AU calls for calm as Kenyans await final election results

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AU calls for calm as Kenyans await final election results

Kenyan police opened fire Wednesday to disperse rioters in several areas after presidential challenger Raila Odinga alleged election fraud, saying hackers used the identity of a murdered official to infiltrate the database of the election commission and manipulate results in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Uhuru got 8,203,290 votes (54.27 percent) against Raila Odinga's 6,762,224 votes (44.74 percent).

Speaking minutes before a long-awaited announcement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), James Orengo, an opposition leader, said the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) had rejected the counting process as a "charade".

The opposition has continually made allegations of corrupted ballots since Monday's vote, but several worldwide monitors from a group that included former US secretary of state John Kerry, former South Africa president Thabo Mbeki and officials from the European Union, said they could find no credible evidence to support the contentions.

But Odinga supporters, many of them members of his Luo tribe or other allied tribes, said they are being robbed of yet another election. "I therefore wish to declare Uhuru Kenyatta.as president elect", said polls commission chairman Wafula Chebukati, as cheers and singing broke out at the national tallying centre. On July 31, officials announced that Msando had been tortured and killed, alarming Kenyans who feared a recurrence of political violence fueled by ethnic divisions.

Why are Kenya's elections so bitterly contested?

Mr. Mahama, Head of the Commonwealth Observer Mission, admitted that it was too much to ask of the Kenyan electorate but said voters had done well to make the best of the circumstance, adding: "We will learn lessons from this experience".

The Chairperson of the AU Commission visited Kenya ahead of the polls on July 18-20 this year, during which he called for peaceful and credible elections before, during and after the elections, recalled the statement.

NDICHU WAINAINA
NDICHU WAINAINA

Kenya's election commission declared Friday that the 55-year-old businessman and son of the country's founding President had received enough votes to secure a second five-year term.

"Nobody should think that this is the end of the matter", he said. By the evening, after multiple delays, the country's elections commission still had not made any announcements.

In a speech at Chatham House in 2016, Odinga emphasised that Kenya's electoral body must be transparent in order to enable elections that are not only peaceful, but credible.

Another attractive addition was that about five million young Kenyans voted for the first time, and added a new dimension to politics in the country. "The failure to announce results at the constituency centers raises so many questions about transparency".

The protests erupted in Kisumu city, an opposition stronghold, and Mathare, a Nairobi slum, Reuters witnesses said.

Orengo said they would not seek redress through legal channels again, saying they had tried once and failed. Most of the country has remained calm.

Two people were shot dead in Nairobi as they took advantage of the protests to loot, Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome said.

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