Is the KBC lottery true or corrupt?
Portrait: Mwai Kibaki
Kenya's new president not only loves golf, jazz music and beer: 71-year-old Mwai Kibaki is one of the most experienced politicians in the East African country, whose politics he has helped shape since independence from Great Britain in 1963. The longtime vice-president and finance minister is one of the oldest parliamentarians, but his young supporters in particular are hoping for a boost for their generation from the trained economist.
His strongest rival, Uhuru Kenyatta (41), the defeated candidate of the outgoing President Daniel arap Moi, Kibaki knew as a toddler. Because Kibaki was a close family friend of the founder and father of Uhuru, Jomo Kenyatta. Like the freedom fighter himself, Kibaki swore the oath of the Mau Mau fighters who brought Kenya independence from the British colonial rulers. Kibaki studied at the London School of Economics, became a lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda and returned to Kenya to join Kenyatta to found Kenya's African National Union (KANU), which ruled the country for 40 years.
Kenyatta would have liked to see his companion as Vice President and successor. But his education earned him the post of finance minister. After Kenyatta's death, his successor made Moi Kibaki his deputy. He stayed there for eleven years before Moi deposed the charismatic politician in 1988. "You have to give him credit for the fact that he was not involved in any corruption scandal during this time," says John Githongo of the organization Transparency International, "but he was a member of an extremely corrupt government."
After the multi-party system was introduced in 1991, Kibaki founded the Democratic Party, a candidate for which he had run in the 1992 and 1997 elections to no avail. Only when the opposition parties came together and agreed on a common candidate did his long political dream come true. His victory now throws the son of his friend and supporter Kenyatta out of the race.
With a shaky hand, Kibaki cast his own ballot from the window of his gold-colored Mercedes on Friday. Four weeks before the election, he was seriously injured in a traffic accident and received medical treatment in London. Walking is still difficult for the old man.
The father of four and grandfather, who is known to be humorous and hard-drinking, will in future have less time for his family, his farm and his favorite hobby, golf. Even now, journalists from the state television station KBC have no idea: “Up until now we always had to show pictures of Moi in church on Sundays. In the future we will probably film more on the golf course. "
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