Kenyan opposition says will not relent as 11 die in poll protests

Nairobi: Kenya’s defeated opposition coalition vowed on Saturday they would not halt their bid to overturn a “sham” election result, which sparked violent protests that have left 11 people dead.
Protests flared in opposition bastions as soon as President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the victor on Friday night after an election his rival Raila Odinga claimed was massively rigged.
Kenya is no stranger to post-election violence, and scars still run deep from a disputed 2007 vote which led to two months of ethno-political clashes, leaving 1,100 dead and 600,000 displaced.
However, protests remained isolated on Saturday, with several hundred demonstrators engaging in running battles with police who quickly dispersed what Interior Minister Fred Matiangi referred to as “criminal elements”.
Eight bodies have been taken to the Nairobi city morgue, most of them with gunshot wounds, from the protest-hit slums of Mathare, Kibera and Kawangware since Friday night, a senior police official said on condition of anonymity.
The Doctors without Borders (MSF) charity said on Twitter that it had treated 54 wounded in its clinics.
The opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) has not laid out its plans, but has refused to take its grievances to court and said on Saturday they would not back down.
“We will not be cowed, we will not relent,” NASA official Johnson Muthama told reporters, describing a police crackdown on protests as an effort to force the coalition “into submission”.
“We wish to assure the people that we have the will, the determination, and the means to make sure your vote will count at the end of the day,” he said.
Muthama claimed that some 100 people had been killed, without providing evidence. According to an AFP tally, 17 people have died in election-related violence since Wednesday.
Matiangi denied there had been any casualties, and said police had clamped down on “erratic incidents of lawlessness,” adding the government would stop at nothing to protect citizens.
“The police have not used live bullets on any peaceful protesters,” he said.
On Saturday, Kenyan election monitoring group ELOG, which deployed 8,300 observers and carried out a parallel tallying operation at a sample of polling stations, released a statement backing up the official results. — AFP

Share Button