Conclusions The Emergence of Multi-Party Competition
The late 1980s had seen the concentration of power in the hands of the executive, especially the Provincial Administration, controlled from the Office of the President, and in the ruling party's revitalised central, disciplinary institutions. Jennifer Widner has suggested that this amounted to the creation of a 'party-state'.1 Although this probably goes too far, KANU undoubtedly became increasingly authoritarian, overriding public opinion, rigging elections, silencing the independent media, and harassing autonomous institutions, such as the Churches and the Law Society. This creeping authoritarianism provoked a backlash beginning in 1989, especially amongst the once all-powerful Kikuyu élite, who increasingly became a focus of opposition to the Moi regime. The changing international environment, highlighted by the collapse of Communist rule in Eastern Europe in the last months of 1989, which coincided with the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa and the mysterious death of Foreign Minister Ouko (both in February 1990), encouraged a number of prominent Kenyans to criticise single-party rule and to campaign for the introduction of multi-party politics.
The opposition emerged from a confluence of crises. Some fuses, such as the growing abuses of state power, the 1988 election rigging and the Ouko murder, were slow-burning. Others, such as the 1990 rebellion of Kenneth Matiba and Charles Rubia, Oginga Odinga's continuing determination to press for the legalisation of an opposition party, the Saitoti Commission, Western protests and the cancellation of aid by the Paris Group, were specific events -- the products of personalities or political decisions which might easily have taken a different form. Church leaders, especially Bishops Okullu and Muge of the CPK and Reverend Dr Timothy Njoya of the PCEA, led the way, closely followed by radical lawyers Paul Muite and Gibson Kamau Kuria. The main Christian