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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Bent on Self-Destruction: The Kibaki Regime in Kenya
Author:Murunga, Godwin R.
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:political conditions
National Rainbow Coalition
State-society relationship
political elite
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
External links:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02589000500513713
Abstract:The enthusiastic euphoria that attended the assumption of power by Mwai Kibaki of the National Alliance Rainbow Coalition (NARC) in Kenya in 2002 has been replaced by disappointment and despair over the performance of the new regime. Within two years it has lost both national popularity and goodwill. A critical look at the political biographies of the new power elite, the nature of Kenyan political culture coupled with the institutional context of governance, the class linkages between the new elite and those they replaced, as well as rational self-interest on the part of politicians, demonstrates why the new regime was predisposed to reproduce the kleptocracy and corruption of the defeated Moi regime rather than engage in State reform and efficient economic management. The case of the Kibaki regime reveals an overall tension exhibited by most pro-democracy activists between the consistent fight for a radical transformation of the State and the expedient use of this fight for personal gain through access to State power. The transition from Moi to Kibaki in Kenya demonstrates the pitfalls of relying on regime change as the first step toward greater democratization. The implications of the NARC politics of continuity are threefold: the NARC regime is set to self-destruct; this may portend a return to political repression; and the critical moment for change has been lost, with the propertied class now dominant in Kenya reluctant to restructure the State to serve the wider interests of society. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]