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Is Kenya’s ‘deep state’ a reality or scarecrow in its democracy? – The Africa Report

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By Son Gatitu
Posted on Tuesday, 5 October 2021 17:49, updated on Wednesday, 6 October 2021 10:14
Ahead of Kenya’s general election set for August 2022, the electoral commission is busy laying down a system for an elaborate electoral infrastructure governed by strict laws, rules and regulations. Presidential hopefuls have been crisscrossing the country, despite Covid-19 restrictions, in a bid to stay ahead of the competition. However, will the 2022 election be a democratic exercise where voters choose their leaders through the ballot or will it be a Trojan-horsed poll, where invisible powerful forces – informally referred to as ‘the deep state’ – have a hand?
During an interview with Citizen TV in December 2019, former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka sensationally alluded to the power of the ‘deep state’. “Kenyans must know that there is a ‘deep state’ government […] I don’t even need to name them… A country is never run by these politicians who shout [the] loudest.”
Then on 21 September 2021, Francis Kimemia – a former head of public service – told Citizen TV: “The state exists… I can assure you it is deeper than deep. If you have two candidates at the rate of 50-50, and the ‘deep state’ backs one, you can be sure [which] one will win.”
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