Skip to main content

Peacemaker Tutu slams Kenya elite

  • Story Highlights
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu hopeful for diplomatic solution to Kenya violence
  • Nobel laureate Tutu slammed corruption in the country
  • Opposition party want new presidential election to settle disputed vote
  • Heavy police presence at park where opposition planned Friday rally
  • Next Article in World »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu rounded on Kenya's ruling elite Friday, saying its people are sick of the corruption that has plagued the nation.

Tutu, in Kenya to try to mediate a solution to the violence that followed December 27 elections, said: "People have been incensed by the level of corruption."

He spoke to CNN as an uneasy calm hung over the Kenyan capital Friday, after almost a week of violence that, according to government figures, has left at least 300 people dead and up to 75,000 people internally displaced.

Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, added he was still hopeful a diplomatic solution could be found to ending the violence that accompanied the disputed election result. Video Watch Tutu assess Kenya's problems »

The opposition Orange Democratic Movement on Friday called for a new presidential election to be held.

Anyang Nyongo, secretary general of the ODM, said the country should start preparing "for a new election of the president."

"This is about a democracy and justice," Nyongo told The Associated Press. "We shall continue to defend and promote the right of Kenyans so that the democratic process should be fulfilled."

Kenya's electoral commission said President Mwai Kibaki had won the vote, but opposition leader Raila Odinga alleged it was rigged and international observations said it was flawed.

On Thursday, Attorney General Amos Wako called for an independent probe of the counting.

Odinga's ODM once again wanted supporters to join a demonstration Friday in Uhuru Park, but CNN's Kim Norgaard said a heavy police presence was preventing protesters from making their way to the site.

A rally the previous day had been prevented by police who blocked the way with tear gas and water cannons. Video Watch a report from the front lines »

The rally was banned by Kenya's government, which had prohibited political gatherings before the December 27 elections.

Many businesses remained closed Friday although some office workers were returning to work. In Kibera, the country's largest slum, shops remained shut and there were small groups of protesters gathering.

"We are trying to go to Uhuru Park today," said Joshua Okoth, standing with a group of young men by the smoking remains of a former food market. "Let people die and then there will be a change," he added.

Reports of violence, looting and fires were sporadic in Nairobi's sprawling slums, including Kibera.

Video from Nairobi's outskirts showed streets littered with broken glass, overturned Coca-Cola crates and, in some places, fires. One man carried a sign that read: "Shame on you Kibaki you raped our democracy."

The International Red Cross Friday said it was sending 15 staff to the country to assess how to give the Kenyan Red Cross enough provisions to sustain at least 100,000 people with basics for several weeks, AP reported.

Meanwhile, children's bodies piled up in a Nairobi morgue, churches burned and police on horseback chased pedestrians through the streets.

"What we have just seen defies description," Odinga told journalists after visiting one Nairobi morgue Thursday. "We can only describe it as genocide on a grand scale."

Earlier this week, the ODM posted on its Web site a call for Kibaki to protect all Kenyans.

Kibaki narrowly won re-election with 51.3 percent of the vote, while Odinga garnered 48.7 percent, the country's election commission announced Sunday.

Tutu said ethnic differences should not be allowed to split the country apart. "Our diversity is not something to divide us," he told CNN.


He met with Odinga and other opposition officials Thursday and with Kibaki on Friday.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also has sent diplomat Jendayi Frazer, who was to arrive in Kenya on Friday and meet with Kibaki, Odinga and other political leaders, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Thursday. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Matthew Chance, Paula Newton, Kim Norgaard and journalist David McKenzie contributed to this report

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

All About Mwai KibakiKenyaRaila Odinga

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print