Ci risiamo. In Kenya le elezioni presidenziali – che pure si erano svolte senza problemi e con gli osservatori internazionali che non avevano rilevato irregolarità particolari – stanno degenerando in violenze e morti perché i sostenitori di Raila Odinga non accettano la sconfitta di misura contro il rieletto Mwai Kibaki. In effetti i risultati sono arrivati a rilento e il margine di vantaggio non è certo schiacciante.
Insomma, gli animi si sono surriscaldati e il governo in carica ha pensato bene di vietare alle stazioni radiotelevisive di dare troppe notizie live. Basta notiziari, “nell’interesse della sicurezza pubblica,” ha detto il ministro degli interni John Michuki.
Ora, lo sappiamo tutti che in Africa la radio vanta episodi di fulgido attaccamento agli istinti più bestiali, culminato (verso il basso, si intende) con le trasmissioni della madre di tutte le hate radio, Radio Mille Collines. Dai microfoni di quella stazione rwandese partirono nel 1994 gli incitamenti al massacro dei Tutsi e molti di coloro che stavano dietro i microfoni dell’odio razziale sono poi finiti sul banco degli imputati del Tribunale penale internazionale per il Rwanda.
Ma quella esercitata in queste ore in Kenya somiglia più alla censura che all’odio.
Kenya suspends live broadcasts
30/12/2007 22:44 – (SA)
Nairobi – The Kenyan government on Sunday suspended all live radio and television news reports as riots spread across the country after President Mwai Kibaki’s re-election, said the information ministry.
Ministry of information permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo said: “I am directed by the minister for internal security John Michuki that in the interest of public safety and tranquillity I order the immediate suspension of live broadcast until further notice.
“I am also directed to order that all media houses and journalists in general stop forthwith any broadcast of inciting or alarming material and take responsibility for such broadcasting with the law.”
The measure was announced as disgruntled supporters of defeated presidential challenger Raila Odinga took to the streets in several cities across the country, including Nairobi and several opposition strongholds in western Kenya.
At least five people had been shot dead by police in western Kenya since the electoral commission on Sunday declared Kibaki’s victory amid allegations of vote rigging.
Il Kenya ha smesso da tempo di essere una nazione facile da ascoltare alla radio. Un tempo le sue frequenze in banda tropicale dei 60 metri erano tra le più potenti e facili da ascoltare, ma questo accadeva diversi anni fa. Oggi la statale KBC si ascolta raramente e solo in onde medie. In compenso, in tutto il paese si moltiplica l’offerta di emittenti commerciali in FM. Proprio da una di queste, Capital FM di Nairobi, ho tratto il seguente l’articolo sulle speranze di vittoria di Odinga. Speranze frustrate dai duecentomila voti che lo separano – ufficialmente – dal rivale Kibaki (vincitore con 4,5 contro 4,3 milioni di preferenze). Odinga è un altro personaggio da film. Ingegnere meccanico, ha studiato a Lipsia e Magdeburgo quando queste due città facevano parte della DDR. Uno dei figli si chiama Fidel. Forse la decisione di sospendere tutti i reportage in diretta è stata dettata più dalla paura che una opposizione troppo vociferante potesse portare a una revisione dei conteggi elettorali, che dal timore di un effetto Mille Collines. La mancanza di notizie non dev’essere mai vista come un rischio per la democrazia, sempre che il senso di responsabilità dei giornalisti abbia sempre il sopravvento. Non bisogna dimenticare che i “commentatori” di Mille Collines erano pilotati da qualcuno, mentre in Kenya la situazione sembra completamente diversa. Speriamo che il governo in carica e il presidente rieletto scelgano di tornare sui propri passi.
Raila: End of the road
BY ANNE KIGUTA
NAIROBI, December 30 – Raila Amollo Odinga’s bid to oust President Mwai Kibaki from State House has failed.
The blow to his ambition was delivered at an Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) news conference, where President Mwai Kibaki was issued a second and final mandate to lead the Kenyan republic. When the ECK Chairman Samuel Kivuitu made the announcement at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), winners and losers alike were unable to restrain their emotions, which have been running high for several months now. Raila’s supporters at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) were outraged by the announcement, which relegated the man they had prematurely announced as president to the Leader of the Official Opposition.
At the early stages of the vote count, it seemed likely that Raila would clinch the coveted seat. Preliminary tallies by independent media and official results by the ECK had credited Raila with a commanding lead early Friday. In one of the counts by the ECK, Raila was at 300,000 votes ahead of the President. ODM had however announced its own version of the presidential tallies and went as far as to call on the President to concede defeat. But into late Saturday, the gap had begun to narrow significantly.
At the KICC nerve centre of ECK activities, ODM party agents were not taking kindly to the new pronouncements by the commission. Before they knew it, the bridge between the two contenders was 38,000 votes.
The media briefing where the latest toll was announced deteriorated into a shouting match between ODM agents and supporters of the Party of national Unity (PNU).
A day later, Raila, who had not made any public statement since he cast his vote, demanded a public recount of all tallies in the 210 constituencies.
He stated that this was the only way he would concede defeat.
“This kind of exercise and impasse can only be resolved by a national recount in Nairobi under the full glare of media watchfulness and the involvement of election observers,” Raila said making it clear that he would not go down easy.
And as tension mounted, particularly in areas perceived to be his strongholds, Raila appealed for calm countrywide: “This great nation of Kenya is greater than all of us and I want to appeal to our people to exercise restraint. Our nation must be a nation that respects the rule of law and order.”
But even at the thought of conceding defeat, Raila punched holes into the viability of a Kibaki administration saying it simply wouldn’t be practical in the 10th parliament.
He said the incumbent would be unable to run the House after ODM scooped a majority of seats in Thursday’s Election.
The Langata MP-elect pointed out: “The constitution says clearly that the president can only appoint members of other political parties with the express approval of that party. Faced with a minority like right now he will barely be in a position to negotiate and will begin to entice them by appointment in the cabinet without even consulting the parties.”
The 62-year-old engineer has spent his life mainly as an opposition candidate. In the 60’s he secured a scholarship to study at a Technical University, in what was then known as East Germany.
Raila comes from a family of political strings. His father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga was Kenya’s first vice president after independence and his brother Oburu Odinga is a parliamentarian.
Disagreements between the Odinga family began with the first Kenyan government, prompting and the late Jaramogi to become a key opposition figure against the governments of founding father Jomo Kenyatta and later President Daniel arap Moi.
And in his father’s footsteps Raila opposed Moi government’s single party rule earning him nine years in jail. He was charged with treason for the failed 1992 coup attempt, and fled to Norway under self exile.
The Quest for Presidency
Raila’s search for the top seat was first put to the test in 1997’s multiparty elections. He came in third after President Moi and Mwai Kibaki who was then the Democratic Party of Kenya (DP) candidate.
Undeterred by his loss, Raila began oiling his machinery for the 2002 General Election. But at a time when there was growing discontent in the Moi rule and when several opposition candidates had declared interest in the top seat, Raila who by then had emerged as a force in Kenyan politics played his cards close to the chest.
So it was an ambush for many opposition politicians at a time of deal-cutting when during a public rally in October of 2002 Raila endorsed Kibaki’s candidacy.
But the famous ‘Kibaki Tosha’ statement (translated literally to mean Kibaki will suffice as president) came back to sting Raila after he fell out with Kibaki, alleging claims that the latter did not honour a memorandum of understanding on power sharing.
As a result, Raila led a rebellion within cabinet culminating in his expulsion from the elite group of ministers and his vote hunt ever since to State House.