The powerful movement for human rights and democracy sweeping Africa is touching Kenya. The beleaguered and unloved dictator, President Daniel arab Moi, who is not one of free Africa's founding leaders, ought to take the lead from those who are. Tanzania's Julius Nyerere retired. Zambia's Kenneth Kaunda permitted multi-party elections and gracefully abided by its result ousting him from power. Mr. Moi digs in his heels, lashes out at messengers and arrests patriotic Kenyans.
The tensions are coming to a head. The most important is the British police investigation that Mr. Moi ordered into the assassination of Foreign Minister Robert Ouko in February 1990. Detective Kenneth Lindsay duly reported that Mr. Ouko, a foe of Kenya's endemic corruption, was preparing a report accusing cabinet colleagues of wrong-doing at the time of his murder. Mr. Moi accepted the resignation of his powerful henchman, Industry Minister Nicholas Biwott, whom Detective Lindsay implicated in the crime.
This came three days after the government suppressed a demonstration in Nairobi protesting the arrest of 13 opposition leaders and suppression of a planned rally for democracy. Such harassment of political speech is endemic in recent years.