Two dead as post-election riots hit pockets of the country
Violent protests erupted in different parts of the country as results for the elections were announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Reports from youths in Nairobi’s Mathare area indicated that two people were shot dead when protests erupted after Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga claimed that Jubilee Party had rigged the elections in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Police sources said the two were shot in the slum’s Area 4A.
Youths had barricaded a section of Juja Road with burning tyres and rocks immediately Mr Odinga finished addressing the press with claims that the IEBC website had been hacked and results manipulated.
In an earlier press conference, Mr Odinga had said Nasa would not accept the outcome of the elections which he termed as “sham, fictitious and fake”.
The provisional results by that time had shown that Mr Kenyatta had garnered nearly a million votes more than Mr Odinga.
But Mr Odinga said the results were the “work of a computer” and did not reflect the will of voters.
He then asked the IEBC to provide forms 34A and 34B to help verify the outcome of the elections.
The youth in Mathare said they would not let anyone manipulate the results of the elections when they spent the whole day in long queues to elect their leaders.
“It is very unfair and we are urging the IEBC to only announce the correct results. If they know something went wrong, then they should tell us so that we can repeat. We will not accept anything other than actual and accurate results,” a youth in the slum said.
Mr Odinga had claimed that someone used the identity of an IT manager killed last week to log into the IEBC website and manipulate the results.
Some residents, however, alleged that those who were engaging the police in running battles were thugs who always look for an opportunity to break into homes and loot supermarkets and shops.
“They have always started protests so as to get the opportunity to steal and also attack people they have grudges with. They usually protest about everything,” one of the residents, Edwin Magara, said.
Administration Police officers dispersed the youths by lobbing teargas canisters at them, but the youths kept regrouping and erecting barriers on the roads.
They also stopped vehicles, including matatus, from using the road and demanded that they pay some money before they are allowed.
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati in response to Mr Odinga’s accusations said all the Form 34As would be made available for public viewing on the commission’s website.
However, he said the commission would investigate Mr Odinga’s allegations, but said he could not confirm whether the commission’s website had been hacked or not.
The opposition leader’s allegations came even as local and international observers, including former South African President Thabo Mbeki, lauded the election process and said IEBC had been transparent.
Other parts of the country also experienced violence.
Tallying of votes for Dagoretti North Constituency were suspended in the evening after violence broke out at Kilimani Primary School, the constituency tallying centre.
A presiding officer, Mr Hudson Maragia, and an agent of one of the candidates, George Ntongai, were seriously injured as Mr Simba Arati’s supporters stormed the centre.
The supporters alleged that the two were found with fake ballot papers and other election materials.
Tension was high at the tallying centre as they threatened to attack the IEBC officials, forcing the returning officer, Mr James Maina, to halt the exercise, saying the security of his officers was at risk.
Trouble started after ballot boxes from Gatina polling centre arrived at the tallying centre while open.
Mr Arati, who was leading at the time, blamed the returning officer for the chaos.
He added that presiding officers were arriving at the tallying centre with the ballot papers but not accompanied by the police as required.
The agents of Amani National Congress candidate Bernard Shilibwa also blamed the IEBC officials, saying they left voters to use fake papers to cast their votes.
“Gatina is among our strongholds but the boxes have been brought in already opened,” said Hellen Ayuma Daudi, who was Shilibwa’s agent at Kilimani Primary.
Papers were strewn all over the compound as police tried to calm the situation.
Mr Arati also pleaded with his supporters to calm down and wait patiently for the results.
Mr Maragia sustained a broken jaw and was rushed to a nearby hospital.
He said Mr Arati’s supporters pounced on him, while accusing him of stuffing ballot papers in the boxes, in favour of Jubilee candidate Beatrice Elachi.
Mr Maina told the Nation that after the chaos, some of his officers ran away and he was trying to reach them on phone, so that the exercise could resume.
“As at now I don’t know where many of them are. I am here alone and the job is huge. I am managing although at a very slow pace,” he said.
By the time the chaos erupted, Mr Arati (ODM) was leading with 48,349 followed by Beatrice Elachi (33,425) while Shilibwa was third with 16,814 votes.
Fourteen people are fighting for the area Parliamentary seat.