Kenya Elects Mwai Kibaki to Become the First Opposition Party Leader to Win the Presidency Since Kenya Became Independent

December 30, 2002

In Kenya, opposition leader Mwai Kibaki has won in a landslide vote to become the country’s third president after Kenya’s founder Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi, who did not seek re-election.

The victory by the National Rainbow Coalition party ended 40 years of control by the ruling Kanu party.

Kibaki won by a 2-to-1 margin over Moi’s handpicked successor, Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s founding president.

In his inaugural speech today before hundreds of thousands in central Nairobi. Kibaki said, "Our task will be to advance Kenya’s interests and ensure they are well served."

Kibaki promised sweeping reforms–free primary education, better healthcare, a stronger economy–as well as ending corruption.

Other winners in Friday’s election included former political prisoner and human rights activist Koigi wa Wamwere. We’re joined on the telephone by Wamwere from Nairobi. He has just been elected to Kenya’s Parliament.


  • Koigi Wa Wamwere, Kenyan human rights activist.