Anxiety high in Nairobi slums after polls

August 11, 2017 11:19 am
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Anti-riot officers were deployed to restore calm during the demonstrations that left two people with bullet injuries, specifically in Kawangware 56, Stage Warrior and Congo/COSMUS MWONGELA

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 11 – Anxiety remains high in the informal sectors of Kawangware, Mathare and Kibera, as residents await the presidential outcome after Tuesday’s polls.

In Kibera, youths spend most of the time debating in small groups – talking in low tones – as established by Capital FM News, but they remained peaceful, though most businesses remain shut.

But is some places like Makini, in Kibera, life is moving on though not at the normal pace.

Hamisi is a vendor and says she just want “peace to prevail even after the announcement of the result. “We don’t want to fight like in 2007-2008,” she says.

Her appeal to the youths: “Please don’t allow yourself to be used by politicians to destroy your motherland.”

In Kawangware 56, hundreds of residents went to the streets Thursday demanding the immediate announcement of the outcome, which they say must reflect the will of the people.

“We voted in large numbers. We want justice to be done,” they would be heard saying.

Anti-riot officers were deployed to restore calm during the demonstrations that left two people with bullet injuries, specifically in Kawangware 56, Stage Warrior and Congo/COSMUS MWONGELA

Jane Nekesa says she woke up at 3 am to avoid the long voting queues and be able to cast her vote for her preferred candidate in the morning hours.

“The results should not be delayed further. We want to move on with our lives,” she said.

Anti-riot officers were deployed to restore calm during the demonstrations that left two people with bullet injuries, specifically in Kawangware 56, Stage Warrior and Congo.

After running battles with police, the locals agreed to remain calm but they did not go back to their respective homes.

“Go tell Chebukati (IEBC Chairperson) to announce our President,” they said while mentioning the name of one of the leading candidates whom they obviously voted for.

Ironically, unlike in the most cases where demonstrations are largely attended by the youths, women were the majority and they would be shouting at the top of their voices.

“We want justice,” they chanted.

Anti-riot officers were deployed to restore calm during the demonstrations that left two people with bullet injuries, specifically in Kawangware 56, Stage Warrior and Congo/COSMUS MWONGELA

The outcome of the vote was being waited on Friday with President Uhuru Kenyatta leading, followed by National Super Alliance flag bearer Raila Odinga.

By 9am Friday, President Kenyatta according to the provincial results had 8,165,413 (54.26pc) and NASA flag bearer second with 6,749,085 (44.85pc).

Protests have remained isolated in Odinga’s strongholds in Nairobi slums – where police shot dead two protesters on Wednesday – and the lakeside city of Kisumu.

But memories are still fresh of a disputed poll in 2007 that led to two months of ethno-political violence, leaving 1,100 dead and displacing 600,000.

While Opposition leader Odinga, 72, also claimed 2013 polls were stolen from him, he took his grievances to the courts and ended up accepting his loss.

– Dismissed Claims –

Odinga and team on Thursday claimed they were leading while citing figures from a ‘mole’ working for the IEBC.

The NASA team claims were however dismissed by the electoral body Chairperson Wafula Chebukati, who said they were “plainly falsified.”

Though Musalia Mudavadi, one of the principals within the NASA coalition had “demanded Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka to be announced as the President and Deputy President elect respectively” Chebukati insisted the Commission will work strictly within the law.

He said it is only the IEBC that will announce the victor.

Already, 40,501 forms 34A out of 40,883 and another 270 forms 34B out of 290 have arrived at Bomas, the National Tallying centre.

Chebukati says that all efforts are being done to ensure the remaining forms are submitted at the National Tallying Centre by noon Friday.

After running battles with police, the locals agreed to remain calm but they did not go back to their respective homes/COSMUS MWONGELA

The Commission also reiterated its stance on the alleged hacking of its servers, Commissioner Abdi Guliye saying no hacking had been reported and that there were measures in place to guard against internal and external intrusion.

– Observers and International Community –

Most of the observers including the European Union have lauded the IEBC and Kenyans saying the process was so far above board.

They also pointed out that Kenyans came out in large numbers to exercise their democratic right and remained peaceful, a status that has continued in the entire country besides the pockets of protests.

The British Minister for Africa, Rory Stewart on Thursday called on Kenyans and international partners “to continue to work together in the spirit of peace, partnership and democracy over the coming hours and days, and to await the final outcome as determined by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which must be given the time and space to complete its important work, including investigating any evidence of fraud.”

He urged political parties to refrain from any actions or statements which could heighten tensions whilst the country awaits the vote outcome.

“Any disputes should be addressed through the established resolution mechanisms, in line with Kenya’s constitution,” he said.

“The UK stands with the people of Kenya at this important moment in history; we look forward to continuing to work together as friends and partners.”

After running battles with police, the locals agreed to remain calm but they did not go back to their respective homes/COSMUS MWONGELA
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