(Social Justice South Africa)
Article by Marc Aupiais
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'No' side claims dirty tricks in Kenya referendum campaign | RFI
"Popular support for the new constitutition was supposed to be a fait accompli. That was until the mainstream churches threw a spanner in the works. They mobilised for a rejection of the draft, claiming that it is liberal on abortion and same-sex relationship and that it introduces Muslim Khadi courts.
Former President Daniel Arap Moi and influential politicians from the populous Rift Valley province are opposing the draft over the same issues and over the question of land.
President Mwai Kibaki, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and nearly 90 per cent of the cabinet and MPs addressed a huge rally in Nariobi’s Uhuru Park, urging a massive turn-out in favour of the draft.
The no campaign held a similar rally in the city’s Jamhuri Park. They accuse the government of using underhand methods and intimidation to get support for the draft because it senses defeat.
Tom Namwamba, who heads the no campaign secretariat, claims that the president’s side of using underhand tactics. They have used thugs to attack his office and steal material, he says, ordered civil servants to campaign for a yes vote and booked all choice venues in Nairobi to deny his side a convenient venue to hold their rallies.
“If you see anybody engaged in such petty, barbaric practices, then you know that that person has read the signs of losing,” he comments."Radio France Internationale [RFI] (Secular; French)01 / 08 | Aug / 2010
A no side rally was tragically bombed some time ago, as I reported then, noting that the government said not to jump to conclusions as to who bombed it. The yes side, has the backing of US president Barack Obama, who seems to have been flexing muscle to insure the constitution, which encourages homosexuality and abortion passes, Kenya may find additional aid coming their way if they acquiesce in the matter of values, and culture. Other controversial elements include "land reform" clauses which the opposition claims may cause tensions between black and white Kenyans. Kenya suffers from endemic violence and also racism, White (Caucasian) and Indian (Asian) Kenyans have both faced persecution in the past. The current government has been accused of allowing the creation of death squadrons (Agenzia Fides: The Vatican's Missionary News Service 24 / 09 | Sept / 2008), which allegedly killed and tortured rivals, and those allegedly involved in crime. The government claims that the Constitution will pass, despite Catholic and evangelical opposition to what is essentially a foreign constitution, misrepresenting the culture and values of Kenya.
In 2009 our service noted:
"Kenya: more general Overview:
Kenya, was once one of Africa's so-called: shining stars, however, electoral violence, and purported human rights abuses, along with drought, and famine: have harshly affected, what once was a nation, seen, perhaps falsely as a hope for many.
In previous articles, we have covered, the political situation in Kenya, having stabilized somewhat at this stage. Recent events, however: show a government, made up largely of people, seemingly more interested in their own political success, than in the success of their country. The global economic downturn, will likely also affect such nations: but with such a makeshift government, the chances are, that problems in Kenya, won't be ultimately solved overnight. Efforts, at helping populations make it through such trying times: however, can make differences in lives, just as efforts in Zimbabwe, and the DRC (Congo), have paid off somewhat.
Corruption, and accountability in Africa
What Kenya, and much of Africa: truly need at this point, is accountability for actions, politically, and in business. That a situation, such as the one: over, or perhaps caused by alleged vote rigging, and alleged political human rights abuses: has occurred: has made Kenya less able to deal with life threatening situations."Archives13 / 01 | Jan / 2009
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