A Multiparty Political System in Kenya

The Opinion page article "Kenya's Political Awakening," April 15, implies that President Daniel arap Moi and the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) were not willing to subject themselves to an open race against other parties. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Since December 1991, when Parliament repealed Section 2(A) of the Kenya Constitution which provided for a de jure one-party system, President Moi has on many occasions reassured Kenyans and the world that he was committed to the multiparty system. Currently the government is working out details of the next multiparty elections, which will be held in accordance with our Constitution not later than March 1993. In order to clarify certain laws still in the books after the change to political pluralism, the government is assessing consequential amendments to various acts to build a solid foundation for the multiparty system now in place.

The Kenya government has also made it clear that it has no intention whatsoever to muzzle opposition parties, notwithstanding incitement of ethnic violence by a section of the opposition.

Further, President Moi has publicly reaffirmed his decision to invite members of the Commonwealth countries to observe the next multiparty general and presidential elections. Both President Moi and Attorney General Amos Wako have on various occasions assured Kenyans that elections will be free and fair.

The author, who says he left Kenya 17 years ago at the age of 13, can be excused for being out of touch with the realities of today's Kenya. His claim that President Moi has banned political meetings shows how limited his knowledge of events in Kenya is. The meetings were only suspended for a short period to allow authorities to deal with ethnic violence in western Kenya. By the time the author's article appeared, the suspension of political rallies had long been lifted. William N. Meda, Washington, Information Attache, Embassy of the Republic of Kenya

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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