Journal Article

Courting the Kalenjin: The failure of dynasticism and the strength of the ODM wave in Kenya's Rift Valley province

Gabrielle Lynch

in African Affairs

Published on behalf of Royal African Society

Volume 107, issue 429, pages 541-568
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0001-9909
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-2621 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adn060
Courting the Kalenjin: The failure of dynasticism and the strength of the ODM wave in Kenya's Rift Valley province

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  • African Studies
  • International Relations
  • African History
  • Regional Political Studies

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This article explains the strength of the ‘ODM wave’ in the 2007 Kenyan election and the popular rejection of Daniel arap Moi's call to re-elect President Mwai Kibaki across the Kalenjin areas of the Rift Valley. It examines the election campaigns, voting patterns, and aftermath of the contested election, and reveals why most Kalenjin dismissed Moi's pleas as self-interested and were instead drawn towards the pledges and leadership of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). The article discusses how a strongly ethnicized discourse of ‘persecution’ and ‘bias’ was interwoven with narratives of past and potential ‘injustice’, leading to the vilification of the Kibaki regime and the casting of ODM as the vehicle of ‘meaningful change’. In addition, it argues that local understandings and interpretations of the past and present provide the relevant context for understanding subsequent violence and attacks on the Kikuyu community.

Journal Article.  13132 words. 

Subjects: African Studies ; International Relations ; African History ; Regional Political Studies

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