Monday , December 11 2017

Nairobi maintains uneasy calm after poll protests

epaselect epa06139709 Supporters of the opposition leader Raila Odinga shout slogans after blocking a road by burning tyres during a protest in Mathare slum, in Nairobi, Kenya, 12 August 2017. On 11 August the electoral body decleared incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner in the presidential election. According to the vote count Uhuru beat opposition leader Raila Odinga. Odinga and other opposition leaders are disputing the results. Police are beefing up security on Nairobi streets as the fear of the post-election violence looms.  EPA/DANIEL IRUNGU


After a night of protests against a disputed election, an uneasy calm prevailed across most of the Kenyan capital on Saturday, as residents stayed home, shops and markets remained shut and the police and paramilitary forces maintained a heavy presence.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of an Aug 8 vote the electoral commission said was free and fair. The main opposition National Super Alliance said the commission’s computer system was hacked to rig the results and warned that its supporters would rise up in response.
Protesters spilled onto the streets of several of Nairobi’s slums, including the southwestern areas of Kibera and Kawangware, soon after the outcome was announced, setting dwellings alight and looting shops, as police used teargas to disperse them. There were also protests in Kisumu, an opposition stronghold in western Kenya, where the Associated Press reported two people were killed.
The unrest had abated in Kawangware by Saturday morning, residents said. “We are expecting peace,” said Gilbert Githinji, 58, who sells hardware and electrical goods from a stall in the area. “We are not worried. The government is ready to deal with this. I think things will be back to normal on Monday.”
The situation remained tense in Kibera, Nairobi’s biggest slum, where small groups of demonstrators used rocks and burning tires to barricade a road before being dispersed by the paramilitary. The sound of several shots being fired could be heard.
“They have not delivered what we have voted for,” said Wycliffe Ochieng, a 20-year-old laborer from Kibera. “People are very angry. We have to protest, because they are going against our wishes. The police are using teargas and live bullets. We have not had any information of anyone being hurt.” Fred Matiang’i, the acting interior secretary, said that apart from the flareups in Kibera and Kisumu, the country remained calm and peaceful.
“By and large, lives have returned to normal,” he told reporters in Nairobi. “There have been erratic incidents of lawlessness. The security forces have reported that they have responded appropriately and they have restored normalcy in most of these areas. Our country is safe, our country is secure.”

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epa06306766 Charles Walker Brumskine (C), presidential candidate of the opposition Liberty Party departs after legal hearings between his party and the National Electoral Commission at the Temple of Justice of the Supreme Court in Monrovia, Liberia, 03 November 2017. The supreme court of Liberia has ordered a halt on all preparations  of the upcoming run-off presidential elections scheduled for 07 November, due to complaints filed by Liberty party (LP). The Liberty Party, All Liberian Party, Alternative National Congress, and the governing Unity party, accused the National Electoral Commission of irregularities and widespread systematic fraud, with the ruling Unity party citing direct interference by President Sirleaf in the just concluded 10 October presidential elections. The presidential office has reacted sharply against the allegation, and express full confidence in the National Election Commission to conduct credible elections.  EPA-EFE/AHMED JALLANZO

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