiative'. The suspension of financial support created immediate balance of payments problems. The Ministry of Finance acknowledged that the country would require another Sh12.2 billion in additional balance of payments support in the 1991-2 financial year. See Weekly Review, 29 November 1991, p. 28; and 6 December 1991, pp. 25-6.
6. Weekly Review, 20 December 1991, pp. 12-13.
7. Ibid.
8. Weekly Review, 3 January 1992, pp. 3-15 and 10 January 1992, pp. 3-6.
9. Weekly Review, 3 January 1992, pp. 16-17.
10. Onyonka, a Cabinet Minister since 1969, was a member of the Gusii community, whose


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Multi-Party Politics in Kenya: The Kenyatta & Moi States & the Triumph of the System in the 1992 Election


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