Accessibility links

Death Toll Rises in Kenya Post-election Violence

  • Jill Craig

Kenyan police officers walk toward protesters in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, Aug. 12, 2017. Protests broke out following an announcement the previous night that President Uhuru Kenyatta had been re-elected. (J. Craig/VOA)

Nine men and a child were fatally shot in Kenya as post-election violence escalated in isolated opposition strongholds after incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner Friday in presidential elections.

A mortuary official who requested anonymity said nine bodies with gunshot wounds were transported to the morgue in the capital of Nairobi from Mathare, a stronghold of opposition candidate Raila Odinga. A security official who did not want to be named also told Reuters the bodies had arrived.

WATCH: Police Break Up Protests in Kenya After Kenyatta Declared Winner

Mathare resident Wycliff Mokaya told the Associated Press his 9-year-old daughter was killed by a stray bullet on their balcony.

"I was watching her play with her friends when she suddenly fell down," Mokaya said. "She was my only hope."

Leonard Katana, a regional police commander, told AP Saturday that police shot and killed two people during riots on the outskirts of Kisumu, a city where Odinga has strong support. Katana said another five people were injured by gunfire in Kisumu.

A Kenyan police officer tries to put out flames from a burning tire in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, Aug. 12, 2017. (J. Craig/VOA)
A Kenyan police officer tries to put out flames from a burning tire in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, Aug. 12, 2017. (J. Craig/VOA)

Gunshots rang out in Nairobi’s biggest slum, Kibera, and well as in other poor areas of the capital and in the western city of Kisumu. Witnesses say police fired tear gas in the Nairobi slum of Mathare and said police helicopters flew overhead.

The scenes were in stark contrast to strongholds of President Kenyatta, where supporters took to the streets with vuvuzelas and flags, cheering the election result.

Election results announced

Friday night, an almost-full hall of election observers, dignitaries, journalists, politicians, political agents and electoral officials gathered to hear Kenya’s electoral commission announce that incumbent Kenyatta had won the presidential contest, defeating Odinga.

“Having fulfilled the requirement by law and having garnered 8,203,290 votes, representing 54.27 percent of the votes and 25 percent in 35 counties, I therefore wish to declare honorable Uhuru Kenyatta as president-elect and honorable William Ruto as the deputy president-elect,” Election chairman Wafula Chebukati said.

Chebukati announced that Odinga garnered 6,762,224 votes, which gave him 44.74 percent of the overall vote. He also received at least 25 percent of the vote in 29 counties.

Supporters of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta celebrate after he was announced winner of the presidential election in Nairobi, Aug. 11, 2017.
Supporters of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta celebrate after he was announced winner of the presidential election in Nairobi, Aug. 11, 2017.

Electoral commission results show a roughly 79 percent voter turnout, with more than 15 million of the more than 19.6 million registered voters casting ballots.

The winner of the presidential election must receive 50 percent of all votes, and 25 percent or more of votes in at least 25 of Kenya’s 47 counties. If neither candidate had hit that threshold, a run-off would have taken place.

Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the crowd after the announcement in the presidential race at the Centre in Bomas, Nairobi, Kenya, Aug.11, 2017.
Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the crowd after the announcement in the presidential race at the Centre in Bomas, Nairobi, Kenya, Aug.11, 2017.

Shortly after the announcement, Kenyatta and Ruto adopted a conciliatory approach to the opposition.

“As with any competition, there shall always be winners and there shall be losers, but we all belong to one great nation called Kenya, and I extend a hand of friendship, I extend a hand of cooperation, I extend a hand of partnership, knowing fully well that this country needs all of us pulling together in order for us to succeed. And Kenyans want us to succeed,” Kenyatta said.

Odinga’s National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, however, on Friday afternoon rejected the pending announcement, saying they will only accept the results if they are given access to data from the IEBC website. They stand by their claims that the electoral commission’s computer networks were hacked.

On Thursday, the electoral commission chief confirmed that there was an attempt to hack the system after the vote, but he said that attempt failed.

The opposition has said that its numbers showed Odinga beating Kenyatta by a margin of more than 600,000 votes.

“As a commission, they have made up their mind, they want to make a declaration, and therefore, we are saying that we are not going to be party to it, our issues have not been addressed, so as NASA, we shall not be party to the process that they are about to make,” said Musalia Mudavadi, leader of the opposition NASA coalition, prior to the electoral commission’s announcement.

A United Nations statement read, “I congratulate the people of Kenya for exercising their democratic rights in actively and peacefully participating” in the elections. The statement also “congratulates the IEBC for all their commendable efforts in organizing and conducting these elections.”

The election was held Tuesday, and officials spent the following three days certifying that electronic transmissions of results matched the official tallies signed by polling officers and political party agents before making the final announcement.

XS
SM
MD
LG