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01 Jan 2002 00:00
Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi sacked his Vice President George Saitoti on Friday, his press service announced, a move analysts said was linked to a dispute over plans for Moi’s succession.
Although no official reason was given, Saitoti had announced plans earlier this month to stand himself as the ruling party candidate in the December presidential election.
Moi, who is constitutionally required to step down at the end of the year, has supported a bid by Uhuru Kenyatta, the 39-year-old son of the country’s late founding father, Jomo Kenyatta.
Saitoti has served as Kenya’s vice-president for 13 years and was also home affairs minister.
He and three other heavyweights from the ruling Kenya African National Union (Kanu) have broken away from the party mainstream over the succession issue and founded a group called the Kanu Rainbow Alliance.
With Kanu vice-chairmen Musalia Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka, and its secretary general Raila Odinga, the alliance wants to seek the presidency through a Kanu ticket.
Moi, who succeeded Jomo Kenyatta in 1978, has repeatedly derided Kanu “pretenders”, telling them to forget their presidential ambitions and back Kenyatta.
Moi is constitutionally barred from serving another term.
Moi named William Ruto, the former assistant minister in the president’s office, as the new minister for home affairs to replace Saitoti.
After 24 years as head of state, Moi’s current term expires on January 3. - Sapa
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