In the wake of post-election violence in Kenya in 2008, one flower farmer told Amnesty International, “In the evening of Friday 24 January (2008), I saw them coming to my neighbourhood, a big group of Kikuyu men. I saw this when I was at the chief’s area. There were about eight of us who went to the chief’s house. While we were seeking refuge, we saw it happening, I saw people being chopped with machetes, and I told the police and they also saw. These people, they cut off (someone’s) head and talked to the police at the same time, it was that open.”
The opposition led by Raila Odinga was disputing election results that put Mwai Kibaki ahead by 230,000 votes. Violence ensued and around 1,400 people died in 59 days while 600,000 people were displaced. 2017’s violence though incomparable with that of 2008 is still a stark reminder of a dark period in Kenya’s political history.
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga said on Wednesday the election commission's computers had been hacked and fake results posted online to show…
Rights groups report that at least two dozen people have been killed in post-election violence in Kenya. Fortunately, the violence seems to have been short-lived but no loss of lives can be condoned. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said the victims included a 9 year old girl. Wycliff Mokaya, father of the deceased girl told Associated Press, “I was watching her play with her friends when she suddenly fell down. She was my only hope.”
17 of the people are said to have been killed in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. Raila Odinga is again disputing the election results, alleging the vote was rigged in the incumbent leader, Uhuru Kenyatta’s favor. These claims have not been substantiated by any concrete evidence and remain bare allegations. Former US Secretary of State John Kerry in his capacity as leader of the Carter Center’s mission of election observers said he believed that the election’s commission in Kenya had put together a process that would allow each and every vote’s integrity to be proven. Uhuru Kenyatta won the vote by almost 9% garnering 8,203,290 votes to emerge victor in what had been a tightly contested election.
The international community has called for the opposition to accept the election results as legitimate seeing it has failed to solidly prove any irregularity. Frederica Mogherini, foreign minister for the European Union said, “In line with the African Union, the EU expects the opposition to respect the results and to use legal means available for appeals and complaints.”
Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary general called on Odinga to “send a clear message to his supporters urging them to refrain from violence”.
The British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson echoed the other leaders’ sentiments saying, “We join the Kenyan people in mourning those who have died, calling on those with influence to exercise restraint at this difficult time to ensure calm, and to honour the Kenyans who turned out in such number to vote to determine their future.”
Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan also told leaders in Kenya to be “careful with their rhetoric and actions” while urging the opposition to get legal remedies instead of resorting to violence. The opposition coalition has however said it will not go to court to challenge the elections. Instead, Raila Odinga addressed around 4,000 people in Kibera where he said, “We had predicted they will steal the election and that’s what happened. We are not done yet. We will not give up. Wait for the next course of action which I will announce the day after tomorrow. But for now I want to tell you not to go to work tomorrow.”