KANU Rules the Nation
For Kenya, and for all the political parties, 1993 was a year of retrenchment and consolidation. KANU continued to strengthen its grip, while the opposition fragmented and realigned itself in the wake of defeat. As few people had experienced multi-party democracy, the first few months saw guarded sparring as all sides assessed their relative strengths and the limits of legal and practical authority. The election was quickly set aside, save for the election petitions, and the various groups now began for the first time to come to grips with the concepts of government and opposition, both in the new multi-party Parliament and outside in the country.
The themes which had dominated 1991-2 -- state power, ethnic solidarity, the primacy of self-interest and of economics -- continued to dominate political discourse. For KANU the worst was over as the opposition had been faced and defeated at its time of maximum support and unity. Nonetheless, care was required. With new, unstable political parties, and ethnicity a driving force, there was no guarantee that some event or individual might not initiate a new alliance or drive 'KANU tribes' into the hands of the enemy. It was essential to demonstrate that there was no alternative to KANU. KANU's strategy was therefore one of containment and attrition, not consensus, focusing oil bringing marginal Districts back into the fold, isolating the core opposition-supporting communities (the Kikuyu, Luo and Bukusu Luhya), and on gradually weakening and further dividing the opposition parties, in the expectation that isolated, without authority or money -- they could be undermined gradually and picked off one by one. The key tasks were to rebuild a stable national political hierarchy, to contain the opposition, and to try to deal with the critical problem of the economic near-collapse they had instigated arid the refusal of the West to resume direct balance of payment support.
Within one hour of Zacchaeus Chesoni's declaring Moi the victor in the
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Publication information: Book title: Multi-Party Politics in Kenya:The Kenyatta & Moi States & the Triumph of the System in the 1992 Election. Contributors: David W. Throup - Author, Charles Hornsby - Author. Publisher: James Currey. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1998. Page number: 533.
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