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Monday, 9 September, 2002, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Moi wants party critics out
Kenya party supporters (Pic: East African Standard)
Tempers are getting frayed over the elections
The Kenyan president has sacked a junior minister and told those Kanu party members who oppose his choice of successor to quit the party.

On Monday, the official presidential press service announced that deputy Foreign Minister Peter Odoyo had been relieved of his duties with immediate effect.

The Daily Nation online edition reported that at a Rainbow Alliance rally on Saturday, Mr Odoyo threatened to make public "nasty things" about President Moi's chosen heir, Uhuru Kenyatta, allegedly dating back to his period as a student in Boston in the United States.

Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta: Moi's choice of successor
Speaking at a rally in Nakuru, in Rift Valley province, President Daniel arap Moi said over the weekend that dissenting Kanu leaders should leave the party or "return to the fold", according to Kenyan television.

Kanu is deeply divided over the choice of its candidate to fight elections due in December, when Mr Moi is due to step down.

The sacking was announced during a meeting of Kanu's national executive committee called by Mr Moi.

Raila Odinga, Kanu's secretary general and a leading member of the Rainbow Alliance formed by Mr Moi's opponents in the party, said that he and his supporters would fight on within the party and "kick out" those who supported President Moi's choice of Uhuru Kenyatta as presidential candidate, according to the East African Standard newspaper.

Grassroots

The president has made clear his preference for Mr Kenyatta, son of Kenya's first president, but a group of senior Kanu members and cabinet ministers have said they will stand against him.

They are demanding an open system of choosing the party's candidate.

Mr Odoyo, who supports the Rainbow Alliance, criticised President Moi last week for failing to appoint a new vice president to replace the Rainbow Alliance's George Saitoti, who was sacked by Mr Moi.

President Moi
The president wants opponents to quit or fall in line

Mr Odinga said that he would support Uhuru Kenyatta as candidate "if he is nominated democratically".

His fellow alliance member and Kanu vice-chairman, Kalonzo Musyoka, says that the grassroots of Kanu should hold elections to pick delegates before the nomination of a presidential candidate takes place, according to the East African Standard.

Rainbow Alliance members and leading Anglican and Catholic church leaders have criticised the state television corporation for televising Mr Moi's rally at Nakuru on Saturday in support of Uhuru Kenyatta.

Archbishop David Gitari of the Anglican Church and Catholic Archbishop John Njue were quoted by the Daily Nation as saying that the televising of the rally amounted to "foul play" against other political parties.

Mr Odinga said that the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation should not allow itself to be used.

Kenyans choose a new president

Key stories

Inauguration day

Moi steps down

Background

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See also:

03 Sep 02 | Africa
30 Aug 02 | Africa
06 Aug 02 | Africa
21 Nov 01 | Africa
28 Mar 02 | Africa
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