The Election Campaign
1992 saw the first nation-wide campaign on national issues since Independence. In previous elections, in the one-party state, the main electoral factors had been clanism and localism, the personality and oratorical ability of the candidates, and their education, participation in self-help Harambee projects, personal wealth and ability to bring development and government jobs. Many observers and candidates expected that the 1992 general election would be fought on the same basis, and that the individual's prestige would be more important than their party ticket. This was not to be. The 1992 election campaign was fought between national tickets, although powerful local leaders funded their own campaigns and appealed to local factions. In the end however, regional and ethnic blocs were to prove the key to the outcome.
The election campaign was fought at three different levels, each with its own agenda. Local government candidates fought as individuals, allied to parties, to Parliamentary candidates and their party's Presidential nominee. Parliamentary candidates did the same, although they stressed national issues more strongly in their speeches, while Presidential candidates competed at the national level through large set-piece rallies, press statements and advertising, relying on their local candidates and supporters to campaign for them at the constituency level.
KANU emerged from the primary season as by far the strongest party, with a full ticket coveting every constituency. Although weaker, the three main opposition parties had acquired numerous candidates in KANU's strongholds. In turn, they and KANU had lost candidates in their own areas to the KNC and PICK. KANU now needed to dig deeper into the opposition's support in the marginal areas and to ensure that the opposition did not make any significant inroads into KANU zones in the pastoral areas. December 1992 began well for the opposition, but by mid-month the opposition leaders had been prevented from campaigning in KANU's home areas, and Kibaki and Matiba were locked in a bitter battle of words