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Opposition remains defiant in its stalemate with the government

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VOICE OF ZAA NKWETA: Violence continues in Kenya. Mass demonstrations have left at least 700 dead, and approximately 250,000 people have been displaced. The government blames the opposition.


MWAI KIBAKI, KENYAN PRESIDENT: Fellow Kenyans, I am deeply disturbed by the senseless violence instigated by some leaders in pursuit of their personal political agenda.


However, the opposition remains defiant. Earlier, the Real News spoke to Grace Akumu, a former parliamentary candidate and member of the opposition.

GRACE AKUMU, OPPOSITION MEMBER: We had very peaceful elections on 27 December last year 2007. We went to the polls as Kenyans. We had the highest turnout in our recorded history. But when it reached the counting for presidential votes, when the current president realized that he was losing, then he started adding himself fictitious numbers that he actually never won, and this was in front of TV cameras, and we were witnessing this in the whole country in broad daylight. Yesterday was the first day of mass action. Kenyans would like him to talk with the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, and agree for a negotiation; otherwise, we will not have stability in Kenya. He has not accepted, so far, despite the efforts of the international community assisting, including the African Union. So yesterday we started mass action to put pressure on Mwai Kibaki. The government is saying that we should dialog internally by ourselves, that they don’t want any outsiders to come. But dialoging internally ourselves has defeated us. They are saying that we have to start dialoging from the standpoint that Kibaki won the election. There are promises he made to Kenyans that he will undertake or he will implement during his first five-year term, and he abrogated in all those, he reneged, he didn’t implement any of them. His mandate was to give us a new constitution in his first hundred days in the office. He didn’t. He also promised that he will detribalize the public service. He didn’t. He said that it will be a government for the people, and it was just a government for the corrupt. We don’t want a repeat of the same thing again that he has done in the first five years. We are not going to stop, even if he kills so many, because we know that at the end of the day we will achieve what we want, because we know that all good things cannot come in an easy way—we have to struggle and shed blood for them.


Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

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Grace Akumu is a member of Kenya's opposition party, The Orange Democratic Movement. She is the former chair of the Governing Council of the Kenya African Peer Review Mechanism and the Executive Director of Climate Network Africa.